Why Children Don’t Obey

While I was in my downtime mode, I decided to catch up on some reading.

Miss Tara posted on Books and Writers a while back, asking about disciplining a two-year-old. She, of course, doesn’t want advice from me because I am a heathen mother. She is being more civilized and enlightened, which I think is a noble endeavor.

Anyway, I read this advertisement that made me think of her. I don’t think there is a link to it on the web and trying to mess with links seems to cause me to crash, so I am not going to attempt it now.

I’m going to share some of he ad here, since it may be of interest to others as well. Proper child rearing is a subject dear to many of us.

The headline of the ad is, “Why Children Don’t Obey.”

Obedience is the foundation of character. Yet, how many parents discover constantly that their instructions to their children carry no further than around the corner. And willfulness, selfishness, jealousy, disrespect, untruthfulness, ill-temper and many other pleasant qualities are directly related to that first great fault of disobedience?

New Methods for Old.

Until now, scolding and whipping seem to have been the parents’ only methods. But new methods have been discovered which makes it easy to train children to obey promptly, pleasantly and surely without breaking the child’s will, without creating fear, resentment, or revenge in the child’s heart as whipping does….

Do You Know How

To instruct children in the delicate matter of sex?

(Aha! That’s where my marriage went wrong. I didn’t realize sex was supposed to be delicate. Not only can you train Junior to be obedient and loving, but you might also save his future marriage! I urge parents everywhere to order this free book now. Heck, I might even order it to get some hints on delicate sex. Hey, it could work.)

To always obtain cheerful obedience?

To keep a child from crying?

(They didn’t mention duct tape, so I’m assuming that isn’t the correct method.)

To teach children to instantly comply with (the) command, “Don’t touch!”

So, Miss Tara, and concerned parents everywhere, this blog’s for you.

The Parents Association in Pleasant Hills, Ohio is offering it free of charge. I would post the address, but it might have changed. I’m sure you can Google them.

The ad was from the December 1922 issue of Needlecraft.

Yeah, I’m a bit behind on my periodical reading. Oops, there’s a 1915 issue, I’m further behind than I thought.

Ok, seriously, this just points up to a theory I have held for some time. Parents through the ages have faced these same issues and they survive and the child survives. I think the most important thing of all is the child must know they are loved. Everything else is secondary. I think Miss Tara has the most important part down pat and the rest will work out.


  1. The Missus and I have talked about this. (She has grown children from a previous marriage; I have none.) Specifically, what we’ve talked about is the startling difference between parents of OUR parents’ generation (the WW2 generation) to our own and then to parents now, as it seems.

    Our parents became parents just before Dr. Spock’s book came out. They didn’t have resources anything like the Internet, of course. They pretty much just made it up as they went along.

    What an alien concept to us and, I think, to the generations after ours. You’d think having a lot more information would simplify parenting, but it doesn’t. It ovewhelms. No wonder the people who spend most of their waking minutes looking for more information on effective parenting seem to have so little time actually to DO it.

    [Disclaimer: Above is complete and utter generalization. As I said, it’s easy for childless me to comment on this stuff — I imagine I’d be a lot less glib about it if I’d ever had to take it on myself.]

  2. John, I look back frequently now and think about my children and all the mistakes I made with them. I hope, above all, they know how much I love them.

    As for advice from a childless person, I think you are very correct in your opinions. My aunt never had children, but she raised a cousin and kept me and my two brothers for a long time. The happiest parts of my childhood were with her and I wished so many times Mother would have left us there.

  3. Sorry, Julie, I just saw this.

    Of COURSE I want your “heathen mother” advice. Hand it over, woman!

    And, I’m all for duct tape. Beth and I had a conversation about this yesterday. And my dresser-climbing monkey of a child who is now fond of saying “No Way” to everything we ask him to do.

    Good thing he’s cute. (g)

    And thank you.

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