I was first introduced to TAGteach in 2008 at Clicker Expo. That summer I was lucky enough to attend my first TAGteach seminar in Chicago. After the first day my life was changed! That night I went home to my then almost 3 year old who was not wanting to go to bed. First step was getting him upstairs. I started tagging any movement towards the stairs. Then he got tagged for every stair he went up. By the time he was tucked in it was the most uneventful bedtime routine for months. I was sold!
Over the next few months I worked with my son, a few client’s children, and my dog training students. One of my favorite training sessions was teaching a client’s 6 year old how to skip. Literally in one tag she was skipping, she was shocked, her mom was shocked and was so excited - it worked! That fall my father passed away and I really wanted to read something at his memorial service. I remember calling Theresa and saying I had an idea to TAGteach it with back-chaining. She was very supportive and asked if I would videotape it. I did, and most importantly I was able to read the piece at the service. I used my tagulator during the reading to help keep me on track. While attending my second TAGteach seminar in Boston in October of 2008 I decided to use TAG to tackle my biggest problem facing me and my son - going to the dentist.
We started by tagging very simple things at home like opening your mouth and playing with the Playdough dentist. The first visit to the actual office it took him over 15 minutes to get into the front door of the waiting room. He would panic and bolt or stop moving out of fear. We eventually did 10 visits, over 6 months - 9 by himself and 1 to watch Dad go to the dentist - before he was willing to try actually seeing the dentist. The first visit with the dentist he sat on my lap and the dentist only wanted to count his teeth. It was a success! For the next 6 months we continued to work on skills at home but we did not visit the office. Time came for his next check up he had an actual complete visit. He sat in the chair by himself, had his teeth polished, flossed, counted and fluoride treated. You could see his stress at times but he was able to do it all - independently! I was not sure if this day would ever come. One year after we started, with only 11 visits we had a child who was not terrified by the dentist. Hopefully I have laid the foundation for a lifetime of healthy dental habits.
More dentist videos on YouTube
In addition to using TAGteach with my son I use it to teach competition obedience handler skills in my dog training classes. With one client we were able to change 25 years of footwork to new footwork more suitable to her current dog. Recently I have started a Self Tagging Blog to share a few Self Tagging Projects. I can’t imagine my life without TAGteach! It makes my teaching easier, it makes being a mom easier and I feel I can tackle almost any problem! I am honored to be called a TAGteacher.
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