Every father needs to daily spend time with his children between two and six and provide loving discipline with mercy. The child needs to experience the father as being big and strong but also as being actively involved. Physical discipline is appropriate when it operates within clear boundaries. The purpose must be correction of the wrong behavior not hurting children. The problem is not physical punishment. The problem is lack of positive attention. For every negative interaction between the father and the child there needs to be at least three positive activities that balance it. By spending more time doing positive things with his children the father increases the power of his authority and motivates the child to want to obey and avoid punishment. Children need to do more than just obey their father. They need to look up to him and respect him. Through the wise use of his authority the child will come to trust and respect the father, leading to willing obedience.
The basic psychospiritual need of the child during the Obedience stage is Liberty. The Biblical view is that true liberty only comes as the child learns how to live within limits under authority. It is the disciplined child who has self-control, not the impulsive one. It is the child who respects and obeys authority who is able to focus on learning when entering school. The resultant positive emotion when a child experiences a true sense of liberty is Faith.
from page 101 of One Nation Not Under God by Philip A. Captain, Ph.D.
2 thoughts on “The Obedience Stage from 2 – 6”
I have read before that the most important character quality we need to teach children is self-control, which then will guard their liberty in Christ, make them submissive to authority and give them the peace and contentment that life in Christ can offer.
self-control is certainly one of the top; explaining the importance of self-control is more difficult than teaching its practice.