Do we want "obedient" children?

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Do we want "obedient" children?

FOr some reason I can't copy this article, so please, please read the link, it isn't long

http://attachmentparenting.org/blog/2011/05/13/i-am-not-raising-obedient-children/

Do you agree that the word "obedient" has "such a negative connotation" when it comes to children?

Do you want your children to obey without hesitation?

Do you want your children to do something "just because you say so"?

Anything else about the article that you agree or disagree with?

/I'm so annoyed I can't copy and paste it here, if anyone knows how please do it for me! Smile

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Ack, that article really annoys me.

That author shouldn't be giving parenting advice since she clearly doesn't understand how smart and adaptive children are. That it is possible to have a child who is obedient, who can be told to do something 'because I said so' AND who can also have forethought and a free thinking mind. How little she must think of children and their brains. And how little she must think of parents, to assume a parent who expects a child to behave a certain way in a certain situation wouldn't have mutual respect for their child.

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Pretty much disagree with the whole article. My children are obedient. (most of the time) They obey me without question, they know I will explain to them my reasoning when appropriate. If I tell them without an explaination they know there is a reason for it and I will explain later.

They absolutely can think for themselves, they make choices every day based on whether on not it is right or wrong.

I actually feel very bad for children whose parents want them to disobey, why make a rule if you dont want them to follow it? To me it is just very confusing.

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I will say that obedient isn't near the top of the list of things I want to see in my child. Do I want her to do what I say? Yes, of course I do. But do I want her to do it because I "say so"? No. I want her to do it because there is a good reason for it and I am happy to tell her the reason (either at the time or later if needed). If she understands why she needs to do something she will generally do it. I have found that "I say so" doesn't work well with any of the young people in my life (DD, DSD, little friends). It just becomes a power struggle, where a statement of the reason results in faster more consistent results.

DH came from a "because I said so" household and he hated it. He swore he would never do that to his kids. His dad never told him the reasons behind things because the reason didn't matter. Doing what you are told to do matters. He never got to have an opinion or discuss why things happened the way they did. In his case he was given orders and it was very disrespectful. It meant that there were a lot of things that he had to learn to do on his own after he left home because although he knew what he should do he didn't know why. He was missing the process behind a lot of life decisions and as a result he made some bad one.

Knowing a family that is like the one this author seems to be referencing I can understand her reasoning. I don't agree with it all. I do agree with Lisa and Jordan that kids can obey and be freethinking and adaptable people who can make good decisions. There can be respect and obedience at the same time. I don't think the author recognizes that.

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That is one of the stupidest farking articles I have ever read. A word is what you amke it andeveryone is gonig to ahve a different feeling and even definition to almost every word. Even a word like blue can be different to each person. One person may see something as blue and another will say it's more green. To me this person is getting caught up on the word "obey" and their immature rebellion to a word is causing them to screw up their kids.

I don't parent based on words and theories and ideologies. I parent my kids based on what I think is right and what will help them become the best they can be. IMO, a child who has no guidance and bounderies is a lost child. The reason we don't shuffle our kids off into the world to fend for themselves when they are born like an alligator or a frog, is because they are not born with the knowledge to take care fo themselves. I learned from my parents and then learned through a lifetome of experiences so I can then pass that to my children. I was not born knowing what foods are good for me, why education is important, what boys have on their mind most of the time, etc.

Yes, I want my kids to obey me and DH. They should do so because I am their parent and that is my lifes work.

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Yes, my child is and will be expected to obey his parents. However, he already understands what we expect from him behavior-wise, so it's not secret, and we don't say "because I said so". If he asks why, I remind him. If he's familiar with the rules, he'll be familiar with why he shouldn't have disobeyed, so yes, I expect him to obey me and his father without hesitation. Again, he'll always be allowed to question us respectfully if he is unclear of why he's being asked to do a certain task/chore/etc, and we'll always explain it to him. But he will come to know to obey us without hesitation....especially at this age. He trusts us without fail already, and not obeying without hesitation (pre-schooler) can lead to dangerous things.

That said, I have a 4-year-old who doesn't give us many problems and rarely needs majorly disciplined. However, we have a tenative plan. I'm sure it'll change as we go though, and we are both cool with that.

