Getting Children To Listen
by Drenda Keesee
When my son Timothy was a small toddler, he was very mobile and always on the go. One day we were over at my in-laws’ house and somehow Timothy escaped the house. It seemed as though he was with us one moment and gone the next. When we realized it, we frantically started searching. My husband ran out the door and toward the road. Sure enough, there was Timothy, toddling toward the traffic. My husband would not be able to reach him in time, so he yelled loudly, “Timothy, STOP! Come to Daddy!”
…stopped in his tracks, turned and walked toward his daddy. Thank God he was an obedient child because we had disciplined him enough that he responded at our commands. It saved his life that day.
How many times have you seen a parent have the “On the count of three, you better obey or you’re going to be in trouble” conversation with their child, only to hesitate at “two” when they see it’s not working? How many times have you done it yourself?
I used to try this tactic to make my children obey, but it only works if you follow through on the count of three. If you don’t enforce the consequences, you can count all day long. Think about it like this: if your child walked out into the street and you saw a car coming and told them to come back, would you want them to obey you immediately or on the count of three? Respect for authority can determine the outcome in a life-or death situation, and I want my children to obey me in the second it counts.
In fact, my grown-up kids now joke that our “count of three” game was how many spankings they were going to get for continuously disobeying. So if Gary gave them instruction, and they whined and pitched a fit instead of obeying immediately, Gary would say, “That’s two.” You’ll find that you get a lot better results with that tactic.
Discipline isn’t a fun topic. It doesn’t seem “spiritual” or important. It’s also controversial right now, and you probably have a strong opinion about the way you do it—even if that way means no way at all. I understand. And because I understand, you can have the confidence that I don’t want to waste your time on something that is not going to change your family life for the better. But this will. The information in this chapter has the power to make or break a family, and I’ve seen the evidence of that repeatedly.
You’ve invested this much time into seeing a change in your family, and I don’t want to see you short-circuit yourself now. Stay determined and stay focused as you read what I’m about to share. Continue forward prayerfully and be sensitive to what God is speaking to you. This chapter is a game-changer, but it’s up to you to make the play.
Excerpt from “The New Vintage Family” by Drenda Keesee
Drenda Keesee’s contagious zeal and humorous personal experiences help make her ministry of spiritual, emotional and relational wholeness one that will bless your life and spark a new fire in your spirit.
A wife of over 30 years and a mother of five children, Drenda has ministered at churches, seminars, and conferences, and through the mediums of television and radio, for more than 20 years.
Her books, The New Vintage Family, Better Than You Think, and She Gets It are available wherever books are sold. In these heartfelt books, Drenda shares her personal journey and the life lessons that have brought her to where she is today, as well as practical answers that all people need to live a joyful life.
Drenda and her husband Gary founded Faith Life Now, a ministry designed to spread the message of freedom in the areas of finances, faith, marriage, and family. Faith Life Now hosts conferences worldwide, and sponsors both Fixing the Money Thing, which Drenda co-hosts with her husband Gary, and Drenda.
Through their own life experiences, the Keesees have found the principles from God’s Word to be powerful and effective. At one point, Drenda was a young, suicidal feminist with no hope of ever being “good enough” for her own standards of perfection. She never wanted the “inconvenience” of a husband or children, and she was on her own path to success. But the stress of trying to achieve perfection and perform for love left her broken and used. She had success, but it was nothing compared to the pain and loneliness it had also brought.
That’s when God got a hold of her heart. It was there—at her lowest point—that she found the One who accepted and loved her, faults and all. Since that transformation, Drenda has had a passion to reach women who find themselves where she once was.
She married Gary after attending college, and there she found herself in a personal boot camp of sorts. She says, “I cried and told God, ‘I can do anything but be a wife and mother.’” She committed to learning how to do it God’s way. Through the many years of raising their children and struggling to make ends meet, Drenda learned from their mistakes. “I didn’t know how to be a wife and mother, but God saved our marriage, taught us how to parent our children for success, showed us how to have financial success, and then irony of all ironies, He called us to ministry.” It’s truly because of these life experiences that Drenda can now share so many insightful principles for people who are now going through the same struggles.