Mrs. Piggle Wiggle and Behavior Change

When I was growing up I LOVED reading Mrs. Piggle Wiggle. 

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the series. Mrs. Piggle Wiggle is a woman who lives alone in an upside-down house who helps creatively solve behavior issues in children.

One of my favorite examples is the girl Patsy, who absolutely refuses to take a bath. So her mother plans radish seeds in the dirt on her skin until she is literally sprouting radishes out of her arms and cannot stand being dirty anymore and finally goes and takes a bath.

Another example is the small eater tiny bite taker who refuses to eat. So Mrs. Piggle Wiggle instructs his mother to serve him progressively smaller portions so that eventually he gets hungry and tired from not eating enough and then asks for more food and eats normally.

Oh, if only Mrs. Piggle Wiggle could come to Burkina Faso. Her methods are shocking but they work. She’s also really really good with kids. 

Behavior change is the hardest part of the job. You want people to change, but when they have no evident reason to, they don’t want to. I was talking to one of my friends last night on the phone and he was saying that “You can lead a horse to water but you cannot make him drink.” 

I guess as long as I keep leading the horse to water i’ve done my part. but I mean, how awesome would it be if Mrs. Piggle Wiggle worked for Peace Corps?!?! You could hire her out as a consultant and she could be that impetus to get the horse to drink! 


One response to “Mrs. Piggle Wiggle and Behavior Change

  1. Glad to see that Mrs. Piggle Wiggle is still relevant. I have often referred to her over the years, specifically the radish planting, though I remember that they were planted in dirty ears. Congratulations on your work. My daughter is a violinist in 12th grade and we have often talked about a music assignment in the Peace Corps. Have you seen this video?
    Also curious if you happen to know Martha Lhamon, cellist in Illinois. She was in our PC Ecuador group 1974 and taught music in Quito.
    My best to you and your work.

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