Sunday, December 13, 2009

First Time Obedience

Like I mentioned in my first entry, in order for this all to be the most effective, you should really go through the Growing Kids God's Way (GKGW) program. Also, listening to the Mom's Notes have been a great benefit for me and I highly recommend them to anyone who has finished the GKGW program. GKGW talks a lot about the theory and importance behind the principals of First Time Obedience (and many other principals!!!). Here I just plan to give you a brief summary and then an explanation of how we are implementing First Time Obedience training in our home. I do not plan to go into the details behind the importance of First Time Obedience or how to enforce First Time Obedience outside of training sessions. During our training times at home, it is all about having fun and learning our new skills or practicing the ones my children still need work on. We do not making training time about correction. I also try to keep our training sessions short so the children aren't overwhelmed by all the new things they are learning. However, I have found the more fun you make it, the longer they enjoy doing it and how they look forward to having training time again the next day. My son actually thanks me for training time -- he enjoys it that much!!! Both my kids get very excited as soon as breakfast is cleaned up that it's now "training time"!

Here are some ways we "train" for First Time Obedience:
* We talk about how the Bible says "Children obey your parents; for it is only right that you should. 'Honor your father and your mother' is the first commandment to carry a promise with it: 'that it may be well with you and that you may live long on the earth." (Ephesians 6:1-2). We talk about how mommy and daddy are the parents and Owen and Anna our the children and how honor means respect. I ask each of them, "Is Owen the parent?" "Nooooo...Owen is the child". "Is Anna the parent?" "Noooo...Anna is the child." "Is Zoe (our dog) the parent?" "Noooo....Zoe is our dog!". The kids love this little game of remembering who is in fact the parent and who is the child. And how the child is to obey the parent.

* We then talk about what the word obey means. It means to do what someone tells you to do whether you want to do it or not. I have the kids repeat or tell me both the Bible verse and the definition of obey.

* Then we talk about the expectation of what it means to obey - right away, all the way, with a happy heart. We chant "right away, all the way, with a happy heart" as we clap our hands to the beat". Then we go through what it means to come to mommy/daddy right away, to obey all the way, and to obey with a happy heart. We practice what a grumpy heart looks like and then we practice what a happy heart looks like. I have to say, I LOVE my kids happy heart faces!

* We then talk more about what it means to come right away - which means when they hear mommy/daddy call their name, they say right away "Yes, Mommy I'm coming" and then they come right to where mommy is, touch my leg and look in my eyes all with a happy heart (no complaining or debating!).

* Then it comes time for actual practice time - the kids run off to the kitchen and wait until I call one of their names. I will say "Owen" and wait to hear his "right away" response "Yes Mommy, I'm coming" then he comes to where I am at and touches my leg ("all the way" response) while smiling and not debating or complaining ("happy heart" response). For my toddler (and any child under 3) I say, "Anna, come to mommy" and wait for her to come. At this age, it is not required for her to say "Yes, Mommy I'm coming" but rather just remind her once she comes that she should always say, "yes, mommy I'm coming". We do this a several times and I'll also change up where they need to go to listen for their name to be called.

Check out the photo's of the scrapbook page I created that I use as guidance for our training time. It has helped me a lot to have the notes in front of me to review each day and my kids love to sit and actually look at the scrapbook with me. (I'm having some trouble loading pictures to the blog right now...will try again later)

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