By Maureen Monfore, www.childwisechat.com
In On Becoming Childwise and Growing Kids God’s Way, the Ezzos make it clear that training a child in first-time obedience (FTO) is one of the most important parenting tasks. When we train a child in first-time obedience, our primary goal is that they will obey us the first time we give an instruction, no questions asked.
In my blog, www.childwisechat.com, and on message boards, I hear moms struggle with the fact that their children seem to respond to the FTO training they have done. But the minute their husbands get home, the children don’t listen to him.
So let me be clear that although much of the training can be done by mom since she’s home most of the day, dads must also work with their children on first-time obedience.
It would make sense that all you have to do is teach a child a skill like first-time obedience one time and it will carry over to all other relationships. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way.
Our children figure us out very quickly. They know that moms and dads have different standards, however minor they may be, and they will only rise to the standard you each hold.
So unfortunately, dads, this means that you cannot rest on your laurels after a long day’s work and let your wife do all of the obedience training. All of the aspects of first-time obedience training apply to you just as much as they do to your wife.
If you’re new to the idea of first-time obedience training, you can learn more on my blog or in my eBook, Live in Harmony with First-Time Obedience. There are several principles to consider when laying a solid foundation for FTO training. They include:
- Making your marriage a priority
- Avoiding child-centered parenting
- Scheduling your child’s day
- Establishing your funnel (of freedoms and responsibilities)
- Saying what you mean and meaning what you say
- Teaching your child to ask for permission
- Encouraging and loving your child
Understand that first-time obedience is a skill your child needs to learn. It’s also a new habit you will need to set for yourself. It will be difficult at first, especially if your child is used to ignoring you, but the payoff is so rewarding.