Compliance vs Obedience

Some parents say, "I can usually get my children to do what I say eventually." Parents sometimes think that obedience is the same as compliance. When you say to your son, "Please leave the computer and help me bring the groceries in from the car," and he says, "As soon as I get to the next level," that's not obedience.

Now, we don't believe that a child must instantly obey every time. As parents, we want to consider our child's agenda and needs too as we direct the course of family events. However, some children never adjust their schedules to a parent's. They always have to have it their way, in their time, and on their terms.

Parents who allow poor responsiveness may believe that they are loving their children when in fact they’re encouraging selfishness. Cooperation is a two-way street. As a parent you know how to cooperate and sacrifice for your child. Can your child do the same?

The child who can't give up her agenda is selfish and hasn't yet learned what real cooperation is all about. Demandingness always requires me first. The child who is demanding about reaching the next level in a computer game before obeying Mom or Dad, may not be ready for such games. Cooperation means that sometimes we drop what we're doing to help someone else.

If your child has a problem in this area, you might want to focus more on obedience. It's amazing how many benefits are hidden within obedience that will help your children develop the character necessary both now and in the future.

How have you seen teaching obedience to be helpful in your family?

Milan Tomic

Hi. I’m Designer of Blog Magic. I’m CEO/Founder of ThemeXpose. I’m Creative Art Director, Web Designer, UI/UX Designer, Interaction Designer, Industrial Designer, Web Developer, Business Enthusiast, StartUp Enthusiast, Speaker, Writer and Photographer. Inspired to make things looks better.

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  1. Yes. My son is only 2yrs 9mo and he knows how to obey. We are working on this happening all the time as he decides to go his own way at times. I HAVE what people would call a "strong willed child" and this is still no excuse. I refuse to believe "he's only two" or "it is 'normal' for this age" is a valid excuse. Our biggest challenge is when other people are around and they undermine my authority IN FRONT OF MY CHILD!! Because of this, our 2 year old already unconsciously knows he *can* challenge mom in dad in front of others. Teaching them to obey is a privilege as a God fearing, believing, parents and we should look at it that way. I am glad you said what you said about compliance as well. I see many kids that externally have learned it is not socially acceptable to act out the tantrum-twos anymore because they are 4, 5 or 6, but they still don't respect or ignore authority because they were given a pass earlier on and currently their parents pass compliance as obedience. Also, REMINDING your kids to obey on the first time is saying you only have to obey after I REMIND you to obey AGAIN. Your kids are super smart and they learn fast. If you stop reminding them, they will start to do it IMMEDIATELY if you implement the consequence as soon as they don't obey. It makes you a person of your word as well. Your child will trust you and feel safe with you when they know what to expect. It is God's design. If you know someone who has obedient children, make it a priority to have that family mentor you. We meet with our pastor for "sessions" and he identifies what we are doing wrong. It is hard to hear but I have awful habits of repeating myself and other things because of how I was raised. The biggest obstacle has been changing the way I think at the root, NOT getting my child to obey.