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January 12, 2013
Compliance versus Obedience
Some parents say, “I can usually get my children to do what I say eventually.” Parents sometimes think that obedience is the same as compliance. When you say to your son, “Please leave the computer and help me bring the groceries in from the car,” and he says, “As soon as I get to the next level,” that’s not obedience.
Now, we don’t believe that a child must instantly obey every time. As parents, we want to consider our child’s agenda and needs too as we direct the course of family events. However, some children never adjust their schedules to a parent’s. They always have to have it their way, in their time, and on their terms.
Parents who allow poor responsiveness may believe that they’re loving their children when in fact they’re encouraging selfishness. Cooperation is a two-way street. As a parent you know how to cooperate and sacrifice for your child. Can your child do the same?
The child who can’t give up her agenda is selfish and hasn’t yet learned what real cooperation is all about. Demandingness always requires me first. The child who is demanding about reaching the next level in a computer game before obeying Mom or Dad, may not be ready for such games. Cooperation means that sometimes we drop what we’re doing to help someone else.
If your child has a problem in this area, you might want to focus more on obedience. It’s amazing how many benefits are hidden within obedience that will help your children develop the character necessary both now and in the future.
This parenting tip comes from the book Home Improvement, the Parenting Book You Can Read to Your Kids by Dr Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller, RN, BSN.