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"culturedmom" wrote:

That is one of the stupidest farking articles I have ever read. A word is what you amke it andeveryone is gonig to ahve a different feeling and even definition to almost every word. Even a word like blue can be different to each person. One person may see something as blue and another will say it's more green. To me this person is getting caught up on the word "obey" and their immature rebellion to a word is causing them to screw up their kids.

I don't parent based on words and theories and ideologies. I parent my kids based on what I think is right and what will help them become the best they can be. IMO, a child who has no guidance and bounderies is a lost child. The reason we don't shuffle our kids off into the world to fend for themselves when they are born like an alligator or a frog, is because they are not born with the knowledge to take care fo themselves. I learned from my parents and then learned through a lifetome of experiences so I can then pass that to my children. I was not born knowing what foods are good for me, why education is important, what boys have on their mind most of the time, etc.

Yes, I want my kids to obey me and DH. They should do so because I am their parent and that is my lifes work.

I agree. It sounds like the author was just looking for a way to pat herself on the back as I find is the case with most parental blog posts.

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"HollyBenElla" wrote:

No, I don't want my children to obey me. I hate the word obey. I want my children to do as I ask because there is a reason for it, like fuchsiasky said. I want my children to have their own thoughts, feelings and ideas and to not be a 'mini-me'.

I hate to say it, but that's called obeying.

This is my point. Why are people getting hooked on a word? when people said the word obey back in the 1950's when it came to parenting, it meant a very different thing then it means now. But it'snto the word that is the issue, it's the philosophy of parenting and the role of children. A child can know why a rue exists and still be required to obey it.

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I thought that the article was ridiculous as well. If the word "obedience" has a negative connotation in this persons parenting circles, I am SO, SO glad that I don't have to hang around them or their children!

I don't in any way see the point of obedience to be creating "mini me" people, that is ridiculous. Giving my kids the tools to have self discipline and ultimately a successful life starts with obedience. ITA with Jordan:

That author shouldn't be giving parenting advice since she clearly doesn't understand how smart and adaptive children are. That it is possible to have a child who is obedient, who can be told to do something 'because I said so' AND who can also have forethought and a free thinking mind. How little she must think of children and their brains. And how little she must think of parents, to assume a parent who expects a child to behave a certain way in a certain situation wouldn't have mutual respect for their child.

I hate loosey goosey new agey parenting gobbledy gook. This focusing on the word "obedience" is just that in my opinion.

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Do I want to raise Jace like he is in the military? No.

This is why I have perfected "the look" and "the voice" when I do need him to obey me:). Of course, those times are not very often but when they do arise, it is important he listens and does what I say.

Other times, he is a 4-year-old that tries to tell ME what to do. I completely understand his train of thought and I respect it. What person likes to be micromanaged? Nobody does. Jace has started to reverse the roles and wants to be the boss, so now when we are playing, I will let him be the mom or dad and I'll be the kid. He really enjoys it and it has cut down on headbutting in more serious situations where he tries to reverse the parent/child role.

ETA: I tried to figure out how to paste the article and I couldn't. Weird.

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Here ya go, figure it out.
I googled the answer. I had to disable javascript and restart firefox and then it worked. You can copy and paste this into your original post if ya want:):

…nor do I want to. Not that I would rather have disobedient kids, but actually…that’s closer to the truth. What? (You say.) What crazy parent would want this?

To me, the word “obedient” has such a negative connotation when used in reference to raising children; it literally means to obey. As in, orders. Is that what parenting is? Ordering our children through their youth? I guess it would be nice if my kids followed my orders just because I said so. Put your toys away. Eat this food. Find new friends. Date this person, not that person. Take this job, not that one. Have your first child by this date. Buy a house at this random location on the map, just because I said so. My point is that if we are teaching our kids to be “obedient,” at what point do we stop ordering them around? And what if there’s a strong reason not to obey someone’s order? A “good“ child (one who is taught to be obedient) might not have the forethought to see a situation through.

I don’t want children who obey without hesitation. I want children who can think for themselves, recognize and listen to their feelings and instincts and respond appropriately. I guess what I mean when I say I’d rather my kids be “dis”obedient is really more like be deliberate. I want my kids to think about what they’re doing; assess the situations they’re in and make internally motivated decisions. I don’t want them to do things just because I said so. Though I know that with the number and types of interactions I have with my kids at their current ages of 4 and 6 years old, doing things because I said so would certainly be nice sometimes. All of the questioning, reasoning, arguing and explaining I hear after a simple request does get time-consuming and tiring.

