For Parents of Little Ones
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“For Parents of Little Ones,” Friend, August 2018

For Parents of Little Ones

Friend Magazine, 2018/08 Aug

Illustration by Dan Burr

Don’t touch the stove. Don’t play with scissors. Don’t run into the street. As parents, we know that obedience helps keep us safe, but children can’t always see that. By teaching them about obedience and safety in different ways, we can help them understand a little better.

Here are some ideas to help your child understand obedience:

  • When a child asks “Why?” about a rule, take time to explain how it keeps them safe. Guide the conversation by asking, “What would happen if we didn’t follow that rule?”

  • Keep rules short and specific. Instead of saying, “Be careful in the parking lot,” try, “Hold Dad’s hand.” Whenever possible, make the rule positive instead of negative, like “Stay with the cart,” instead of “Don’t run away.” Thank them when they make good choices.

  • Before going on an outing, like to a park or beach, review safety rules for that place. You could even consider making flashcards with pictures to remind them of important rules. Teaching beforehand is easier than trying to teach with distractions all around.

  • Learn the words to “Keep the Commandments” (Children’s Songbook, 146–47) and talk about how obeying God’s rules keeps us safe too.