Tuesday, December 27, 2011

With Thanks to the Duggars

I have to admit that I've been intrigued by the Duggars before.  In all honesty, I don't care how many kids they have.  They love all of them and they take care of them.  I find it remarkable that they live debt free (although I imagine that to be a lot easier with the TV show paycheck coming in).  I've never watched a full episode of their show but have caught pieces here and there when flipping around.

The other day, I caught a few minutes of an episode and it changed my life.

No seriously.  Don't laugh!

It was a "question and answer" type of thing and the subject of discipline came up.  The dad was talking about how the mom is such a quiet and gentle voiced woman and that the foundation of discipline in the home just doesn't require yelling or lots of anger.  He said other stuff to but I was transfixed on the scene of the mom sitting on the bed with a child and saying the words that changed my life.

"The first time I say it, you obey it."

Woah.  Wow!  I love it!

So I started trying it with my kids.  And they took to it crazy fast. 

I was in a store with Zach, doing a little Christmas shopping.  I was paying at the register and he kept wandering off to look at other items on shelves nearby.  I asked him twice to stay by me and he kept walking off anyway, insisting that he wanted to look around on his own.  I looked at him with my Mom Eyes and said, "The first time I say it..."

He looked at me and gave a big, disappointed "AW!" and marched over and stayed by my side.

Today, I was asking Teagan to clean up something and she was starting to argue with me about wanting to do something else first.  Before I could even say the words, she says, "The first time you say it, I obey it!" and did what I was asking!




C. Beth said...

Ooh, I gotta try that!

Katherine said...

I should try this. We always have the "How many times should you be asked?" They always reply with the correct answer of "once," but honestly, it never actually happens this way.

Rebecca said...

There is a time for everything and sometimes, it's okay to get angry. Anger is a natural feeling.

That being said, my kids are better behaved when I tell them what I expect of them before we do something.

"When we get to grandmas house with the cousins, you need need to be gentle with the younger ones. Do NOT run in grandmas house. Running makes her sad. Walk, walk, walk in grandmas house."

Then we get in the car, drive to grandmas house, then when we are in her driveway we have the same conversation again.

Garret said...

I replaced my "abracadabra" words with yours and the rabbit didn't come out of the hat. Now what?

Amanda said...

My kids know what it is to obey, and I often say, "Obedience is doing what I say, whether you want to or not." But, I love her catchy rhymes so I'm going to have to use that one. I admire their family and their methods a lot.

Anonymous said...

I understand what the Duggar's are getting at with the phrase. I really do--and obviously it's working for them so more power to them. Although I will say in general I do not agree with how involved the older siblings are basically raising the younger ones. But it's not my family and again, if that is what works for them then that's great.

Back to the phrase. I have never been a fan of the use of the word "obey" in regards to a child. Like, I think dogs should obey their owners and in general people show obey (although 'abide' could be used too) laws. But I personally think "obey" is a really strong word. So strong that I cannot bring myself to use it for a child.

Like I said, this is totally just my $.02. I like the message of the phrase, but think the wording is crummy.

Anonymous said...

Amy, I totally agree. Actually I more than agree because I'm not even that fond of the sentiment.
I realize I'm a minority, but the whole "my child wanted to do something else first but because I said "You Will OBEY" she had no choice but to do what I demanded" bothers me.
I don't want my children to think their wants and needs are always second to mine. That they matter less. It's still the old "second class citizen" mentality.
I'm not suggesting that we shouldn't 'parent' our children, set rules, guide them, etc. And yes, there are times when they absolutely need to do what you say, whether they want to or not (in the middle of a parking lot is always a good example).
great article that sort of says what I mean: http://www.jennifermcgrail.com/2011/06/so-i-hit-him/

Alison said...

That is amazing...though I wonder how long the effect will last? I don't have any problem with the word "obey." Where do good citizens learn to obey some kind of authority, if not at home?

c3 said...

Teaching children to obey is just one of many ways parents have to teach their children that their needs and wants DON'T alwatys come first. It doesn't make them second-class citizens, but is rather one of many steps to making them better citizens and better family members and better church members and happier people.

Anonymous said...

what I said:
"I don't want my children to think their wants and needs are always second to mine."

what c3 said:
"Teaching children to obey is just one of many ways parents have to teach their children that their needs and wants DON'T always come first."

I'm sorry, on many levels, that you don't see the difference in those two statements.

I was going to say more, but realized it sounded snarky