Teaching Children Obedience Part 4
Here are a few more ideas to help you teach obedience before we leave this topic.
Set up sucessful experiences
Often children are used to getting what they want by making alot of fuss. Change it so that it is good behaviour that gets them what they want.
Another sign for your fridge.
"You don't get anything for crying"
(This includes other unpleasant tactics.)
Baby cries because she wants a toy. You say, "Be nice. Say please mummy." When she makes the smallest attempt, give it to her.
The toddler throws a tantrum. Never give what he wants, or try to quiet him with treats. If you do, you have just taught him that the price of what he wants is a tantrum.
What if the child makes a large fuss? Be unimpressed.
Don't be reluctant to take action. What is better- hours, days, months of upset and contention? Or action followed by obedience? A calm, happy home is the goal.
After reading the other 3 parts of Teaching Children Obedience you understand clearly that I am not talking about whacking them.
You are the source of all good things-remove some of those good things.
You are the mother. The child doesn't have to agree with you, but he does have to obey you. Insist upon respect. You supply the discipline until they learn self discipline.
First a child doesn't hit because you don't let him, then he sees there is a better way to fight (actually co-operate). You keep the discipline going until the child's self discipline is strong enough to not hit because he personally feels it is wrong and knows how to fix the problem in a better way.
Make it a point of honour that she can obey. Make it an exciting goal- YOU DID IT!!
Praise him. "Guess what he did today, granma? He obeyed. It was hard, but he did it!"
Help him obey. "Oops, let's try again" Teach him how.
I really like this way of parenting- you have a vision in your mind of how you want to raise them and respond to that, rather than the common method of just responding to the child's behaviours.
Can we cook dinner outside ,mum? YES
Can we sleep in a tent? YES
Can we make a rabbit trap? YES
Can we have Easter (in February)? YES
Half the time their little ideas don't work out- the tent won't stay up, "rabbits are fast, aren't they mum", -but they have been using their own ideas, and creating, and learning what works and what doesn't, what is fun and what is too much of a hassle.
I haven't stifled them by, "NO, it might rain, it won't work, it's too much mess..."
I want to be their helper, not an obstacle.
I also find that when I do say "No' they accept it. "Mum said no. And she always says yes."
Remember "Happy not Perfect"? And that you can't teach everything at once?
Give them alot of freedom in many areas and insist on obedience in the few areas you have decided are important now. You might decide that teaching them to be tidy is less important right now than teaching them not to fight. Or that their less than desirable eating habits can wait, while you work on their tendancy to bring home swear words.
I love using the idea of a monthly theme where you work on one thing for a whole month- games, lessons, stories, challenges, Family nights, scripture stories. By the end of the month you can see real progress! (More on this later.)
Tell stories from the animal kingdom of how mother bears and mother ducks teach their babies to obey. "They are very strict because when the baby doesn't obey it is not safe. It gets eaten! Now, you won't get eaten, but how does obedience keep YOU safe?"
Set up Successful Experiences
Set the child up for obedience. Plan some activities where the sole purpose is to teach. If you are working on not fighting in the car, for example, plan a beach trip. Talk about what fun you will have and that you expect them to behave well in the car. "What do you think the consequence should be if people fuss? Turn around and go home? Really? OK." Load up and off you go, fully planning to turn around and go home about half way there when they start to fight. Yes, they will sulk and moan but you will only have to do this a few times. The result is many more happy family trips rather than a frazzled mummy because of unpleasant car behaviour. If there are innocent parties to this (some of your children who always behave well in the car) let them in on the plan and carry it out with a wink and a roll of the eyes.
Another example might be - on the way to the pool, say, "When I say it's time to go, what should you do?--Right! And what might a mother do whose children fussed and swam away instead of coming? She might not feel like taking them again. So who thinks they can obey?"
You can get quite creative in setting up sucessful experiences. Plan it so the child has the best chance of success and try again until he gets it right.
What's the difference between a reward and a bribe?
"If you do it, I'll give you a lolly."
"You must obey." After the obedience-"You tried so hard I want to give you a reward."
Collect a variety of household objects that make a sound eg- marbles in a cup, rip a piece of paper, jingle some keys. Have some easy and some hard to guess. Make the sound behind a sheet and have the family guess what made the sound. This is fun, then have a discussion about who we need to listen to- our mother and father, the prophet, our teachers.
"Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right."
I'd love to hear some of your experiences in teaching your children to obey.