God has given children one commandment for their lives (He knew they had short attentions spans!).
It’s in Ephesians 6:1: “Children, obey your parents in Lord for this is right. Honor your father and mother, which is the first commandment with promise: that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.”
God knew that kids who grow up obeying their parents will grow up to be adults who obey Him. And things will go well with them, and they’ll live a long, happy life.
So when you teach your child to obey you, it’s not so you can look good or have peace and quiet – it’s so you can help them fulfill the one commandment on their life. It’s not optional.
The key to helping them learn to obey....
...is to correct them the first time, every time.
As a general rule, we don’t like to correct our children, so we tend to put it off. Sometimes we’re too tired or it’s just inconvenient (we’ve all done this -- just keep smiling here, and no one will know it’s you!).
Very often we wait to correct them until we’re mad or frustrated – we try to reason with them, “count to 10,” send them to time out, or ask “Do you want a spanking?” instead of just doing it (has any child ever said yes? lol). We've relegated spanking to a "last resort" kind of deal.
The problem is, when we wait until the 5th time they disobey (or longer) before we correct them, we’re training them to disobey 4 times until they make us good and mad. That’s 4 times of disobeying the one commandment on their life.
I love my children, and I want things to go well with them. That means they’ll have to learn to obey me. Maybe you are a parent who hasn't believed in spanking. I encourage you to look into God's Word about it. It's in there, and when we do it correctly, it's good news and it works! *
I don't spank my children for being kids, or to exert my "power" over them -- I spank them to correct their behavior, and help them do what's right. And consistency is the key. It’s the hard part of being a parent.
But correcting first time every time is the fairest way for children, and it’s the way they will learn obedience, so things will go well with them, and they’ll live a long time on the earth!
(*For more from God's Word on correction -- when to spank and how to do it correctly -- get Parenting With a Purpose on either DVD or CD in the bookstore at karenjensen.org).