I have to admit I have been the king of repeating instructions to my kids. There was a time where I rarely gave them one instruction. Not to make light of anyone who stutters, but you’d almost think I had a stuttering problem. “Go get your shoes on…go get your shoes on.” It’s like I’m saying repeatedly, “Obey your parents” to deaf ears.
I have no idea why I did that, and my wife frequently pointed this out to me. I was the problem. By doing this, I conditioned my kids to not listen to my first instruction. They became accustomed to me repeating an instruction. The more I repeated any instruction, whether immediately, or a while after they didn’t take action, the less accountable I made them. I’ve recently learned that one instruction is all they need, and if that doesn’t get done consequences will follow. Here are 3 things you must do to get your kids to obey right away.
Make sure you have their attention
Spouting off instructions to our kids, or anyone, whose attention you do not have is a waste. When you want your children to do something be sure to get them to stop and pay attention to you. If they are in the middle of something, be sure their focused attention comes to you. By doing so, you are not only assuring your instructions get to them, but you are preparing them to be accountable and responsible for hearing and executing whatever they’ve heard.
Do not, I repeat, Do not repeat instructions
If you make sure you have your kids attention when giving them an instruction and they do not immediately and completely follow your instructions, then that is disobedience. Whether they obey or disobey, consequences are to follow. Whether the consequences are good or bad depends on their choice. As I mentioned earlier, and am repeating now (pun intended) the more we repeat instructions, the more we condition our kids to not follow those instructions immediately and completely. Your kids are capable of hearing your instructions and doing what you’ve asked.
Consistently follow through with consequences
Not following through on the consequences of their actions is just as bad as repeating instructions. You condition them to not do what you’ve asked because what you said will happen may or may not happen. This takes practice, at least for me. I have to admit sometimes I do this, but other times I let them skate by. It’s a habit we have to develop and it can be hard, but once the habit is developed then it’s easier for us to keep doing it and it’s more effective in getting your kids to do what you say the first time.
Rinse and repeat
Instruct your kids to listen to you, heed instruction, and do what you ask immediately.Doing these things once will not be very effective at all, especially if you’ve been doing the opposite up to this point. So, rinse and repeat. Keep working at it. Keep holding your kids responsible. Instruct your kids to listen to you, heed instruction, and do what you ask immediately.
I believe when you do you’ll look up a few months from now and love how your kids are responding to you.
Huddle Up Question
Huddle up with your kids and ask, “Why is it important to obey your parents immediately?”