Do you find yourself becoming angry with your children more and more lately? Maybe not angry, but…impatient. Are you getting really frustrated with the way things are going in your home and how your children are behaving? Seeing some attitudes that need adjusting? Even in the littlest ones? Feeling like they’re constantly disobeying and you’re getting tired of dealing with it? Maybe the answer is quite simple!
“Obedience isn’t obedience unless it is
immediate, complete and cheerful.”
The reason we get angry is because we don’t take action at the first moment our child disobeys or delays to obey. We let the bad attitude go on until it becomes an action, and then we discipline. We need to deal with the attitudes of the heart.
Ask your children for forgiveness for not training them the way you should, and then tell them that from now on you are going to expect them to obey you immediately and cheerfully. I can hear you saying, “Yeah, right.” If you have the attitude that it’s not possible for them to obey you, you are not thinking Biblically, and you are doomed for failure. God expects us to obey Him and you must train your children as early as possible to obey you. It is the most loving thing you can do, and it will be such a help to your children’s Christian life.
Explain what the consequences will be for not immediately obeying, (we gave them 10 seconds to start moving) or for showing a bad attitude. Smaller children (you will have to decide, ultimately, but I would say 6 and under for a guideline) will get a switch on the legs and the older children will be given an extra job to do every time they don’t obey or they exhibit a bad attitude when asked to do something. (More on this later.) Then, cheerfully and consistently follow through the first time, every time.
At first this will be difficult: you’re retraining yourself most of all. Be exceedingly attentive for the first few days to catch any infraction, and be cheerful and consistent. You can even hover to be ready, because you want to get this new system ingrained quickly, for their sakes. It’s good for us as moms, because you’ll become very aware of how many times a day you ask your children to do something! You’ll think twice, believe me. Some days your middle and older children will be racking up the extra jobs! (I advise that you keep handy a list of jobs you want done.)
When you are cheerful and consistent, they begin to see that their own behavior and attitudes caused the consequences and you are no longer the “bad guy.” You won’t be getting angry. Some days there will be a lot of extra work done! This is a win-win situation! We would actually laugh about this. A child who is in a snit and just has to say one more word of protest can rack up quite a list of jobs in a very short time. I would just be ready with my list of jobs, and say, “Fine, now you can empty out all the wastebaskets, too!” Because they saw they had complete control–no disobedience or bad attitudes, no extra jobs, they would only be disgusted with themselves later. The schoolwork (for those older children) still had to be done, so it meant they would have to work on school later into the day. When dad came home from work and a child was still doing school, the answer was obvious: the child’s behavior or attitude had caused a long day for them. A child quickly realizes, “It’s not worth it.”
If you are visiting for the first time, or for more on this subject, I recommend you read the other posts in this series. (Just click on the links.)
Spanking (Part 2): Child-Training Advice from An Older Woman
Spanking (Part 3): Child-Training Advice from An Older Woman
Spanking (Part 4): My Story
Spanking (Part 5): Do You Love or Hate Your Children?
Spanking (Part 6): Something Really Important I Neglected To Say!
Spanking (Part 7)