Training Children to Obey

Training Children to Obey

It’s crucial, mothers, to train your children to obey you from a young age. When you train them to obey you IMMEDIATELY, you are teaching them discipline and self-control. Here’s a quote from an excellent book titled, Teachers’ Secrets and Motherhood Savvy by Renee Ellison:

“In the old film The Miracle Worker, there’s a dramatic scene where the teacher and her student are under the table, rolling on the floor while the teacher is trying to make the child fold a napkin. Remember the outcome? The teacher looked like a wreck when it was over, but Helen Keller submitted. Why the big deal? Because the teacher knew that the outcome of that battle would affect all future interchanges. She knew that she had to win. So it is with your interchanges with your child. Many times, you will enter into conflict with your child, and you must win in order to secure the respect of your children toward all the good that you have in mind for him in the future.”

We did this with all four of our children. The first and only battle happened around the age of two with all of them. They wanted their way, and they refused to obey us. We stood our ground and insisted they obey. No, we never abused our children as many slanderously accuse us. We did spank our children at times but never in an abusive way. (Wooden spoons on the bottom or thigh works great!) Not one of them would say that they were ever abused.

In that first battle, we always won. God commands that children obey their parents, and it’s the parents’ responsibility to enforce this command. We were diligent to do this from the get-go. After that first battle, the children knew we meant business and obeyed us quickly. Child raising was easy because of this. Some of our friends thought we were too strict, as we watched their children win battle after battle and grow up to lack discipline and turn rebellious.

God commands that we raise our children in the nurture and the admonition of the Lord. He commands we use the “rod.” We loved them unconditionally without favoritism. We taught them God’s Word consistently and had them memorize many, many verses. We made sure our children knew God and loved Him. The more you discipline and train your children, the more disciplined and self-controlled they will be as adults. It’s a gift you give them!

Train them to make their beds after they wake up. Train them to read a chapter in the Bible daily. Train them to clean up after themselves. Train them to be kind and generous. Train them to be hard workers. Train them to not overeat. As you train them in these good habits, it will be easy for them to continue to do them as adults. Discipline makes their lives easier. Lack of discipline makes life harder. You are training them to control their flesh. As they grow up, it will be easier for them to walk in the Spirit, since their minds have been continually renewed with Truth, and their flesh has been disciplined.

You must also work with their thinking. Don’t allow them to be controlled by their emotions and feelings. Talk to them often about this, especially your daughters since they usually are the ones that have a harder time with this. Bad actions come from bad thinking. Root out the bad thinking and replace it with truth.

Child raising isn’t easy, but it’s good. If you work hard training them when they are young, child raising will be enjoyable and fun! You won’t have to worry about grounding and time-outs as they grow older. We didn’t have to deal with this past five years old. (We never grounded our children or had to take away privileges.) We mostly just talked to our children. They obeyed us and knew we meant business. They grew up respecting us as their parents. We now have great relationships with all of our children, their spouses, and grandchildren. God’s ways are perfect!

Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
Proverbs 22:6

26 thoughts on “Training Children to Obey

  1. This is so right!! We live in a world where emotions and feelings are not controlled!! They need to be! Thank you for all your posting!!

  2. Amen amen! People do not understand the importance of training your children to obey you. It s foundational. They have to know the authority structure God has set up for the family.

  3. This is 100% correct. Also, I have to add, my daughter’s behavior and obedience has improved so much since I quit working, and now stay home and homeschool her. She is well-behaved and willingly and cheerfully helps around the home. When I worked, she was a completely different child. These results would not have been possible for her, had I continued to work outside the home. The investment into my family has been completely worth it.

  4. Soooo how do u do this ? I have a 1 almost 2 year old little boy who loves givin me a run for my money and dont listen all the time hes super smart tho

  5. Also don’t forget how powerful modeling obedience to your children. A willful wife will beget willful children.

  6. I have a genuine question: the only time your children rebelled or resisted your authority was around the age of two? Really? That is very discouraging…my 2 year old has been resisting authority since birth… how is there hope for me and my daughter if she rebels every day? I don’t mean to be rude but I have a hard time believing that your children only disobeyed once in their lives…

  7. I think we are on the same page here.
    When I went to school (one of the most demanding the country), I was taught to obey, listen, sit all day in the seat, learn thousands of pages in a short period, not question anything … In one word, be a robot.
    In order to keep up with the pace, I had no time to learn to clean after myself, cook, be tidy.
    It is important to teach children the essential life skills, exactly the ones I missed; also grammar, literature and mathematics and let them enjoy childhood and play many games (of course, guided and supervised).
    Children should be disciplined, faithful and joyful, without unnecessary stress.

  8. Buy To Train Up a Child. You are the one called to teach her to obey. You need to learn how to do this and do it quickly before she gets older. Deal with the rebellion in her before it’s too late.

  9. It is very important to train children to be obedient and respectful, a process which is much easier if they are brought up within a stable home, where boundaries and roles are clear, where the hierarchy of authority is simple and observed and where their mother is there, on hand, prioritising their upbringing, not her career.

  10. Some children are more strong willed than others. It’s okay that God made them that way. Just be consistent in your discipline. My oldest was the most awful tantrum thrower I had ever seen. It was just consistent gentle discipline from me in the form of time outs or losing a favorite stuffed animal for a period of time. She has evolved into the most wonderful teenager any parent could ever ask for. How a child is as a toddler doesn’t have to reflect how they are as teenagers or adults if you are consistent and patient in teaching your child correct behavior.

