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Why you want to train your child to obey you rather than just memorize rules of what is okay to do and what is not okay to do.
“The goal is to train the child to obey your voice (which includes tone and modulation), not to the object” (On Becoming Babywise II, page 95).
This is very important to remember when training your child. You are not seeking to train your child to memorize a list of objects that are okay and objects that are not okay. You are seeking to train your child to listen to you and obey you when you tell him to do something or to not do something. As Babywise II points out, you are the constant. The object is the variable.
Why Train Your Child to Obey Your Voice
If your focus is on objects, then your child might end up being well trained at home, but when you go out, he could be a difficulty. That is, unless the places you go to have the exact same objects that are nos in your home with nothing added.
Yes, your child will get to the point where he knows what is and isn’t okay at home. He will ignore the nos. That isn’t a problem. You just want to be sure that your child obeys you. When you are in a new situation, you want him to listen to your voice. You will encounter new nos at the park, the store, your friend’s house, on a walk, etc.
This is further reason your solution in life is not to “baby-proof” your entire house. Remember, you take care of safety needs, but you don’t remove everything from your child’s reach in order to avoid conflict with the child (see Baby-Proofing ).
You want your child to learn to obey you. It takes time. It takes effort. It takes consistency. But once your child obeys you, you will have no problem taking him shopping with you. You will have no problem taking him to the park while you have your newborn in tow. You will be able to enjoy your child and parent with confidence.
Yes, there will be rough days. I remember one day when Kaitlyn was a few weeks old. We went to the park. When it was time to go, Brayden did not want to leave. He cried. Kaitlyn cried while I was trying to round him up. I wondered what on earth I was doing at the park.
Brayden was very, very obedient. But even obedient children have moments they do not listen or obey. The hard days will come, but you will have far more good days than bad, and you will be able to take the bad in stride.
Your Child Will Transfer that Obedience
When you teach your child to obey and listen to you, your child will transfer that obedience to other authority figures in life. The child who is required to listen to mom at home is more likely to listen to teacher at school.
The child who follows instructions at home will follow instructions at soccer practice. Not only are you setting yourself up to have positive experiences with your child, you are setting everyone else up to have positive experiences with your child.
Start Obedience Training Now
All children will disobey at times. Do not expect perfection. You can, however, expect a lot.
A huge help to having your child obey well is to start young. You can start discipline foundations with your baby. You can give your toddler boundaries. No matter what age your child is, start your foundation now. Starting now, whenever now is, is always better than later.
Always remember that it is easier to train and teach your child in times of non-conflict. Teach your child to obey, why to obey, what is okay, and what isn’t okay when your child is not testing boundaries. Then you have consequences in the times when your child is testing boundaries.
- How to Teach a Child How to Make Decisions
- How to Know What Freedoms to Give Baby
- Discipline: Progress is a Spiral
- Why Prevention is a Powerful Parenting Tool
- Teaching Your Baby “No”
- Proactive and Directive Parenting