17 - Quickly, Completely, with a Happy Attitude

Two suggestions when you have a kid who is disobeying.

First, they hear you. Second, they heard you.

Meaning, there’s no need to get louder. They hear you.

And there’s no need to repeat yourself. They heard you.

I learned this lesson when I asked Jack to hand me something and he ignored me. Then, in a whisper, I asked if he wanted any milk and he cheered in excitement. He heard me when I asked him to hand me his toy. He just ignored me.

What does this mean? If your kid is disobeying you, there's no need to get louder and there's no need to ask again. It’s over. They disobeyed.

Maybe they genuinely didn’t hear you and you may need to ask again, but if you do, this time it's, “Look me in the eyes" and then ask them. 

Don’t ask twice, and when a kid is disobeying, don't get louder. If anything, train yourself to respond to disobedience with a softer voice.

Don’t let them control the tone of the conversation or the mood of the room. They're not in charge. You are. Don't let them manipulate your responses or your mood.

And finally, don't ever count, “Hand me this toy. C'mon now. 3, 2, 1.” 

The expectation is that you make your command, and they are to respond IMMEDIATELY, completely and with a happy attitude.

So, “Hand me this toy.” It isn't when he feels like it. The standard is to drop everything and do it quickly.

Second, “Hand me this toy.” It’s not, “Part of the toy, or one of the toys". It’s all of the toy. Hand it to me completely.

And finally, “Hand me the toy” It's not with a bad attitude, “Ugh, here.” Nope. Happily hand over the toy.

Quickly, completely and with a happy attitude. Those are the standards. Anything less is disobeying.

We demonstrate a song that we sing in the video. When Jack disobeys, he'll repeat the song under his breath. He knows when he disobeys.

Dads, make sure your kids don't just obey you. They must respond to mom this way, too. And this has to be the standard for any adult you put in charge. If they don't respond quickly, completely and with a happy attitude, it’s the same as they’re disobeying you. And, more importantly, it’s the same as if they’re disobeying God.

CHALLENGE: Catch yourself when you're about to get louder to get your kids to listen, and instead, get quieter. Also, if they don't obey the first time, have them look you in the eye and ask one more time in a calm voice. If they disobey, that's it. Time for discipline. No negotiating.

Complete and Continue