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Part One of this series can be found by clicking here. To understand this post, it’s best to have read the first part.
The following steps are the ones to take to walk the path of raising obedient, well-loved and cared for, happy, well-adjusted, thriving children and of feeling fulfilled, magnificent, and respected as a mother. The most important thing to realize and remember about these steps are that a momma must give these things time to work! The requesting and pleading mothering style and children’s conditioning to it didn’t occur overnight nor will it be changed overnight. It is said that new habits take a month to take hold. Instilling such a way of life change will take at least that long and possibly even longer. Don’t be frustrated if the first day or first week your children don’t reply with a “Yes, Ma’am” when you speak to them. Don’t be frustrated if your children don’t immediately warm to this new way of reacting or if they flat-out rebel against it. You’re strong. You are a God-created woman – you’ve got this, and you can reach success!
The things written of below will be called steps, though they are actually to be taken together. You are to begin working on each as soon as you decide with certainty that you’d like to give these things a try. Over the next several weeks, God willing, I will write more about each and give an assignment for them, so if you get started and get stuck – hang in there, reinforcement is on its way !
Have a Talk with Your Husband - Set aside some quiet, uninterrupted time and talk to him about the feeling that you have, that things need to change as far as your mothering goes. Don’t bring-up or point-out his shortcomings as a Dad. This is about you changing and gaining his support. As he sees you change and supports you in doing so, he may likely change his fathering for the better, too. If he isn’t willing to support you or doesn’t agree with some of the things on this list, let it go for now and do what you can with the rest of them. When he sees that you are serious, it will show him your womanly inner strength, and that may give him the desire to support you in the others in the future. Maybe you two could hire a babysitter and go on a walk together, or sit and chat on the sofa or kitchen table while the children are asleep. Make the time one conducive to heartfelt conversation.
Sir and Ma’am – Having our children refer to not only their parents as Sir and Ma’am, but all adults, draws a clear line of distinction between children and adults. It is an American standard in showing respect. For some years this fell out of fashion among mothers and fathers because it was associated with being too strict (this was at the same time that anything goes and “lazy” parenting came in vogue). Certainly a child can be taught to say Sir and Ma’am without having overly-strict parents, but parents who care enough about their children, themselves, and other adults to raise respectful children. Here are a few reasons that adults are to be respected: for the provision, protection, guidance, and care of children. They have years of experience behind them that children don’t have – that is worthy of respect. They are created to lead children. Without their parents and respectable adults, children would fail to even exist.
Have your child answer you with “yes” or “no” Sir or Ma’am when you or any other adults ask them something or call for them. Children younger than six often don’t have an understanding of answering this way, so it will take some reminders for them. Be easy-going with them about it, and when they get to about age six, it will be their automatic response. Older children will likely need reminders, too, to get in the habit of answering this way. Remember, remind them in love, kindly and wisely, often. You’ll feel so much better when your questions are answered this way rather than with “Huh?” “Yeah” or “What?” and your children will feel like, ‘Hey, Mom and Dad are getting serious here!’
If you have older children who are in the habit, and this habit can be deep-rooted to the very core of the child, of being disrespectful to you, it can bring you to tears of frustration if they refuse to answer with Ma’am or Sir, or if they do so while rolling their eyes or having a hateful, disrespectful tone of voice. If this happens, don’t blow your stack – keep calm, remember that this is going to take time, and if you need, put it on the back burner with just occasional reminders while working on the other things for a bit. Don’t punish your child for it, as hard as that may seem. Respect can take time to earn if children weren’t brought up respecting their parents and adults from the very beginning. Your keeping your cool in this situation will also be an eye-opening lesson to your child that you are serious, and things are changing in your relationship for the good of everyone.
Make Sure that Your Children Obey - This is easiest instilled in a child when they are toddlers. When you tell your children to do something, make sure they do it. It’s easy to tell our children to do things, then get busy with other things ourselves to find later that they didn’t get them done. This requires showing or telling the children how to do things if the don’t know how or need remedial teaching, and making sure they get it done.
Diet – Children’s and parents’ behaviors, moods, feelings, actions, and so forth, are influenced by what we eat more than many mommas can possibly imagine. I most highly recommend the book What The Bible Says About Healthy Living by Rex Russell, M.D. to every woman reading this. If your family eats an unhealthy diet, this change alone can be profound upon how you feel towards and treat yourself and others. The amazon.com link for this book, which contains reviews and a look inside, can be found by clicking here.
To start with this, check-out the USDA’s ChooseMyPlate page by clicking here. Then order a copy of the aforementioned book as soon as possible and couple what you’ve learned from the ChooseMyPlate website with what you learn from the book. Make your family – and always remember, you are a part of your family, too – as healthy as possible as far as diet goes!
