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  • Jen Miller

Obey Right Away, All The Way, and In A Happy Way

Updated: May 18, 2022

Have you ever heard the principle “First Time Obedience"? The concept is to train our children to obey our instructions when they hear it the first time. There’s a saying, “obey right away, all the way, and in a happy way."

Let’s break it down...

“Obey right away."

We expect our children to obey our instructions right away (every parent's dream, right?). It doesn't mean when they feel like it or when it's convenient for them. It doesn't mean they are given choices or a count of 3 before they do it. Before we give instructions, it’s crucial that eye contact is made and maintained. All distractions such as tablets, TV, and other devices are off. We expect our child to come to us when called, not yell from another room, "What?"

“All the way.”

We expect our kids to do what we ask the way we instructed. Again, it’s not what our child prefers or their interpretation. We hope it to be done correctly, not perfectly.

“In a happy way.”

I know most kids today do things begrudgingly, whining, complaining, or not at all. “In a happy way” means you do it without complaint, argument, or negotiation. Technically, you do not need to have a smile on your face or even like it, but you also don’t get to argue or complain about not wanting to do it.

As parents, we need to model this in our own daily lives. When we are called to do something, we should do it right away, all the way, and without complaining. Our children are watching us, but more importantly, they always listen to us, even when we think they aren’t. Does this mean that you will have perfect angels once it is in place? Absolutely not! I’m realistic and practical. But I can tell you that there will be a clear expectation of them. If they cross a boundary, they will know that there will be a consequence.

If your kids don’t buy into this right away, feel free to look up Proverbs 30:17 and read it to them. If that doesn’t get their attention, search for an image of it. That should do the trick.