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21 August 2019, 11:04
Furious parents vowed to switch off 'irresponsible' Channel 4 documentary Train Your Baby Like A Dog.
Parents were left raging after tuning in to new Channel 4 documentary ‘How To Train Your Baby Like A Dog’ last night.
The programme sees animal behaviourist Jo-Rosie Haffenden teach parents to use dog training techniques on young children.
Speaking during the show, Jo-Rosie said: "I don't understand why we haven't been applying animal techniques to humans, universally."
But her controversial methods such as using the ‘clicker’ - typically used to teach dogs to follow commands - and telling a child to ‘sit’, caused fury on Twitter.
One person blasted: "Watching this is making me feel sick. Airing a baby being left to cry like that normalises CIO. That poor baby. I just sat in tears for her. Its impossible for a 14 month old to put themselves to sleep. Dont have kids if you want to sleep! #fuming #channel4."
Another slammed: “Horrified watching @Channel4 #trainyourbabylikeadog utterly irresponsible. Demonstrates no understanding of the emotional needs of babies and little people. Get it off air.”
A third viewer added they were concerned by the techniques used, writing: “I am utterly raging at the arrogance of this trainer and lack of understanding of *actual humans*. #TrainYourBabyLikeADog is simply shocking and I can’t believe it was allowed to proceed.”
Absolutely horrified that I am watching a programme that advocates #TrainYourBabyLikeADog a social experiment with no consideration for the consequences on real human babies @Channel4 this is a disgrace. Exploitation of vulnerable parents & children— phillipa (@Pips1186) August 20, 2019
If the clicker wasn’t used and the title didn’t sound so terrible, I don’t think people would be as outraged. It’s basic psychology and this lady does talk at least some sense #trainyourbabylikeadog— Chlo (@chloeknowles32) August 20, 2019
However, some parents defended the show, as one Tweeted: "Anyone offended by this is dumb. It's basic psychology. It's how we all learn (minus the clicker)."
And a second agreed: "Everyone kicking off about this, surely if you've tried everything else, it's worth a go?!"
While a third tweeted: “People complaining about #trainyourbabylikeadog should actually watch it they’re not actually treating the kids like dogs lol they’re just showing the techniques that are transferable.”
This comes after a Change.Org petition was set up before the show aired, urging Channel 4 to cancel it for being ‘irresponsible’.
The petition received over 25,000 signatures, with creator Emma Dalmayne - CEO of Autistic Inclusive Meets - stating the show was ‘dehumanising’ for children and was teaching them “to comply to an adult’s demands, regardless of their own comfort or autonomy for reward”.
When approached by Heart.co.uk, a Channel 4 spokesperson defended the documentary, telling us: “It explores a new approach to childcare, grounded in positive, science-based motivational techniques that are used widely by parenting coaches and animal behaviour experts.
‘Throughout filming and broadcast, the welfare of all contributors in the programme is of paramount importance and the process is supervised by qualified child psychologists.’