When I am exhausted and I chose the lazy way, in the moment seems more patient and loving. Except it isn’t.
We were cooking dinner. The girls wanted to help. They put in the pasta. And they wanted to cut the bell pepper. I split it in two and they both got to chopping.
I showed them before how to handle the safer knives. I helped ivy. And Jackie started chopping meticulously.
Meanwhile the pasta cooled and the sausage cooked. So I needed the peppers. Ivy said “no!” She said they are the boss and won’t put the peppers in then. They’ll do it when they want to.
I kindly reminded them that the food is ready and the peppers need to be roasted a bit with the meat. She laughed at her own disobedience. She does that often. She is contrary and then laughs.
Eventually they put in the partially chopped bell pepper.
Jackie is meticulous and she didn’t finish chopping the half of her half. So I told her to not cut anymore, and save it for another time. She looked confused and put off that I won’t let her chop the rest. Ivy dumped the pepper in the boiling pasta after I told her not to. So all in all, it was a prime example of not listening at all. At least they didn’t cut their fingers.
But then I read this apparently sensitive article about obedience. And how it’s our mandate to teach our kids obedience, no matter how unpopular or tedious it is. For their on safety. And then for their thriving as young adults, especially as they grow into personal faith.
Obedience is unpopular in today’s parenting trend. It’s seen as a limiting boundary, and stifling of personality. But I’ve anyways looked at it as a safety issue: when your kid is about to step into the street, if you call “stop!” You expect them to Stop and not to run laughing into danger.
I have come a very long way, into patience as a parent. I use my low calm form voice and it’s effective. But if I don’t leave that sense of seriousness in my voice, and add too much jolly kindness, my kids goof off and laugh in my face, thinking I’m joking.
Immediate consequences to blatant disobedience, be that a talk in private, a change of atmosphere, a privilege taken away … instead of repeating oneself with the same tone, it’s imperative. Because the more I delay the consequences the more I have to nag or repeat myself without them listening. And then I get frustrated and they get ridiculous.
Teaching our kids obedience is a mandate. Not optional. Learning to obey, to listen, to trust, to act swiftly. These are highly valuable skills for adulthood practiced at an early age.
I have heard so many times that such purposeful (obedience parenting limits or hinders children personality. But I disagree. I believe respect and good listening skills enhances ones’ strength and character.