The Real Value of Learning To Obey
Children need to learn to obey, but not merely to make their parents’ lives easier. They learn obedience because it builds good character. Obedience isn’t just about getting tasks done. We teach obedience because hidden within this character quality are a number of principles that will help children to be successful in life.
When kids learn obedience, they learn to consider the needs of others. They learn to be a little less selfish. They learn to fit into the agenda of those around them. They learn to submit to authority. Children who learn to obey their parents are better prepared to obey God as they grow older.
Obedience involves learning to do what you’re told even when you think you have a better way or you’d rather do something else. The person who has learned obedience knows how to listen to an instruction, how to follow through without being watched, and how to report back when the job is done.
The children who learn obedience when they’re young will make better students and better employees when they get older. Furthermore, they will be happier and enjoy life more.
We’re not talking about blind obedience. We want our children to learn to evaluate instructions; but evaluating instructions is an advanced skill. First children must learn cooperation; otherwise they end up believing that every time they don’t like a request, they’re justified to resist it. These children remain selfish and grow up to be whiners and complainers, not able to receive instructions without an argument.
God knew what he was doing when he gave the instruction to children to “obey your parents.” He knew that learning obedience when you’re young pays off greatly as you get older.
We believe there are a few Preschool Survival Skills every preschool age child needs to be working on in order to develop self control and responsiveness to authority. We suggest parents teach obedience with the “Come When You’re Called” Rule game. Learn more games to teach character to preschoolers in the Preschool Explorers book.
Learn more heart-based ideas for any age child in The Christian Parenting Handbook. This reference book contains 50 wise tips and strategies every parent needs!