A couple of weeks ago, I shared a post titled “Teaching a Child First Time Obedience.” It was pretty straight forward and works amazingly well with “normal” kids. You begin with lots of practice and reward.
But what happens when you are raising a future lawyer? When every request is presented with a question? And a good question, I might add.
Suddenly you find yourself in a “mature” conversation with a four-year-old and lose sight of the goal at hand – obedience.
This is an issue we faced head on with Little Man. While I believe the majority of the time his questions were innocent and he desired understanding, they could easily become manipulative.
I really struggled with this issue. Should Little Man be allowed to ask questions before obeying?
Seeking the advice of a mom who has been-there-done-that, she helped me understand that obedience is first but that questions can always follow after.
That became our rule.
I explained to Little Man that he is welcome to ask any question but only after he has obeyed. I found that 90% of the time, he forgot he even had a question. In many ways, we had trained him to automatically ask a question after a command instead of obeying.
And if the questions still remains, he and I will discuss it after the activities is finished making for a wonderful teachable moment.
It took a little training and reminders are still needed but this rule has made it so much easier. And, we are seeing the obedience that is needed.