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The New York Times discovers that some parents are looking for child-rearing tips from an unusual source: Cesar Millan, otherwise known as the Dog Whisperer.

[S]ome parents — particularly those weary of never-say-no techniques and child-rearing books suggesting that children should call the shots — say they find inspiration, and even practical advice, in Mr. Millan’s approach, which teaches pet owners how to become the alpha dogs by projecting his trademark “calm-assertive energy.”

[ . . . ]

Allison Pearson, author of the novel “I Don’t Know How She Does It,” which explored the stresses of modern motherhood, explained how parents would naturally envy the authority of dog trainers. “My generation got itself in a muddle about parenting,” she wrote by e-mail. “We thought that obedience was the enemy of love. We didn’t want the kids to be afraid of us, but after a while we found ourselves wondering: do we have to do what they say the whole time?”

“Unlike modern parents,” she added, “dog trainers don’t think discipline equals being mean. They understand that dogs are happiest when they know their position in the hierarchy.”

What a bizarre culture we live in where people treat their dogs like children and their children like dogs.

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