  11. Tara, this is why I LOVE homeschooling! School and life are not separate entities with homeschooling. My daughter learns reading, writing, and arithmetic along with cooking, chores, faith studies, and other life skills. We are done with our homeschool day much earlier than public or private school, which leaves plenty of time for play. It’s truly the best of both worlds!

  12. Lori, I completely agree with you – and I highly recommend Renee Ellison’s book to others (I have both hers and the Pearls’ book, and they are both rife with biblical and parental wisdom!). I have a question, though. What to do if your husband is not on the same page regarding this? Many times I try to be firm with my children, but my husband is not as firm, and, being submissive to him, I don’t want to speak out against his methods, especially in front of the children. Occasionally I have tried to bring it up privately (and have referenced the Bible, and encouraged him to read the Pearls’ book, which he won’t), but it seems he just sees me as being critical of him, and he thinks I’m too hard on them – in fact he has insinuated my elder child’s bent on rebellion is the fault of my strictness, as he feels she is acting out against me exerting my authority. As I have already seen early on the fruits of this leniency (she is certainly the more spoiled of my two), I’ve made a very conscientious effort to thwart this early on in our younger child (who is, unsurprisingly, much more obedient and trainable). Any advice on this – navigating a disagreeing spouse and reversing an older child’s bent on rebellion without offending my husband – would be truly appreciated. God bless!

  13. I also Highly recommend The Pearls resources on child training! I have To Train Up a Child and it’s still in my rotation of reading as it’s good to have a refresher!

  14. Yes-and mothers, please be mindful of your interactions with other adults. I was often stoic as a child because my mother was a gossip with her friends, critical of my father, and was in general an emotional woman and I wanted to be NOTHING like her. It just all seemed so unnecessary and took up so much of her energy and her peace. My husband always comments on how calm and logical I am. I know it’s feminine to be emotional, and maybe I’m masculine because I’m not but we as women should allow our emotions to control us and I wished I had this modeled to me in a healthy way growing up.

  15. Many children are no longer being allowed to run around outside and play freely. Schools keep them cooped up sitting in desks so they don’t have time to burn off their natural energy. As a result, they come home and want to “act out’ with mom and dad.

    In our family we emphasized LOTS of outdoor time (lucky we have a big yard and a safe old-fashioned neighborhood). So when the kids came inside, they were just naturally less headstrong and ready to listen to mom and dad. Less discipline needed.

    Having a full-time mother home is the key to it all.

  16. You continue to submit to your husband. Its much more important for your kids to see a godly marriage displayed. Definitely talk to over with your husband and try to get on the same page but at the end of the day follow whatever decision he makes as far as training/discipline.

  17. I can’t help but think of the Scripture a child left to himself bringeth his MOTHER shame. Now I don’t believe in mommy shaming, but it’s in the Bible that not being able to control your children brings the parents shame. Not control as in puppetry, but in BEING in control as the child’s authority. Also could be used to teach your children that what they do reflects you, so if they love you they will do everything in their power to not give you a bad rap. It’s good training for the future, since what we do reflects on others. What Christians do reflects on God, wives reflect on their husbands, men reflect on their employers/companies, so naturally children reflect on their parents. That’s just common sense, but apparently not so common anymore in a culture of “all parents are good patents regardless of what their kids do.”

  18. I’m new to learning Gods ways on biblical parenting and training up children. I have 5 my oldest is 12 and youngest is 2. I feel like our family is so messed up . My children especially my oldest, is so negative, hates homeschool, hates to be told anything, feels like we are “keeping her from living”, hates rules….she’s rubbing off on her younger siblings….and then I see myself where I am not in submission to my husband, but he isn’t saved and there’s just … much……I feel like this is beyond hope… you have any recommendations for a situation like mine? Is it too late for us. I truly desire to be meek and quiet ….but I find myself losing it and yelling , I get irritated with my husband….I just need some help.

  19. Continue growing in the wisdom and the knowledge of the Lord, Mary. As you become more like Christ (kind, loving, gentle, etc.), your children will notice and it will influence them for good. Seek the Lord for wisdom daily in prayer.

  20. As a child, I needed order in my life. ‘A place for everything, and everything in its place.’ When I misbehaved, I needed correcting. What a shame, then, that I was never properly punished for stealing, lying, being rude and playing with matches. The sound spankings my bottom should’ve been given were only ever threatened. My mother and my oldest sister punished me instead by withdrawing their affection.

    Corporal punishment was shown to be effective with me when I was strapped on my hands before the class in Grade 7. I’d been caught playing at my desk with another boy when I should’ve been working. We were each called to the front of the room, and our palms smartly strapped by our rather grandmotherly teacher. She clearly knew how to deal with naughty boys. For my part, I most certainly learned my lesson.

    There was every reason to think that sound spankings on my bare bottom at home could’ve worked just as well in modifying my behaviour. Both physically and emotionally, I couldn’t have been any better suited to pants-down, over-the-knee correction.

    Without question, I was a child who needed to be spanked. Absent the punishment I deserved, my growth and development took some self-damaging turns. To her credit, my mum did say in her later years that she would spank me if she had it to do over again. I expect she’d seen evidence of the problems never spanking me had caused.

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