First-time obedience is something as parents we all strive to teach our children.
However, it is probably one of the biggest struggles we face with our children.
So today let’s talk about first-time obedience.
First-time obedience is a worthy goal.
As parents, we are the first teachers of our children. We teach them about God, the world, their ABCs, and so much more.
Teaching them obedience is a lifelong skill that kids need to know how to do, and how to do it right from an early age.
First-time obedience means that our children learn that what we say matters.
Our children learn to trust us and depend on us when what we are saying matters.
THIS IS HUGE!
Most of us (myself included!!) are not great at following through.
We love our children so much that it hurts us to have to follow through with what we said!!
However, just taking the time to follow through and having the patience to actually do so makes such a huge difference.
But it is going to get ugly!! Because our kids are going to fight back, especially when expecting first-time obedience when it is not the norm.
It takes patience. It takes support. And it takes a plan.
Let me walk you through a few tips for first-time obedience.
#1: Watch what you say
We have all been guilty of yelling out a consequence that is not even feasible. Using words NEVER are not going to help when working on first-time obedience.
From personal experience, the fewer words said the better!
As a rule, try to say only the amount of words for the age of the child. For a one-year-old, use one word: No. For a two-year-old, use two words: Don’t touch. For a three-year-old, use three words: Don’t touch that.
Even for older children, keeping this simple rule of using as many words as their age. I have noticed that my 11-year-old listens a lot better when I keep my message to about 11 words.
When your children disobey, take a deep breath and think through the words you use, and keep the less is better motto in mind.
#2: Know your consequences
This is a personal decision that will be different for every parent.
For little ones, we teach first time obedience with spanking with the rod (a wooden spoon).
As they get older, we use the redemption step. Our kids are required to sit on the second step of our stairs for the amount of time they are old (So our 6-year-old sits for 6 minutes) At the end of the time, they are required to tell what they did wrong and apologize.
If they complain about going to the redemption step, the time is doubled. This hardly ever happens anymore!!
Having a plan helps you as the parent stay calm!!
#3: Be realistic
Make sure you are asking your kids to do things that they understand.
If you notice they are having a hard time with a certain task over and over again, work through it with them several times in a row.
For example, if your kids leave their shoes all over the house, have them put the shoes away and bring them back out and put them away and bring them back out about 10 times.
The next time you ask them to put their shoes away, I know it will happen right away! Be creative and have fun!
Want to know some more tips for first-time obedience?