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Articles by Mark Merrill


Mark Merrill

Mark Merrill is the founder and president of Family First, a widely respected national non-profit organization dedicated to strengthening the family. read bio

The Secret to Getting Your Kids to Obey You: Motive

By Mark W. Merrill

Would say you’re a leader in your home?  Well, whether you feel like one or not, mom, a leader is simply someone who has followers…followers they influence. So, since you have kids, you have followers whom you influence.

(Almost) All You Need is Love

The best way to influence your children to follow you and obey you is to lead with love.  Love is the most important thing…it’s the foundation of great leadership.  

So, if you want to lead well at home, and in every area of life, you’ve got to expand your capacity to love.  When we truly love others…when they know we want what’s best for them, they’ll follow us. Love is the foundation of leadership. Remember this key point: If you increase your capacity to love you will increase your capacity to lead.

Now that we know what love is and that you are a leader, you must know your Motive, Method and Model.

Have this Motive. 

This answers the question: Why do I do what I do?

Stop and ask yourself, “What’s my motive?” “Why do I do things for others?”  “Do I really want to give of myself or am I just trying to get something out of it?”  Winston Churchill once said, “We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.”

In my teens and twenties, my life was about getting. I didn’t think much about it.  I just did what was best for me much of the time. I served on boards, sought appointments to key positions, all for recognition, all for the accolades, awards and applause…to get my name in the limelight. It was all about me!

My selfish motives also came out in my family life.   Sure I did the dishes, but I wanted a payoff. I thought if I did this nice thing for my wife, I’d have guaranteed reservations for love making later that night.  It was all about getting, not giving.

As I’m growing in the purity of my motives, I’m learning how to give…I’m learning how to serve and love my family without always expecting something in return.  When you lead with love, your spouse and kids will know it.    

What about you? Are you living to give or to get? If it’s all about getting, your life will be devoid of love.  If it’s all about giving, your life will be filled with love…love for others. Know your motives. Expand your capacity to love to expand your capacity to lead.

© 2011 Mark Merrill. All Rights Reserved. Family First, All Pro Dad, iMOM, and Family Minute with Mark Merrill are registered trademarks.

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© 2014 Family First. All Rights Reserved. Family First, All Pro Dad, iMOM, and Family Minute with Mark Merrill are registered trademarks.