Cooperation and Compromise Are Good But Don't Forget Obedience

Cooperation is a good thing.

We all need to know how to cooperate.

Parents and teachers are told not to work on teaching children to obey, but rather they should teach them to cooperate.

Bosses are told not to expect employees to do what they are told but work on getting them to cooperate on the job.

There is truth to some of that.

It can make things go easier.

The problem is as,  people we have that terrible habit of throwing the baby out with the bath water.

We will hear a thought like that and run with it,  forgetting all the truth that has to be added in with it.

Obedience is becoming a days gone by word.

It seems like a small thing.... but everyone needs to learn to obey,  sometimes it isn't about rather we want to cooperate or not.

You see, sometimes getting someone to cooperate leads to compromise

Now compromise is another good word, we need it but not at the cost of forgetting obedience..

Obedience can be used in a wrong way,   but I'm not talking about the wrong way, I'm talking about it in the good way, the way that will help us.

I was washing dishes this morning and it just occurred to me, I think one reason we have a hard time teaching our children obedience today is that our lives are so much safer and easier than they used to be.

Not so many years ago obedience was a life or death matter.

Children were raised on farms or had to go to work earlier in life.

Many years ago they crossed the country in wagon trains and were in dangerous situations, now we think we can't take ours to the grocery with us.

If a parent told you to sit still or stay where you were or be quite or anything you had better do it.

Because obedience was needed it was taken seriously.

Parents didn't think about getting children to cooperate they wanted obedience.

Now granted we don't live that way anymore, farm families probably do more than most because we have our children with us when we do everything but for the most part life is different now days.

Still though we all need to learn to obey.

We need independence but we need to learn how to yield too.

Let's say you have a small child and you tell them to pick the book up off the floor and put it no the table.

Well, they know what you said but they don't want to do it because as precious as they are they have a mind of their own and they want to call the shots

So, they look at you and pick it up and put it on the footstool.

They might say, "I' put it here"

Now they know what you said, but they don't want to obey,

They want to make the decision about where they will put it.

Sounds harmless enough,  but to much of that and you got yourself a situation.

They start to think they know best.

They begin think you can't tell them.

They start  thinking they are the boss.

Does that mean you can never compromise and say, "okay, that will work"?

Does it mean you are a drill sergeant and demand perfect obedience at every moment?

No,   it means use some some common sense.

It means pick your battles and don't have to many rules.

It means to ask yourself if you are willing to get up  off of the couch and enforce what you are saying...if you aren't then you might as well be still to start with.

Your kids need to know you mean what you say.

If something is important enough to be said, go to where they are, don't yell from another room.

Go to where they are, get down on their level, look them in the eye and say what you have to say.

Don't use to many words, just say it and mean it.

Does this mean I never yelled?

No, I don't care what anyone says you are going to be hard pressed to find a real true blue dyed in the wool mom who never yelled or screamed at some point. I know I have and I've done it more than once.

All I'm saying is don't forget that your child needs to learn to obey.

They need to learn it's okay for someone to tell them what to do.

It's okay for them to do something just because they were told too.

Teach compromise, teach them to cooperate and above all teach them to respect authority and obey, one day their life might depend on it.


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  2. This is such good advice, & so needed by today's parents. I always hated the motto "pick your battles" though, because I don't believe most things should become battles. However, I realize you meant that in a different way than most people do, as your article makes it clear that you believe teaching children to be obedient doesn't mean it has to be a battle. Many parents today either nit- pick at their kids or yell or threaten, but don't back up their words with actions. Their kids just ignore what they say, & they never learn to be obedient. If children are taught to respect their parents, there probably won't be too many REAL battles & their kids will also develop proper respect for other adults & those in authority. Allowing children to disobey without any consequence makes them think they can make decisions about what they do, & often creates heartache for them & their parents during the years ahead. Another excellent article!


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