But I appreciate the thought my kids put into their explanations to not do something I ask. Raising non-obedient kids will become very important in several years when they are out alone–maybe with friends or maybe truly on their own, in either case, without parents–and must evaluate an emotionally or physically risky situation. They need to be able to recognize their feelings, appreciate the significance of those feelings, and trust their instincts to make a considerate and educated decision; a fitting decision. Not an obedient decision.

Getting out of the mindset that children need to obey parents “because we say so” and, instead, developing a mutually respectful relationship that inspires independent thinking will be hugely beneficial for my kids and our family in about 10 years. As aggravating as some situations at this point in time, I will gladly take this challenge on now rather than later.

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Well I definitely associate "obedient" with something negative. . .maybe just because I am a rebel at heart. But I want my children to do what I tell them and to accept that even if they don't understand the reason at the moment, they still have to do it. Do they obey me all the time? No, especially not my three-year-old. But they get it, and they know they're doing something wrong when they disobey. They also know that I don't think you should obey all adults just because they're adults. My seven-year-old knows that sometimes other people are in charge of him (our nanny, his teacher, etc.) and then he follows their rules. If he has issues he can raise them with me later and I am always willing to discuss it with him.

He's still a freethinker. It's possible to be a good kid who understands how to respect authority without becoming a robot.

But yeah...obedience isn't anywhere near the top of my list for my children. I do cringe a bit when I hear it, not sure if that is even remotely logical.

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Hell YES I want obedient children! I'm happy for the author if foo foo parenting works for her, but when I say, "Don't poke your sister in the eye with a pencil!" I expect my children to obey. I don't have time to ask everyone sit in a circle and discuss why we don't poke each other in the eye and how poking each other in the eyes with pencils affects starving children in Africa. I have dinner to cook, laundry to do, and papers to grade. My children already understand WHY I'm asking them to do or not to do something, so I don't need to explain it every time.

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My children are obedient. I don't see that as negative at all. They are allowed to disagree with me and we often hear "but I don't want to..." But in the end they know they are the kids and we are the adults. The end. Honestly, I am confused by a lot of the gobbledegook parenting rhetoric out there. My kids have feelings that are validated. They are creative and happy. They are also not jerks who are allowed to run amok. Not saying all attachment parenting creates jerks, just that there seems to be soooo much focus on theory of all kinds and not so much actual parenting going on. It's such a rarity to see a polite, kind child behaving in a socially appropriate (for their age) manner...and that's a shame.

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I'm just curious how she imagines her children to be in 10 years. What may work in this moment may not work for a child in the next moment. This "non-obedience" can really bite her bum big time as they will be able to use their feelings to explain why they don't want to do a certain chore and follow through with not doing it. Very frustrating. My free thinkers realize that there are certain expectations they should follow and should they choose to not follow in the actions expected, there are consequences so they're fully capable of making their own decisions. They can question it all they want (which I encourage), I'm very happy to give the answers, but it's still expected that they follow the guidelines that are set forth. There's always a chance to negotiate change if it needs be, but we the parents have final say over any changes and they must respect our decisions regardless of how much they may disagree with it at that time. Oh, and all of my kids know "the look" as well, so nonverbal communication in our house is also very effective. Smile

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I very much want my children to be obedient. When my four year old is running out into the middle of the road after a ball and as a car is coming and I yell "STOP", I want her to stop right away and not stand there thinking if she should obey this time or not. Or when one of my daughters does not want to put any clothes on, should I let her get cold or get inappropriate looks from men? Children have parents for a reason. To teach them. Not every time will I have time to explain to my child why I am telling them to do something. This will follow through to adult hood. An adult that can not follow directions will not do well in life. An employer will expect his employees to follow rules, with or without an explanation.

This said, I believe it is important for a parent to respect their children and show them love. A parent that gives orders without love will make their child rebel. A parent that disciplines in love and has boundaries will have a much better relationship with their child.

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I didn't really read the article thoroughly (which may get me into trouble), but I'm not looking to raise obedient children. I think that kids who are raised with explanations rather than "do what I say" can be wildly successful as adults. I think that raising your children in an environment other than one that is looking for obedience is actually more challenging than just looking for obedience. I think it takes more work and patience to explain "why" than not to. But then again, obedience is not something that I value, nor do I think it is something that makes you successful professionally. My work certainly does not expect me to "follow rules, with or without an explanation." No one I know in a professional job has a workplace that wants or expects that of them, either. My children certainly have boundaries and we have rules, but obedience isn't something I'm looking to instill. Different strokes for different folks.

