As mothers, we know we should be teaching children to obey. They need to do what they’re told — right?
But are you really training your children to obey, or are you just trying to get them to do what you want them to do?
You tell your child to clean up their room. 5 minutes later you come by and they are still sitting in the floor doodling with a toy. You say it a little more firmly, “I SAID clean your room!” A few minutes later and there might be one thing put away. You say even louder “Clean your room NOW!”
“Ooh, mom’s starting to get louder now. She’s starting to get more serious about this.”
When you repeat yourself over and over and your children know that you don’t really mean business until you get loud enough, you are not really teaching them to obey. You are teaching them to stay out of trouble.
They are not doing what they’re told for the right reasons.
Do you want your children to obey because God says so and because they want to please him, or do you want them to obey because they might get in trouble if they don’t?
What will happen to them when they’re adults and there is no one there to correct them when they make a wrong choice?
The motivation for teaching your children to obey should be so that they can learn to be Godly adults. Training children that all they need to do is to stay out of trouble is setting them up for disaster further down the road. You’ll end up with a teenager (and later an adult) who has the mindset that he can do whatever he wants as long as he doesn’t get caught.
I don’t think that’s what you want.
So what should you do?
First, you should teach them from the Scriptures why they need to obey. If you need a resource to guide you, the study “Because I Said So” is very good and includes interactive ideas to reinforce what you’re teaching your kids. (You can get it at 82% off as part of the Build Your Own Bundle sale through Monday, July 28. Or you can purchase it individually here.)
Second, you should show your children by your actions that staying out of trouble is not the goal. Don’t let them disobey until you get angry or frustrated enough to finally discipline them. Expect obedience the first time they’re told, and administer the appropriate correction as soon as they disobey.
Do you need to work on correcting your children right away? Are you concerned that neglecting to do so may harm them spiritually?