Teaching Children Obedience Part 2
"The study of the gospel improves behaviour faster than the study of behaviour improves behaviour"
Neal A. Maxwell
So you are working towards having, in your home, prayer, scripture study, many happy family times. You are creating the best atmosphere to teach.
Your child knows they are a child of God, sent to earth to get a body and to learn faith in Jesus Christ.
They understand that God gave them a Mother and a Father to teach them and love them.
You tell them stories of Jesus- what He said about "love one another" and "do unto others" and "turn the other cheek". "He that hath the spirit of contention is not of me"
This is the higher law Jesus gave, for us to live by.
These are things you are already doing. Now to teaching children obedience.
If you see a child obey it is one of three things-
they wanted to do it anyway
the child is unusually compliant (rare as hen's teeth)
they have been trained "BEHIND THE SCENES"
This training is not strict, forceful, unpleasant.
You are firm, but kind.
Most of the training is done in your small daily activities. For example, when it's time for dinner, you say, "Come to dinner" and you walk over and pick up your little one with hugs and tickles and set him to the table.
It's time to leave the park. You admire her skill on the slide, take her hand and go to the car.
Lots of this, all day long.
If you say it, you do it.
THE BIG SECRET IS - ACTION NOT WORDS
Think of a time you have received a speeding ticket (?!) The policeman stops your car, hands you a piece of paper and walks away. And you cringe. It hurts. He doesn't yell and rant and rave at you and explain how to drive. It's the action, not the words, that changes your behaviour.
It's not the anger, but the action, that makes your child obey. But they know you. They know you won't take action until you are very angry (and then it's too much). So they don't obey until you are close.
Imagine you are cooking dinner. You say, "It's time to wash your hands and come sit up"
Child-looks up from his blocks, sees you are busy with pots and pans and knows he has time for at least one more tower crash.
You- "It's time to sit up now...." still in a sweet voice.
Child- She doesn't mean it yet.
You- with a little urgency- Come to dinner NOW.
Child- Well she's getting closer but if I just put these last two blocks on...
You-I SAID TIME TO SIT UP!!!! WHY DON"T YOU EVER LISTEN TO ME AND DO WHAT YOU'RE TOLD!!!!
Child- This is where she means it. The next step is action and I don't like that.
You get the idea.
To put it another way:
SHUT UP AND ACT
Not mean! Not rough! Not unkind.
Take the action BEFORE you are angry.
An example would be- the child is screaming over a toy. You take the toy and put it up high. DON'T join in the screaming!
Another example I saw at a park (Hi Bron!)
Two little boys did something that really had to be stopped.
One mother sat there and yelled "STOP THAT!"
The other got up, walked over, whispered in her son's ear, ruffled his hair with a smile and walked away.
Which boy obeyed? Yeah, not the first.
A very good side effect of this is that you boss less because of the effort involved in making it happen. If you say it, you have to make it happen. In fact, if you say it and don't make it happen, you are sending the message, "You don't have to listen to me- I just waffle on...."
To do it, you must be patient, calm, good natured, move instead of sit.
All of which is good for the soul. So we're back to mother training.
Try some of this this week and tell me how you go!
You can teach obedience through fear by yelling and hitting. Alot.
NOT what we're after. We're aiming for obedience through love.
Think of this: Your 10year old boy loves you, trusts you, respects you. He can't possibly imagine WHY he shouldn't spend his life on computer games but obeys you because of this love and trust. With this kind of relationship between you, you can achieve alot in the way of his character development and avoiding bad habits. Worth the effort.