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Obedience is pretty high on my expectations for my kids. But, it isn't as if I scream senseless orders at them all day, beating them it sticks if they don't comply, like it sounds the blogger think I might.

When I tell my kids to do something, I expect them to do it. Why? Because whatever I'm telling them is important (whether or not they think so).

We brush our teeth so they don't get rotten and fall out.
We wash our hands after using the bathroom because pee and poop are gross.
We eat our dinner because our bodies need good food to the healthy.
We also eat our dinner because someone made it and it is rude to complain.
We clean up because that is part of being responsible for our belongings.

At the ripe old age of 5 and 4 my older kids know these, amongst many other, rules... The 2 yr old is still in the learning process. But, yes, the expectation is that they obey.

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"CalBearInBoston" wrote:

I didn't really read the article thoroughly (which may get me into trouble), but I'm not looking to raise obedient children. I think that kids who are raised with explanations rather than "do what I say" can be wildly successful as adults. I think that raising your children in an environment other than one that is looking for obedience is actually more challenging than just looking for obedience. I think it takes more work and patience to explain "why" than not to. But then again, obedience is not something that I value, nor do I think it is something that makes you successful professionally. My work certainly does not expect me to "follow rules, with or without an explanation." No one I know in a professional job has a workplace that wants or expects that of them, either. My children certainly have boundaries and we have rules, but obedience isn't something I'm looking to instill. Different strokes for different folks.

I get what you're saying, but I have a question for you. Say that your dd questioned a task you requested she do. You answer the questions, but she still decided that it's not in her best interest to do the task. Do you instill consequences for that choice because you, as the parent, know that it's in her (or the family's) best interest or do you allow her decision to be without consequence?

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"Beertje" wrote:

I get what you're saying, but I have a question for you. Say that your dd questioned a task you requested she do. You answer the questions, but she still decided that it's not in her best interest to do the task. Do you instill consequences for that choice because you, as the parent, know that it's in her (or the family's) best interest or do you allow her decision to be without consequence?

It depends on what it is. If she has a good reason not to do it (and I agree with her reasoning) and it's not something critical, I don't make her do it. If it's something that has to happen, then she has to do it. But honestly, we have discussions a lot about being part of a family and how we all have to do things we don't want to do but have to do anyway for the good of the family. She's a smart kid (I think most are), she gets it. My house certainly has rules and consequences, I just don't expect obedience, I think reasoning and explanation are much more effective for my family.

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"CalBearInBoston" wrote:

It depends on what it is. If she has a good reason not to do it (and I agree with her reasoning) and it's not something critical, I don't make her do it. If it's something that has to happen, then she has to do it. But honestly, we have discussions a lot about being part of a family and how we all have to do things we don't want to do but have to do anyway for the good of the family. She's a smart kid (I think most are), she gets it. My house certainly has rules and consequences, I just don't expect obedience, I think reasoning and explanation are much more effective for my family.

I don't see why you can't have both obedience and reasoning/explanation.

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Kate, I don't get how what you are explaining (re: critical issues that she has to do regardless of her desires or reasoning) isn't obedience?

I mean, my kids aren't told to do things "because I say so, do it OR ELSE", we explain to them why certain things are non negotiables (say, hitting, or saying "NO" when asked to do something, playing with knives, picking up the baby etc) and then we expect obedience and they suffer consequences when they don't obey.

I guess I don't get what you are saying? It sounds like you are explaining obedience using every word but obedience.

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"JorgieGirl" wrote:

I don't see why you can't have both obedience and reasoning/explanation.

I was just going to ask the same thing.

The goal of reasoning/explanation is to hopefully make them understand and do (ie obey) what you are telling/asking them.

There was a running joke when we were growing up... My mom would always saying things like, "do you want to do the dishes", and we would always say it was a trick question, because "no" wasn't an acceptable answer. The only answer was "yes, of course", because we obeyed our parents.

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"Potter75" wrote:

Kate, I don't get how what you are explaining (re: critical issues that she has to do regardless of her desires or reasoning) isn't obedience?

I mean, my kids aren't told to do things "because I say so, do it OR ELSE", we explain to them why certain things are non negotiables (say, hitting, or saying "NO" when asked to do something, playing with knives, picking up the baby etc) and then we expect obedience and they suffer consequences when they don't obey.

