Obedience Matters....Children, obey your parents....
It seems that requiring obedience from one’s children is very much out of vogue these days. In fact, there are some parents who make no effort at all to make their chlldren obey.
I frankly don’t understand this kind of parenting by persuasion. Don’t get me wrong. It’s great to teach your children to do what is right with persuasion, gentleness, kindness and respect. The Catechism of the Catholic Church instructs us in our responsibility to educate our children “first by creating a home where tenderness, forgiveness, respect, fidelity, and disinterested service are the rule.” But there will inevitably come a time when children will defy the parents and no amount of persuasion will change the child’s mind. Many parents throw up their hands and give in at this point. They will blame the behavior on the child and claim that there is nothing they can do about it.
In reality, there is a lot a parent can do about it. You can tell the child that he must do as you say or there will be consequences. You can give them to the count of three. Once you say three, the consequences must be enforced, be it loss of privileges or a time out, or whatever. For a teen it could be grounding, loss of driving privileges, etc.
I have seen the parents who seem to think it is wrong to enforce their will on the child. They tell a child that it’s time to go, but the tone of voice conveys very clearly that it’s optional. The child then ignores the parent. The parent gently repeats what is evidently a request several different times while everyone waits. Eventually, the child decides to go and complies. In the meantime others are incovenienced and the child is taught a dangerous lesson. You don’t need to do what your parents say. It’s OK to ignore your parents.