I recently read somewhere that you should always explain to your child why you want them to...
follow your instructions except in emergencies. My question is how do you teach a child to listen to your instructions without an explanation during an emergency if they are used to getting an explanation all other times.
With my children, when I just need them to go and do not have time for explanation...I tell them that it is very important. For example "I need you to listen to mommy, go in your room and shut the door, no questions, I will come back there and talk to you in just a minute but do not come out until I call you!" It works great on my kids and I have 5 children between the ages of 5 and 9. When they hear the urgency in your voice and you promise to explain in a little bit, they will listen.
There was at least some justification in the old fashioned methods of learning and the first rule was to respect and obey your elders.
As the name implies it is learning it is not a battle of wills which it will become without that respect.
One small lesson from military training about both respect for those who through vast experience know better, and also of obeying an order without question or explanation.
"If I shout DUCK ! Do not ask why." It sure beats getting shot don't you think ?
Modern times, too much explanations not enough respect !
The short answer is you prep them ahead of time. You can let them know your policy is to give explanations as much as possible but sometimes there are times when you can't give an explanation, like in an emergency. You can explain that you need them to trust that you are their leader and you are making decisions for the good of all of you. That is your job as a parent. This is a classic case of your job, my job. Their job is to follow the leader (you) in emergencies and your job is to protect them and keep them safe.
Your children should understand all of the principles and reasons for the basic rules and boundaries you have for them. However, they should not be given an explanation for each specific request or command. If you have taught them the principles of obedience, they will not expect it.
Yes, it’s very important that verbal teaching and learning take place within the context of positive reinforcement. Teaching during discipline can link the new ideas and strategies your teaching to punishment at the level of the developing nervous system and lead to similar avoidance levels between the punishment and learning content. It’s best not to teach in your scolding or during safety related re-direction. Try to teach insight when it’s fun. You can later elicit the optimally learned insight when it counts.
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