I guess I don't get what you are saying? It sounds like you are explaining obedience using every word but obedience.

This is what I was wondering as well when asking.

Reasoning and obedience can have a very sound relationship with each other. Parents know which rules are deal breakers and have consequences which follow and which rules may be subject to negotiation. I think it's awesome for kids to question everything. But the rules that have consequences are expected to be obeyed even while explaining the reasoning behind the rules.

Kate, I am totally on board with what you're saying as a parenting style. I think ours in these circumstances may be quite similar. But what the writer is missing is that if she has consequences for her children who choose to break any of her rules, she is also expecting her children to obey her as well. Just like the majority of parents. Obeying is not as dirty as she makes it out to be. Nor do I think her parenting style is going to be a trend that forever changes parenting as we currently know it.

What I got out if it, she may in for a world of trouble if her kids choose to consistently not follow direction and go by their own decisions, even knowing how it may effect the family or their surroundings if there are no consequences for their choices. Teens can be very selfish despite how much of a parent/people pleaser they were when they were younger. I'm interested in what she'll be saying 10-15 yrs from now as to how "non-obedience" worked for her in all stages.

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"JorgieGirl" wrote:

I don't see why you can't have both obedience and reasoning/explanation.

I don't believe obedience leaves room for reasoning/explanation. Obedience in any way I've ever heard it used is obeying authority for authority's sake. Questioning authority is not being obedient. That is now how we do things in my family. Having my child offer an alternative to what I ask her to do and going with that is not obedience.

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I guess the things I expect obedience in are things were there really is no room for an other option. Like, "Come on, out to the van. It is time to pick up your brother from school". They must obey. We can't leave later. I can't leave them home alone. The only choice is to go, at that moment.

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Ok, so what you said before though

My house certainly has rules and consequences, I just don't expect obedience, I think reasoning and explanation are much more effective for my family.

The reasoning and explanation are effective in achieving what, if not a child who behaves in the desired way? Wouldn't that just be another way of saying obedience? Rules and consequences also sounds a lot like outlining desired behaviours and implementing a punishment/discipline when those rules aren't followed.

I just think this word has been taken to an almost army kind of meaning to some, and it doesn't have to be as cold or unfeeling as the author has certainly made it out to be.

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"CalBearInBoston" wrote:

I don't believe obedience leaves room for reasoning/explanation. Obedience in any way I've ever heard it used is obeying authority for authority's sake. Questioning authority is not being obedient. That is now how we do things in my family. Having my child offer an alternative to what I ask her to do and going with that is not obedience.

If it's something that has to happen, then she has to do it.

But both of these quotes by you are talking about obedience, to me. You say that if it is something that has to happen, she has to do it. That is obeying authority for authorities sake, right? This is where I am getting confused.

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"JorgieGirl" wrote:

Ok, so what you said before though

The reasoning and explanation are effective in achieving what, if not a child who behaves in the desired way? Wouldn't that just be another way of saying obedience? Rules and consequences also sounds a lot like outlining desired behaviours and implementing a punishment/discipline when those rules aren't followed.

I just think this word has been taken to an almost army kind of meaning to some, and it doesn't have to be as cold or unfeeling as the author has certainly made it out to be.

No, I don't think obedience is the same as teaching someone to behave in an appropriate and kind way. It's not the same at all. Obedience is saying you do it because I'm the authority and I say you do it. That is not how we do things as a rule in my family. Reasoning and explanation and making room for rule changing is not obedience.

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"Potter75" wrote:

But both of these quotes by you are talking about obedience, to me. You say that if it is something that has to happen, she has to do it. That is obeying authority for authorities sake, right? This is where I am getting confused.

No, it's not obeying authority for authority's sake. It's doing what I ask because there's a reason behind it that I've explained and she understands (things are more complicated, of course, with babies). That's different than doing it because I said do it.

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"CalBearInBoston" wrote:

I don't believe obedience leaves room for reasoning/explanation. Obedience in any way I've ever heard it used is obeying authority for authority's sake. Questioning authority is not being obedient. That is now how we do things in my family. Having my child offer an alternative to what I ask her to do and going with that is not obedience.

