Keep your child near you


The following is an excerpt from my soon-to-be released eBook, Live in Harmony with First-Time Obedience: How to Use Love, Authority and Consistency to Teach your Child to Obey the First Time, Every Time. Check back later this week to get your copy of the eBook. It will be available at a fraction of its regular cost just for the holidays!

An important step in training your child in first-time obedience is to keep her near you. This is especially important when your child is little and hasn’t yet learned to obey. If you’re doing dishes or preparing a meal, have your child play in the kitchen or the very next room. If you are folding laundry, have her sit right with you and even have her help. If you are reading, have her read on a blanket right next to you.

Don’t let your child roam the house at will. Not only is this a freedom a young child shouldn’t have earned (remember the funnel), but also it will make your obedience training much more difficult. If your child is roaming the house, you don’t have the constant visibility over her actions that will prevent misbehavior in the first place.

Imagine that your child is in another room of the house, upstairs even, while you’re downstairs. You probably have no idea what she’s doing or whether she will hear you when you call her name. If she does hear you, she’s much less likely to immediately stop what she’s doing, come to you, and give you eye contact while awaiting your instruction.

If your child is playing near you, you can accurately discern when to give an instruction (choosing not to when you see that she’s engrossed in a learning task). And when you call her name and expect her to say “yes, mommy” while giving you eye contact, you are much more likely to get compliance. If all she has to do is lift her head from her activity and look at you while she says “yes, mommy” then it will be easy for her to do so.

Now, don’t take this to mean that you must entertain your child every minute of the day. Teaching independence is a valuable skill, but you must do this at designated times. Room time, sibling play time, blanket time and quiet book time are the tools you will use to encourage independent play. But at every other time of day, keep her near you.

When you keep your child near you during the day, you’ll have much greater success in accomplishing the next steps of first-time obedience training.

Come back later this week for your copy of the eBook!