Challenge Grant: Our Boosters will match donations up to $45,000. We have $36,834 to go. Please donate!
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Catholic Activity: How to Instill Obedience

    Supplies

  • None
  • Prep Time

  • N/A
  • Difficulty

  • • •
  • Cost

  • N/A
  • For Ages

  • 21+
  • Activity Types

    Linked Activities

    Files

    • None

    Linked Recipes

    • None

    Linked Prayers

    • None

    Feasts

    Seasons

    • None

Cultivating a spirit of prompt obedience in your children is a crucial task that can be difficult. Here are some basic guidelines.

DIRECTIONS

You can teach your child to obey if you proceed in the proper way. Most youngsters want to remain on good terms with their parents and will do what they are told to maintain that relationship. Their disobedience often is due either to their ignorance of what is expected of them or to their desire to test whether the parents mean what they say. Obviously, your child's misbehavior through ignorance of what you expect of him is not a deliberate attempt to circumvent your will and cannot be considered disobedience; and if he is promptly punished for stepping beyond the limits of conduct you have set, his experimental disobedience will cease abruptly.

Many childish actions that may seem to be disobedient are actually not that at all. A mother asked if her ten-year-old daughter would like to set the table. The girl said that she would not. The mother shook her head, remarking that the child was truly disobedient. The mother was mistaken: her daughter merely gave an honest reply to a question. When you want your child to obey you, tell him plainly that he must perform a specific action. Only then can you justifiably expect him to do as you say. If you ask him if he would like to do something or if you merely discuss a possible action without making your position plain, he may reasonably conclude that he may follow a course other than the one you advocate.

Children should not be slaves, to be ordered about at a snap of the finger. They must often be allowed freedom of choice, and should be permitted to raise reasonable and respectful objections if they feel that your instructions are not altogether correct. In doing so, they merely exercise a prerogative of individuals with minds of their own. But when an important issue arises and they must obey without questioning or quibbling, let them know that you expect strict obedience.

As children grow older, they can be appealed to more and more by reason than by stern orders. A soft approach — suggesting or requesting, rather than commanding — is usually more effective. If you create a home atmosphere of mutual confidence and loving trust, the need to issue strict commands should diminish almost to the vanishing point by the time your youngsters enter their late teens.

Activity Source: Catholic Family Handbook, The by Rev. George A. Kelly, Random House, Inc., New York, 1959

Fall 2014 Campaign
Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

The Church Moves On, Slowly 7 hours ago
Is Cardinal Kasper losing his grip? 12 hours ago
The Pope is not the problem October 23
Do not confuse sacramental discipline and Catholic doctrine. October 23
Ignatius Press into the Breach: Trumping the Kasper Proposal October 22

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Key synod report calls for 'gradualism' in Church response to irregular family situations CWN - October 13
As synod concludes, bishops issue message, approve document; Pope weighs in CWN - October 20
Cardinal Parolin: UN must protect innocents from Islamic State CWN - September 30
Synod of Bishops opens with Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica CWN - October 6