I've seen reasoning/explanation to always follow when told a rule and asked why. The rule may still be expected to be obeyed and if challenged with sound backing to support the challenge, the parent may agree to alter the rule. What you're explaining in the bold sounds like dictatorship. That's not what it's like in our household either. Obedience is not limited to dictatorship.

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"Beertje" wrote:

I've seen reasoning/explanation to always follow when told a rule and asked why. The rule may still be expected to be obeyed and if challenged with sound backing to support the challenge, the parent may agree to alter the rule. What you're explaining in the bold sounds like dictatorship. That's not what it's like in our household either. Obedience is not limited to dictatorship.

Dictatorship? That's silly. If you are altering rules with a child's input, the child is not obeying the rules. Obeying doesn't mean have an explanation and then change the rules if you don't like them.

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Webster's definition is:
1. to follow the commands or guidance of

2.to conform to or comply with

If they follow your command or guidance, then they obeyed. How you got there, whether by endlessly explaining or barking orders, is irrelevant. If they conformed or complied, they obeyed.

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"kris_w" wrote:

Webster's definition is:
1. to follow the commands or guidance of

2.to conform to or comply with

If they follow your command or guidance, then they obeyed. How you got there, whether by endlessly explaining or barking orders, is irrelevant. If they conformed or complied, they obeyed.

I disagree. I think that's all there is to it.

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"CalBearInBoston" wrote:

No, it's not obeying authority for authority's sake. It's doing what I ask because there's a reason behind it that I've explained and she understands (things are more complicated, of course, with babies). That's different than doing it because I said do it.

I still think that this is semantics. I have reasons behind our family rules and I have explained them. Once they are laid out, explained, they are expected to be followed. You said that there are non negotiables for you, how is that not expected obedience regardless of the childs personal self expression, distaste for the rules, or her ideas on why that rule is stupid.....you are saying that you have to be obeyed no matter what on certain things. That is obedience.

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"Potter75" wrote:

I still think that this is semantics. I have reasons behind our family rules and I have explained them. Once they are laid out, explained, they are expected to be followed. You said that there are non negotiables for you, how is that not expected obedience regardless of the childs personal self expression, distaste for the rules, or her ideas on why that rule is stupid.....you are saying that you have to be obeyed no matter what on certain things. That is obedience.

I do think it's about semantics to a large degree. I seem to be working off a different definition of obedience than others on this board but it's the one everyone in my daily life uses. I think part of the problem is that there are certain things I have to do whether I want to or not. I don't think that makes me obedient and I don't believe obedience is expected of me.

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"CalBearInBoston" wrote:

I do think it's about semantics to a large degree. I seem to be working off a different definition of obedience than others on this board but it's the one everyone in my daily life uses. I think part of the problem is that there are certain things I have to do whether I want to or not. I don't think that makes me obedient and I don't believe obedience is expected of me.

It IS semantics, plain and simple, because "obedience" does not mean "to do something because I have authority over you just for authority's sake". Period. You are incorrect in your definition of the word, there is no way around it.

And dude, can I find out where you work?? I've never heard of a job that has no rules to follow!!!

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"daniellevmt" wrote:

It IS semantics, plain and simple, because "obedience" does not mean "to do something because I have authority over you just for authority's sake". Period. You are incorrect in your definition of the word, there is no way around it.

And dude, can I find out where you work?? I've never heard of a job that has no rules to follow!!!

Who said I have no rules to follow? Professional jobs tend to not require obedience. They aren't task oriented, they involve critical thinking and not just rule following. You want to think about yourself as obedient? Knock yourself out. I don't.

FYI my definition of obedience comes from sociology and human behavior studies in general. Look at wikipedia and see who's definition of obedience seems closer to theirs: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Obedience_%28human_behavior%29 You define obedience however you want, but please don't be so silly as to just proclaim me incorrect.

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Kate - I think the definition you are describing for obedience is one I have seen people use often in a biblical context...listen and obey without question, blind faith, etc. I guess that's just not what obedience means in my own mind or what I experienced in my upbringing. If are saying obedience = never question, then I agree with you that this isn't something I want for my children. I prefer them to learn it's okay to question respectfully and I am happy to explain my reasoning as time/situation allows...but in the end, I am the parent and they are the child (which denotes the expectation of the end result of obedience at this point in their very young lives). But I do understand the point you are making. I am just not sure that's the most common application of the word when it comes to parenting? (Automatons, etc).

