How to Stop Being a Repeating Parent
Repeating Parent, Stop the Frustration--You Can Be Consistent!
Repeating Parents know the frustration of saying the same thing over and over and over again. Feeling like NO ONE IS LISTENING TO ME! It's so easy to fall into this habitual behavior, you may not even realize you are doing it. Here's how to stop being a repeating parent, how to be consistently a good parent, and what to do first.
To stop being a repeating parent requires intentional thought, practice, focus and concentration to change, and make a new habit. As in most things, it starts in your thoughts and mind. Mama, realize that the one you are training first, is: yourself.
The way to stop being a repeating parent is to expect 1st-time obedience. It's a definite shift in thinking. You are now going to expect your children to listen to you the first time you say something, and respond verbally, and, obey your instruction.
Communicate to Children First
Before we talk about specifics in training in 1st-time obedience, I want to say this: if you, as a parent, have not been expecting 1st-time obedience from your children--maybe it never occurred to you before that you could expect it--you need to prepare yourself and your children!
Perhaps you started out strong, but, you've become just a little tired of trying, or have become lax, or there were life situations that came up and undid all your good intentions and progress. These happen, and you need to give yourself grace, ("forgiveness") and then just start again.
Whatever the reason, you've fallen into being a repeating parent, but now you are intending to start over, or start anew, and change your ways--don't just charge right in--you need to prepare your children first, for the change coming.
Don't spring it on them. Especially, children old enough to converse with you. At a non-confrontational time, sit down with them and explain that you were wrong before, and God has shown you that it's important for them to obey you the first time that you speak.
"Children, in order to obey, must know what they're being asked to do, and must understand, at their level, what will happen if they choose to disobey." Wendy Gunn
Ask their forgiveness for not disciplining them and training them as you should. Be prepared to explain clearly, and in detail, (length of explanation will depend on age of children) what will be expected from now on, and the consequences that will result if they disobey. Give them the opportunity to ask questions. Make the time loving.
The next time you have an instruction to give your child, or you need to tell them, "No":
For children who are around 3-years-old and up:
Train Your Children to Give A Verbal Response
I will never, ever forget the day, at piano lessons (I always sat in the chair doing handwork, while one child had their lesson, then the other, and the one not having a lesson did schoolwork) when our beloved piano teacher, who we greatly respected, looked at my son, and instructed him to give her a verbal response to her question, not just a shake of his head!
Oh, man! Humbled mom, here! Mortified. It's just common courtesy, to others, but I had to be taught! So, let me save you the embarrassment! If you train your very young children, it will be a natural habit and come easily! (If you live in the South, this doesn't even have to be said, but I'm from the North:)
Requiring a verbal response will assure that they heard you. It's an agreement, of sorts, from them. It's also a safeguard against their saying, "I didn't hear you!" And it is very polite!
Speak To Your Children Kindly
It will become easier and easier to speak in a pleasant voice as your children become more and more obedient. Doesn't that sound wonderful?!
It's important to speak in a natural, pleasant manner, and especially so, when you're implementing a new program, or if you have been accustomed to yelling in the past.
Know what you're going to say before you speak to them, or you'll "lose them" while you're trying to think of what you were going to tell them to do!
Before you speak to your child with an instruction, know what you're going to say, and who you're talking to! And, know that they can hear you. Look them in the eye and get their attention, and say their name.
This sounds so obvious, but many times I would just start throwing out instructions, thinking as I talked, actually changing what I was asking them to do as I talked, and never looking at the child--in fact, the child might not have even been in the same room!
I didn't always even name a child. I just expected someone to do it. Is it any wonder your children have no idea what you're upset about, or what they were expected to have done?
The frustration of being a repeating parent can be stopped. The habitual behavior, that you may not have even realized you were practicing, can now be changed. Prepare your children for the changes coming, and consistently follow these steps, and you will no longer be a repeating parent, but a parent of children who listen and obey you the first time you speak.
Subscribe to Your Home For God, and read all my posts in this Series on Obedience in Children, as well as easy ways to build character in children and Thanksgiving Activities for Children (to do all year long).
Read all the posts in the Series on Obedience in Children and Share them with someone you think would benefit from them!
Read all the posts in the Series on Obedience in Children and Share them!
Have a Great Week Making Your Home For God!
I help overwhelmed young Christian moms have clarity and consistency prioritizing God's unique goals for their home, family, and life through courses and coaching.
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About the Author
Wendy Gunn helps young Christian moms have clarity and consistency prioritizing God's Unique Goals for their home, family, and life through courses and coaching.