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How to teach obedience to a child

How to Teach Obedience to a Child (Effective Ways)

Biblically children are supposed to obey their parents because it’s the right thing to do – based on the book of Ephesians 6:1. This is proof that children are not supposed to obey their parents because they are afraid of them, they have nothing else to do or they are being watched but because it is the right thing to do. Obedience is an important aspect of parenting hence parents have to know how to teach obedience to a child.  

According to the book of Proverbs 22:6, parents are supposed to teach/train their children the way they have to follow, and when they get old, they won’t depart from it.

This is what teaching a child obedience all is about. Once your child understands, accepts, and practices it, she will never be disobedient. It’s your responsibility as a parent to teach and/or train obedience to your child.

Children love testing boundaries to see what will happen. That’s why boundaries should be set and obedience taught from an early age.

Obedience is all about respect. A child that respects authority, set boundaries, older people, and follows rules and instructions is obedient.

How to teach obedience to a child

How to Teach Obedience to a Child 

Imagine how you would feel telling your child to go and wash the dishes then after an hour she is still playing outside? How would you feel every time you want your child to do something you have to be there watching her do it? I bet you would be angry. Well, if your child was obedient, she would have gone to wash the dishes after you said it the first time.  

Educate your Child on Obedience  

This calls for the explanation of things. A child might not be aware of the concept of obedience. By explaining it to her, you will have enlightened her.  

To do so in a matter your child will better understand, use stories such as the Little Red Riding Hood or Pinocchio. Let your kid understand what happens if one does not follow instructions from parents by explaining what happened when the children in the story were disobedient.  

Another way you can do this is by using a recipe. If the recipe is not followed as required, the dish will not turn out as required. A show that something will fail if instructions are not followed.

This will let them know that there is a reason behind a parent’s command. If the child request to know it, don’t give them a cold shoulder. Explain it to them in a nice way.

Inform your child that delayed obedience does qualify to be disobedience. Being obedient is doing something once you have been directed to do so – promptly. Waiting to do it after 1 hour is doing it under your terms and is a show of disobedience.

Let them know one has to acknowledge directives using a statement such as, “Yes Dad, I’ll do it”, “Yes Mom, I’ll do it”. This acknowledgment is proof of obedience and respect.

Check Your Tone 

As much as you would like to teach your child discipline, you must check your tone. Yelling, nagging, or screaming won’t do any good. Use a soft tone when giving your child directives.

Children are yet to see the big picture of life. Their experiences cannot be compared to those of an adult. Yelling or nagging them might disturb them mentally hence being unable to process or understand information.

Using a soft tone makes the environment calm and the instruction clear to your child. Sit down with your child and explain how you want them to expect them to obey you in a soft tone. Be calm, gentle, and firm while doing so.

You might also want to read about how to deal with a child with anger issues

Be a Role Model    

Children are great imitators. If you want your child to be obedient, be obedient yourself #live by example.  

Don’t bend the rules and expect your child to follow them. Don’t speak ill of something in front of your child and expect them to do it. Children pick up attitudes and behavior from other people. The more you do this in their presence, the more they will adopt them and be disobedient.

If you want your child to be obedient, show them what being obedient is about. Let them trust you, see you as their role model and they will follow your lead.

How to teach obedience to a child

Positive Reinforcement                    

No matter what, children will test boundaries and break rules just to see what happens. This is not all bad since it happens to be a learning experience for them.

Make the set rules and boundaries clear to your child. If the child follows any of them, praise her, clap for her and let them know you are proud of them. By doing so, your will increase the chances of your child repeating the behavior hence encouraging them to be obedient.

In the same way, you have rules and boundaries laid down, have consequences laid down also. If a child disobeys you or fails to follow the set rules, follow through with the consequences.

When doing so, have a tone of peace, love, and acceptance. This creates a feeling of unity and the child will not feel attacked. Also, explain to them why you are disciplining them.


 When your kid repeats the same misbehavior, follow through with a consequence.

The same way a plant has to be watered over and over for it to flourish is the same way you will have to teach obedience to your child for them to be obedient.

You will have to be consistent in teaching obedience. If the same misbehavior is repeated, make sure you do something about it. This is the only way to make sure instructions are followed every time they are given.

If you say you don’t want anyone to play with the gas cooker, let it be so. Not just that day only, but every day.


Teaching your child obedience doesn’t have to be challenging. You can start by teaching them the importance of obedience. This will, you will make the above strategies easier to implement.

If your child is older, you can encourage her to join a sport such as martial arts, volleyball, soccer, or even basketball where she will be listening to a coach. Such sports encourages children to understand the concept of obedience because for her to perform, the instruction of the coach has to be followed.

Teaching obedience to your children is not an overnight achievement. You will have to be consistent and take a series of actions and follow-ups to bring up obedient children.

While teaching your child about obedience, it’s important to let your child understand that they don’t have to simply do whatever they are requested by everyone.

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