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I do obey most of the time. I obey moral laws, social rules, and legal laws all the time. The majority of us do. For breaking minor rules and laws there is often no consequence, except for possibly our own conscience... Speaking nicely to others, not getting drunk, walking across the street in the crosswalk only.. However there are many laws or social rules that when breaking them that can cause imprisonment or at least friendless. All regardless of our personal THOUGHTS on the situation.

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"Rivergallery" wrote:

I do obey most of the time. I obey moral laws, social rules, and legal laws all the time. The majority of us do. For breaking minor rules and laws there is often no consequence, except for possibly our own conscience... Speaking nicely to others, not getting drunk, walking across the street in the crosswalk only.. However there are many laws or social rules that when breaking them that can cause imprisonment or at least friendless. All regardless of our personal THOUGHTS on the situation.

Hmmm, yes. We all obey rules. I do not show up to work dressed in a bikini and I do not yell profanities at my boss. If I did, I would not be obeying professional conduct rules.

Obedience does not mean doing whatever mommy commands like a little robot. My children question everything and try to bend the rules as much as any kids. My eldest is the master negotiator. But, in the end, what mom and dad decide, whether the rule is modified or not, is what goes.

OTOH, a certain amount of blind obedience to one's parents is a good thing. If my house is burning down, and I tell my kids to jump out the window (single story house), I expect them to jump and not argue with me about the door being the better option. Sometimes there is no time for explanation and children need to obey when they are asked to obey.

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Exactly _ I obey laws all the time I disagree with. Paying taxes for certain things. Not spraying vinegar on weeds in driveways (yes since I am a licenced applicator I am not allowed to use "homebrewed conconctions" which includes plain vinegar... no laying down beer for slugs either... they make me use registered pesticides only).

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"CalBearInBoston" wrote:

Who said I have no rules to follow? Professional jobs tend to not require obedience. They aren't task oriented, they involve critical thinking and not just rule following. You want to think about yourself as obedient? Knock yourself out. I don't.

FYI my definition of obedience comes from sociology and human behavior studies in general. Look at wikipedia and see who's definition of obedience seems closer to theirs: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Obedience_%28human_behavior%29 You define obedience however you want, but please don't be so silly as to just proclaim me incorrect.

I have a job where I use critical thinking skills every moment...that doesn't mean I still don't have rules I must obey in order to remain employed there. You are clearly hung up on some alternative definition of the word. Likewise, if you want to pick words apart to the death, knock yourself out.

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"daniellevmt" wrote:

I have a job where I use critical thinking skills every moment...that doesn't mean I still don't have rules I must obey in order to remain employed there. You are clearly hung up on some alternative definition of the word. Likewise, if you want to pick words apart to the death, knock yourself out.

Actually, I just came in here and gave my opinion on the OP. People have questioned me and so I've responded. It's a debate.

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Kate, FTR I do totally understand what you are saying. I am not an "obedient" person by nature, anyone who knows me would probably agree with that Wink I am not trying to raise automatons.....I actually enjoy precocious kids a lot more than rote rule followers, I relate to them better. That said, I think that obedience is a hugely important, especially in small children as it sets the stage for a later understanding of the benefits of obedience IN CERTAIN SITUATIONS. There are also huge benefits of questioning and of using logic to challenge rules. We try to employ both. There are lots of things that are the rules, 100%, no matter what. There are other times that my kids have made a logical argument for why we ought to do something differently, and I have agreed with them and changed course. I hope for that to happen a lot more as they get older. The non negotiables, however, will remain that way.

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"Potter75" wrote:

Kate, FTR I do totally understand what you are saying. I am not an "obedient" person by nature, anyone who knows me would probably agree with that Wink I am not trying to raise automatons.....I actually enjoy precocious kids a lot more than rote rule followers, I relate to them better. That said, I think that obedience is a hugely important, especially in small children as it sets the stage for a later understanding of the benefits of obedience IN CERTAIN SITUATIONS. There are also huge benefits of questioning and of using logic to challenge rules. We try to employ both. There are lots of things that are the rules, 100%, no matter what. There are other times that my kids have made a logical argument for why we ought to do something differently, and I have agreed with them and changed course. I hope for that to happen a lot more as they get older. The non negotiables, however, will remain that way.

