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Why Teaching Your Children to Mind is Vital

Why Teaching Your Children to Mind is Vital

There were days that Alison wondered if her kids would ever learn to mind her when she told them to do something. I think all of us parents can understand that. We tell our teens to clean their rooms, and an hour later, we walk by and it’s the same mess it was before . . . or an even bigger disaster.

We instruct our younger kids, “Don’t leave the yard.” And then we see them down the street where they aren’t supposed to be. Or we say, “You can’t have any chocolate tonight because you didn’t eat your dinner.” And then a while later, we see melted chocolate on their faces and clothes.

It can be pull-your-hair-out frustrating. But here’s the thing—we can’t give up. We must keep working with our children until they follow our instructions.

Why is that so important?

  • Their safety might be at stake. If your children learn to hit their “brakes” immediately when you tell them to stop, it might save them from being hit by a car or from falling off a steep hillside.
  • Two people can’t be in charge. Trust me when I say that you should be the one in charge instead of a pint-sized version of you or your spouse. Everything will go much smoother at your house. I promise. And life will be much more pleasant.
  • Learning to be obedient to their parents will set them up for life. They’ll be better students because they won’t buck the teacher’s authority. They’ll someday be better employees because they won’t have a problem working under their boss’s leadership.
  • If they don’t learn to mind you, they’re going to have trouble minding God when He tells them to do something. And that is vital.

The process of teaching our children to mind us should begin when they’re small. Changes can still be made when they’re older, but it will be much more difficult because you’re having to go back and change behavior that has become ingrained.

Consistency is key. You can’t expect their obedience one time and let things slide the next. Yes, our kids can be wily. Give them an inch and they’ll run with it.

Sometimes it helps to explain why what you’re telling them is important. And remember that all of instruction should be done with love.

If you teach your children to mind when they’re small—to respect authority—you will enjoy them when they’re teenagers. Seriously, there were times when it astounded me when our teenage sons obeyed us without drama—but it was because they’d learned when they were little that we meant what we said—and that there would be consequences if they didn’t mind.

Today would be a great time to take stock of your parenting. Do you need to make changes? Are you being consistent?

And the really big question? Who’s in charge at your house? You or the kids?

By: Michelle Cox is the creator and developer of the Just 18 Summers® brand of parenting products and resources. Her Just 18 Summers novel (co-authored with Rene Gutteridge) is available now. Check out her two new books, God Glimpses from the Jewelry Box and God Glimpses from the Toolbox at

Join us at for our parenting blog each Monday-Friday and for info about the Just 18 Summers novel.

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