Boys, Family, Fatherhood, Homemaking, Motherhood, Parenting

The Obedience Trifecta: Or the “Three-finger Strategy”

Harry-Potter-Fingers

Lest you think by looking at the picture that this post is about the three Harry Potter children, it isn’t. I just thought the little fingers were cute, are they not?.

This post IS about fingers, though…..sort of.

When our children were young my husband and I really wanted to focus on their obedience.  We knew obedience would be key if we wanted a peaceful home.  We weren’t sure, being young ourselves and having four small children, how to carry out this goal.  To gain some wisdom on this I listened to cassette tapes (yes, I am that old) of the same name by Elisabeth Elliot which taught the importance of instilling obedience in your children:peaceful home lI listened to my “Peaceful Home” tapes over and over again.  They were a tremendous help.  Soon after I had all but memorized these tapes, I became aware of an additional component to obedience that I hadn’t heard before – for lack of a better description, I call it the Obedience Trifecta (OT).  This OT answered a concern we had (not from what we learned on the tapes, but with our own parenting style): we didn’t want our kids to just mindlessly obey like robots; we wanted them to obey well.  I can’t remember how I first heard about this trifecta (the author of the concept didn’t call it a “trifecta”, that was just my name for it).  The idea came from either reading a book or listening to a radio show.  (If anyone knows of its author/origin please let me know so I can give them credit.) The OT had three components: a child’s obedience must be 1. right away, 2. all the way, and 3. the happy way.  To help children remember this, the parent held up three fingers to remind their kids of these expectations.  I loved the idea and we decided to give it a try. Here is how the concept played out in our home.

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