Monday, March 7, 2011

"Yes, Mommy/Daddy"

So this week we are refocusing our training time to first time obedience. The Mom's Notes by Joey and Carla Link have a great presentation on first time obedience () that provides step by step suggestions based on your child's age on how to achieve first time obedience -- after all children are to obey their parents (Ephesians 6:1 ; Colossians 3:20) So how do you go about instilling first time obedience with your children, you might ask? By starting with non-conflict training of course!!!

Here is what we've come up for our family, which is based on the GKGW and Mom's Notes presentations. I also got some new ideas from the book I referenced yesterday "Good and Angry" and from a friend who did a similar chart for her girls.

Yes, I need charts to help keep me consistent and organized! And guess what, my kids LOVE charts and for some strange reason, just knowing they get a check mark motivates their behavior so positively! So, I made a chart, that we all went over together this morning during our training time. Here is how we handle first time obedience in our family --

* SAYS -- When I call my child's name, I want them to say "Yes, Mommy. I'm coming." The "I'm coming" is especially important if they are in another room when I've called their name. But if we are in the same room, I just expect them to say "Yes, Mommy" and then look at me in the eyes. (remember that you and your spouse should get in the habit of saying "yes" to when they hear their named called as well...just saying "huh" or "what" or even worse nothing when someone else calls your name is not setting a good example to your children -- please don't set up standards for your kids that you are not willing to follow yourself!) Oh -- one important thing: when you call your child's name WAIT before saying anything else!!! This is an area of great self control for me. I'm so use to saying "Owen, you need to go pick up your toys now" vs saying "Owen" and WAITING for him to say "yes, Mommy" then giving him the instructions.

* DOES -- When they say "Yes, Mommy. I'm coming", they are to come right away and with a happy heart.

* LOOKS -- When they come to me I want them looking at me in the eyes.

* REPEATS -- In GKGW/Mom's Notes they recommend the child says "Yes, Mommy" after receiving instructions since by them acknowledging your instructions by saying "yes Mommy", two things happen. One you know that they heard your instructions and two they take ownership of those instructions. However, Anna would just out of habit say "yes Momma" after my instructions and then not follow through with them. So I've added that after my instructions, they are to say "Yes, Momma" and then repeat back what I've told them to do. So for example I would say "Anna, you need to go pick up your toys" and she is to repeat back "yes, momma, I will go and pick up my toys". I've noticed with her how it's been difficult for her to bring herself to repeat my instructions since it is causing her to follow through with what she is saying -- which is the goal I'm wanting her to achieve!

* OBEYS -- I want my kids to obey first. No complaining, arguing, debating...just go and do it. If we need to talk about the reason why afterward, that's okay. But they need to obey first, with a happy heart. Now parents -- PLEASE pay attention to what your children is doing before calling their names and expecting first time obedience from them...say your child is almost finished watching their favorite TV show and you call them to do something. Is it fair to expect them to stop their show when there is only a few minutes left when your instructions could wait till the show is over? We are called not to exasperated our children (Colossians 3:21). GKGW has a great presentation on "The Call To Appeal" which can be a privilege to those who have demonstrated first time obedience.

So for each time my children follows through with these steps, they will get a check mark on the board. For every time they don't follow through with one of these steps, they will get an X mark. As far as consequences, for every X mark there will be a 5 minute 'time out' and then the opportunity to try it again. And after 5 X marks in one day there will be a lost of privilege. Why check off each step? So I can see what areas my kids need to focus their attention on. Right now I know Anna needs more focus on the repeating my instructions and Owen needs to focus more on obeying first -- but maybe after this week of tracking I'll see other areas that are strengths and/or weaknesses.

How are your helping your children achieve obedience in your home?

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