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Obedience: Make A Play - Obey

Why Obedience is Important:

When a child learns to obey, they're learning to follow directions, do work they might not want to do, and follow through without being watched. In short, they're learning respect and responsibility. Respect for those in authority over them, and responsibility for their actions. These are both very important life skills that they will need long after they leave your home.

Respect for authority and compliance with orders is a necessity in life. People must respond to authority throughout their lives, beginning with parents and expanding to teachers, bosses, policemen, government, etc. Responsibility is the action taken in response to authority. Responsibility means doing what you were asked or told to do, and doing it well.

If you want to teach your child to go above and beyond obedience – teach them how to honor others.

Obedience and Honor:

Obedience is doing what someone asks, right away, without being reminded. Honor is treating people as special, doing more than what's expected, and having a good attitude.

Honor involves several skills that make obedience shine. Having a good attitude, doing more than what's expected (the home run in Obeyball), seeing what needs to be done and doing it without being asked, and encouraging others.

Both obedience and honor are important. When children learn obedience and honor, they develop skills that will make them successful in life. If you want your child to fly straight, teach them obedience. If you want them to fly high, teach them honor, too.

Teach Your Child:

  1. Obedience. Play Obeyball every day and reinforce the principles of obedience. Don't let your kids get away with ignoring you or doing a poor job.
  2. To treat people as special. To help your children begin to see how honor works, occasionally say to your child with a smile, "I made you some cookies for a snack. I wanted to honor you." Children also learn to treat people as special when they watch how their parents treat each other and those outside the family.
  3. To do more than what's expected. Honor involves being thoughtful and thorough about what you do. Instructing children to surprise you by doing something extra teaches them to think about your needs and desires, not just about how to get away with the bare minimum. When your child does some extra task, it's like giving you a gift. Receive the gift with delight and gratitude.
  4. Deal with a bad attitude. When you're teaching children what honor means in practical terms, attitude is a good place to start. Obedience is revealed in actions; honor is revealed in the attitude that goes along with those actions. Don't just point out a bad attitude. Give children healthy alternatives. How should a child respond when given an instruction they'd rather not do? "Okay" is a good place to start. Honor redirects a bad attitude into constructive responses.
  5. Be a role model. Children learn about honor from their parents. And the way Mom and Dad treat each other, even in disagreements, is an example to children of how they should treat others.

The rewards of obedience and honor are great. When children obey and honor each other, the family dynamic changes, and joy is the result.

More helpful information on this topic:

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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.