Absolutely agreed 100% with this. Biggrin

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I do want my kids to obey me & DH because that's important for safety's sake. If I say, "Stop!" I expect my kids to stop immediately & ask questions later. We use the "parental perogative" only when Tiven is very tired & very grumpy & needs to go to bed early but argues when we try to explain that. Then it's simply, "I'm your mom, I'm saying go to bed, now go to bed!" But I do try to explain my reasoning first, it's just respectful. And I do let her make "poor" decisions sometimes. Yesterday, for example, she insisted on wearing shorts & a t-shirt to school despite the forecast for heavy rain & winds. I put her rain jacket in her backpack. So she gets cold? It won't kill her, and maybe she'll learn to dress for the weather. She kicked a ball over the fence after being told to take it to the park to practice her kicking; I didn't go ask for it back & she wouldn't go either, so now she has no ball.

With anyone else, I want my kids to be critical thinkers and I want them to question authority. I don't follow rules just because they're in place, I follow them when they are right & respectful, and I don't follow stupid rules. I obey the speed limit in town because it's a safety issue, but I often do 75 or 80 on the freeway because then it's more dangerous to block the flow of traffic. I obey the attendance policies at work because I need to keep my job, but also because I get damn pissed when I have to pick up the slack of others who don't. I respect police officers when they are respectful of me; the simple fact that they're in a uniform IMHO is not a reason for respect or obedience. I don't want my kid to walk off with a sexual offender because he's in a uniform & tells them to.

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"Spacers" wrote:

With anyone else, I want my kids to be critical thinkers and I want them to question authority. I don't follow rules just because they're in place, I follow them when they are right & respectful, and I don't follow stupid rules. I obey the speed limit in town because it's a safety issue, but I often do 75 or 80 on the freeway because then it's more dangerous to block the flow of traffic. I obey the attendance policies at work because I need to keep my job, but also because I get damn pissed when I have to pick up the slack of others who don't. I respect police officers when they are respectful of me; the simple fact that they're in a uniform IMHO is not a reason for respect or obedience. I don't want my kid to walk off with a sexual offender because he's in a uniform & tells them to.

This made me giggle. You respect the attendance/tardy policies at your work but not at your child's school? Wink

I disagree with the bolded. I treat other people that we encounter (in uniform or without) with respect because they are fellow human beings and as such are deserving of respect. I can't imagine modeling the idea "only be obedient to me and Dad" and only treat people well if they treat you well first" to my children.

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"Potter75" wrote:

This made me giggle. You respect the attendance/tardy policies at your work but not at your child's school? Wink

I disagree with the bolded. I treat other people that we encounter (in uniform or without) with respect because they are fellow human beings and as such are deserving of respect. I can't imagine modeling the idea "only be obedient to me and Dad" and only treat people well if they treat you well first" to my children.

I'm not sure what you're referring to in the first paragraph. I do respect the attendance policy at school. Tiven being late so much earlier this year was a huge argument between me & DH, I even started a debate about it. IIRC, I was one of the few who supported holding parents accountable for repeatedly truant children. And if I keep Tiven home from school, I always call her in sick so the school doesn't lose money. Wink

To the second paragraph, treating other people with respect, whether they are in uniform of not, is something we are teaching our children. My point was that I don't want my kids to equate a uniform with blind obedience. That's something my mom & sister are teaching my nephews, and I completely disagree with it. They are also raising these kids to blindly follow their church leaders, too. Sad I know too many people who were abused by authority figures. I'm hoping to raise kids who will think for themselves and consider whether a situation with an individual person feels right or wrong, and not just follow someone in a uniform or clergy collar in person or in thought.

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"Potter75" wrote:

Kate, FTR I do totally understand what you are saying. I am not an "obedient" person by nature, anyone who knows me would probably agree with that Wink I am not trying to raise automatons.....I actually enjoy precocious kids a lot more than rote rule followers, I relate to them better. That said, I think that obedience is a hugely important, especially in small children as it sets the stage for a later understanding of the benefits of obedience IN CERTAIN SITUATIONS. There are also huge benefits of questioning and of using logic to challenge rules. We try to employ both. There are lots of things that are the rules, 100%, no matter what. There are other times that my kids have made a logical argument for why we ought to do something differently, and I have agreed with them and changed course. I hope for that to happen a lot more as they get older. The non negotiables, however, will remain that way.

I totally understand what you're saying. I just wouldn't call what I think we're both talking about obedience. I'm not trying to redefine the word or anything silly like that, I just don't believe I've ever heard "obedience" used in a positive manner.

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