Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Teaching Obedience

We've had some trouble lately getting N to obey. When asked to do something he often returns our request with a harsh "No!" Needless to say, it's very frustrating. One morning it was particularly annoying, but I knew getting mad wouldn't solve anything. So, in a fit of desperation and with some help from above I'm sure, I came up with a plan. I quickly drew a little chart that says I CAN OBEY, and on it are 15 circles that say "I can quickly obey". The rules are 1. N gets a sticker every time he quickly obeys without complaining 2. N gets a prize each time he gets 5 circles covered with stickers 3. If he is disobedient he gets a sticker taken away.
Today is the third day of our little experiment, and it's worked pretty well. Today has shown the biggest improvement. He has been a lot more willing to do things that used to be like pulling teeth. He gets so excited when he gets another sticker and even more excited when he gets a prize. The prizes have been very simple, but you could call a rock a prize and he'd love it.
Here he is proudly holding his chart

To help him understand better the principle of obedience, that was our topic for our FHE lesson this week. I just used Lesson 14 in "Behold Your Little Ones," the church's new nursery lesson manual (so much better than the old one). We followed almost all their suggestions, except for an activity I had Joel give an example of disobedience and obedience. First, I asked him to do something and his reply was "No!", and each time I asked he got more whiny about it and threw a little fit. Then I asked N if Dad was obedient, and we decided he wasn't. Then I gave Joel another chance and asked him to do something. This time he said, "Yes Mommy. I will quickly obey." N liked the activity so much that he wanted a turn to see if he could be obedient.
I also talked to him briefly about how sometimes it's hard to obey, but it will always make us happy. That right there has been a big help with his obedience chart. I make sure and reinforce the feelings he gets when he obeys vs. when he disobeys. When he disobeys he is sad, but when he obeys he is happy.
The lesson went very well. He really enjoyed all the activities. The rest of the month I will try to similar topics that have to do with obeying (like helping and doing chores).
How have you taught this principle to your kids? Any suggestions?

1 comment:

sharlee said...

I love this suggestion. I just showed Jonah the picture of Noah and his chart and read the rules that you wrote and explained about the prize. I said "would you like to try an obedience chart like that?" At first he said "nah.." Then he said "what is the prize?" He suggested video games. So...I dunno if my idea of prizes would be a motivator to him but I might give it a shot. He has been Mr. "No" lately too.