THE IMPORTANCE OF ATTENTION
Updated: Nov 17, 2021
ATTENTION! This command is common in the military and provides instant alertness to a person of value or an important announcement that each soldier will be effected by. Soldiers are carefully and repeatedly trained to respond instantly to this command with their full energy. But in a home, getting a child's attention and respect may seem far more difficult than in a platoon. However, the same principle of repeated training is just as effective as in the military.
Make it fun as you start to train for attentiveness and respect. Acting out a scenario is great fun for children and it seems to stick in their memories better too. We practice with our grandchildren how to respond to being called to "come". We tell them to shout "COMING" at the top of their voices and to instantly RUN to us. We go outside and practice this and we also practice in buildings. They laugh and run and we clap our hands and shout encouragements. This needs to be practiced quite a bit at first then occasionally reviewed. It is also important to practice "STOP" instantly. You can sort of play a Simon Says game by going and stopping and "trying to trick them". They love to keep you from tricking them and will show how quickly they can obey. If they are slow in obedience then you make a big funny deal out of how you tricked them. These two commands obeyed instantly have saved many a child's life and you as the parent should understand that instant obedience is not a preference but a life and death issue. Of course the earlier in a child's life this is practiced the easier it is to get consistent obedience.
What if my child is older and I haven't trained him to be instantly obedient or respectful? This time simply slightly change every small decision he makes until you recognize that he is submitting quickly to your command. Then overtly practice commands that will be necessary for the health and welfare of his life. For example let's say your child comes into the room and sits on your right on the couch, just ask him to move to your left side. If he lays a book on a table ask him to move it even slightly. Keep this up very subtly at first, then, get more overt as the spirit of your child becomes more soft and respectful towards you. Act like it is not a big thing and don't get into a fight. Pick very small subtle issues that actually don't alert the child's willful rebellion. This is an exercise we have used even with teens and it has worked well. Hey, it works with horses and your child is smarter and quicker than they are.
As an example from my life I want to tell you about my younger son. He came to us at the age of seven with a diagnosis of Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder. He was on a medication that was not to be to given a child younger than twelve and he was receiving twice the twelve year old dosage. I was told never to take him off of the medication because he was violently uncontrollable. We began these exercises with him as well as daily playing Baroque classical music and classical hymns played on the harp. He was off of his medication in on month's time. By six months he could play a quiet game of Uno with his brother for an hour while Lew and I were counseling others. He graduated high school at age sixteen and got straight A's in college. Remember, this is not about how important YOU are but how wise and safe THEY will be. This mind set will keep you working at it even if it gets hard.