Obedience can be a difficult behavior to instill in children. But guest blogger Amy Stout‘s series on the topic can help. In Part 1, she discussed first steps parents need to take so their kids will be inclined to obey. In Part 2, she provided an illustration to use with kids. In the final post in her series on the topic, she shares easy ways for kids to practice obeying their parents.
Obedience: The Formula for Fall Blessings, Pt. 3
Obedience: How to Practice It
Obedience is comprised of listening/processing and following directions. When caregivers say to my child, “Kylie, you need to listen,” – it drives me C-R-A-Z-Y. Kylie has auditory processing issues. She HAS listened. The time lapse in response is due to her brain trying to process the information so she can act.
Some children (a LOT of children) require object cues, picture cues, sign language cues, lists or other to help them understand what it is that you are asking of them. Otherwise your directive sounds like that of Charlie Brown’s teacher “wah, wah, wah, wah, wah, wah.” No child has a chance at following that direction.
If it is time for Kylie to pick up toys, we don’t generalize and say, “Kylie you need to pick up toys.” Instead, we use a white board and we write on it.
- Pick up markers
- Pick up Barbies
- Pick up coloring books
Or, we will use a First/Then method and say, “Kylie, first pick up Barbies. Then eat popsicle.” Both strategies allow her some flexibility in making the decision for herself, but both also accomplish the task needing to be completed.
It is also important to give your child the tools and scenarios to be successful. Do not set them up for failure by keeping them up too late at night and demanding obedience when they are too tired to respond appropriately. Don’t attempt a clean up routine when lunch has been delayed by an hour. All they can think of is how hungry they are. They are in no mindset to be obedient. Make sure your child’s needs are met first and then work on practicing obedience together.
Obedience: Easy Ways to Practice It this Fall
- Follow directions according to a recipe for food or for play dough. If the recipe is not followed correctly the item does not turn out as it should. Here is my recipe for pumpkin pie scented play dough.
- Do an activity together that encourages following a pattern. Here is a pumpkin nailing activity that we did with Kylie.
- Play a game with 2 step directions. Here is a game that we play with Kylie that not only focuses on following directions, but also on counting and sensory integration.
- Work on boundaries: We do this by creating seasonal sensory bins for Kylie to play in. We put a large sheet under the sensory bin and the rule is that the items in the sensory bin HAVE to stay within the boundary of the sheet. If they end up on the carpet or in another room, we have to put away the sensory bin for a time. Here are links to our Halloween bin, ur Icky Sticky bin, and our November/Thanksgiving bin.
Anne Sullivan, Hellen Keller’s teacher, once said, “I have thought about it a great deal, and the more I think, the more certain I am that obedience is the gateway through which knowledge, yes, and love, too, enter the mind of the child.”
What Do You Think?
Thank you Amy for these practical ways to practice obedience. Do you have some ideas to add to Amy’s? Leave a comment. And be sure to check out more creative resources at Amy’s blog, www.histreasuredprincess.blogspot,com.