Do Children Know The Definition Of Obey?
While visiting one of my children in Florida, I was told a capable grandchild was given the job of hauling fallen palm fronds to the back of the yard. As I gazed at the pile in the front yard, I wondered why the task had not been executed.
Obedience seems to have been replaced with "I don't want to", "I don't have to", "I don't feel like it", "I forgot" - or any number of other excuses.
Two generations ago I was reading a comic book outside on a late summer's day when my father called to me to come. Being absorbed into "Little Lulu" and her latest adventures, his voice went in one ear and out the other.
Suddenly Little Lulu was snatched out of my hands to reveal steel blue eyes staring down at me. I have no idea how much time elasped from that vague voice to the abrupt visit.
Fearful of what was to come, I followed him inside; and watched as he took my entire comic book collection and destroyed it.
That day was the day I realized disobedience to my parents would have negative effects. I was seven years old.
One generation ago, my 8-year-old son had the responsibility of cleaning his room every Saturday before he could go out to play. Disobedience on his part only resulted in interruption of his play and being called back home. But, it embarrassed him in front of his friend's mother who answered the phone, giving him the message, and consequently escorting him to the front door.
Obedience to a child usually means, "Do as you're told" (without argument). Kids may often start a job that's given them, then leave it unfinished. This was the case with the palm fronds after their mother yelled at them about not doing the job at all.
The bottom line is that kids just don't want to listen. They don't want to do as they're told. They don't want to obey any rules. They simply want to do what they want to do, regardless of any consequences. The bottom line seems to be that they just don't care.
*NOTE: Parents, however, have no right to tell a child to commit harmful, unlawful, or immoral acts. Today, children can and should challenge demands on them that make them physically, emotionally, or psychologically uncomfortable.
So, the question is: "Do children know the definition of the word, obey?" I think they do; they just don't want to follow it.
by: Gail Gupton