As far as a personal diet goes, if you are overweight, check with your qualified healthcare provider to see if it’s alright that you start a weight loss program. I highly recommend Weight Watchers. Weight Watchers can be done completely online or by attending live, local meetings, or combining both. Weight Watchers online is, I believe, less than $20.00 a month (and you’ll likely save more than that on food!). When your family members see you taking your own diet and health seriously, they see something very respectable, and they see your strength and determination in a literal, physical way as they watch the pounds come off of you and your self-confidence rising! As you gain more self-esteem from losing weight, you become more esteemed in their eyes. This goes a long way in gaining not only your children’s respect, but self-respect, as well ♥.
Spend Time Teaching Them About and Instilling Excellent Character – What character traits are excellent? What are not? Think about which character traits you’d like to have and that you’d like for your children to have. Some examples are being: charitable, cheerful, dependable, honest, and diligent. Create classes for your children about these traits or have talks with them about them. Be a model of the character traits you want to instill.
Be Highly Respectable – In character, action, behavior, speech, and in all things. Become a beacon of respectable character. To do this, correct your faults and shortcomings. Become a woman of goodness, peace, wisdom, kindness, and understanding. It doesn’t matter where you’re at in your life right now, becoming a highly respectable woman is within your reach. You can do it! A book recommendation will be given that will guide you through this in the “Build Your Marriage” section of this post.
Tune In to Your Children – Tune-out the computer, phone, television, or anything else that takes your time away from doing your job as mother. This isn’t to say never enjoy some time with those things, but it is to say allot your time very carefully. While your children are being raised by you, they need your time – time interacting with you – and lots of it. Click here to read a past post that is about the time it takes to make a house a home and here for an article about the inestimable importance of being a homemaker who has, and takes, the time needed to raise a thriving family (and again, you are a part of your family, too).
Proper Exercise, Environment, and Lifestyle for Thriving Health – Does your family get enough good, solid rest? Is your home conducive to rest and relaxation – it is a “heaven on earth” place? Having the proper lighting and paint colors for family members can make a real difference in how the home feels! The furniture, decor, smells, just everything about a home has an effect on its members and those who visit it. Creating a home, keeping these things and the family budget in mind, that feels wonderful makes people feel wonderful most of the time. Since the family lives in the home, they are the ones that are going to be most effected by it. It is worth your time to study interior design and your money to implement what you can. You don’t have to be rich or have an expensive home to make it a haven of beauty and rest. You just need time to study, devotion, and determination to make your home its very best and healthiest for your family.
What does this have to do with raising respectful, obedient children? It gives them the environment they need to thrive. When they feel energized, creative, and good about their home surroundings, their behaviors and attitude will reflect it, and so will yours.
Proper Work – Give them tough/challenging, yet attainable work to do and provide them the training or instruction they need to succeed in it. For example, a young man could be tasked with painting the shutters. Don’t just tell him to paint the shutters if he is inexperienced, get him a book on it, get him the right equipment to do the job or have him write a list of things he needs from what he learned in the book and have him go purchase them, and praise him for his effort and the job he has done. If your husband is an expert at painting shutters, maybe he would teach him.
There are lots of important jobs to do in and around the home. There are plenty of age-appropriate jobs for children. Just remember to patiently, lovingly teach them how to do the job; if they don’t know, or if they’re old enough, have them learn to do the job and get it done.
This also applies to their education. Make sure that they’re being challenged in a positive way, that success in their school work is attainable, but will have to be worked for. If your child’s school isn’t challenging them positively, speak to your husband about changing schools or home educating. It is worth more than money to ensure that one’s child is getting the very best education he can get.
What does this have to do with raising respectful, obedient children? It gives them them a positive, constructive way to channel their physical and mental energy. It lets them know that they are a part of the family team and that they’re helping to build their family life. It teaches them that Mom and Dad see their potential and want nothing more than to see them live up to it, which is most respectable. The more a child sees/experiences – even if he doesn’t fully understand or realize it at the time – that his parents care and are working hard to bring out the best in him, the more he loves and adores them, and the less they will want to disrespect or disobey them.
Build Your Marriage – Make your marriage rock strong. When Mom and Dad are happy, in-tune with each other, and work as a whole, the foundation is set for family thriving. I recommend the book Fascinating Womanhood by Mrs. Helen Andelin (2007 edition) more highly than I recommend any book on earth to women (except God’s Word). If you read this book and put its teachings into practice, you will most likely be utterly amazed and changed in the most wonderful ways. I can’t say enough good about this book or recommend it highly enough. If you are a woman, get this book, read it, and put its teachings into practice! Click here for the Barnes and Noble page for it, if you’d like! It contains reviews and sample pages and is available on Nook, too!
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Well, that brings us to the end of the steps. Are you ready to put them into practice? If you might have wondered if I practice these things myself and how I am so sure that they’ll bring about the results I mention, the answer is yes – I do and have for years and have reaped the results. However, I have become slack on some of these things and plan to give each of them the attention and devotion they deserve over the following weeks, God willing, and I hope that you’ll join me! Together, we’ll walk the paths of goodness that God promises to mommas who seek Him and His glorious ways ♥.