The Reasons For Obedience In Children

Obedience comes in different forms, with many of the explanation to why may individuals obey. McLeod, S. (2007) Obedience is an act of social order from a person who is usually an authority figure.

There are a lot of people who may be believed to be authority figures, such as, teachers, parents, government, it could also be argued that friend may also be due to the influence they may have upon us in certain situations or we may have our own principle of who we see as authority figures. As Children we viewed people close to us as authority figures, for instance, parents, grandparents, teachers, police, and role models which we may have had. People may also obey due to uncounted particular reasons, the main reason being, social norm as it is expected to of us to obey to authority figures it is also linked in with the expectation of it for us to do so, also with consequences for when disobeying, showing respect, Religion and law. Children have been found to obey when they are brought up that way, through religion, expectations and taught about the consequences.

It is believed that one of the reasons to why children may obey is due to religion, there are variations of religions. However, I am focusing on the religion of Christianity. Children tend to be a lot more obedient when they follow examples of quotes from bible especially when their parents are believers themselves and set to go to churches, and many of different religious events. For example, bible verse, John 14:15 says “I If ye love me, keep my commandments.” Suggesting it is meaning that his commands should be followed allowing

the children to follow set examples and obey their parents the bible extract allows the following the statement not only to the children but to all of the God lovers. The bible also teaches children the Ten Commands, which is believed that every true Christian should follow, and it is very frown upon the idea of different prospective of life which doesn’t involve the the bible or any sort of guidance for obedience and the following.

While religion isn’t the only reason to obedience of children. Another reason to why children may obey is disciplining, the knowledge of consequences for disobeying. The consequences alter from a parent to a parent as well as how strict the parent may be. Some of the discipline is as simple as explaining reasoning for their behaviour like Kolar and Soriano, (2000) have found that child upbringing methods of Anglo, Vietnamese and Torres Strait Islanders guardian most popular discipline which has been used was reasoning for example ‘explaining to the child the necessity for rules and the consequences of their actions’ Within these three groups there were different views upon physical punishment, this study proves same approach of different cultures to obtain the obedience without physically harming the child.

Furthermore, another way to of which children may obey is by reinforcement. Reinforcement is a phrase which strengthens and increases a specific behaviour as well as increases a likeness of a certain response.  There are two different types of reinforcement, primary- which is giving out edibles and secondary, which is giving out praises and attention. One of the reinforcement studies was conducted by Larriba-Quest, K. (2017) - the aim of this study was to test observing learning aggression, children from age 2.5 – 6 were watched a film where adult was shouting and punching a certain doll then let alone with the doll after then film, and had reinforcement of sweets, punishment of reasoning, and control of a movie ending at a certain time of aggression throughout the study, results of this experiment were that both boys and girls were acting a lot more aggressive boys acted a lot more aggressive but the results were a lot more visible after the punishment was applied to the study, this can be applied to the obedience as throughout the study as both punishment and reinforcement were applied to the study. The way reinforcement can be applied to reason why kids may obey as every time they obey they may get a lot more of the secondary reinforcement meaning they get praised as well as attention of their authority figure, secondary reinforcement seems a lot more beneficial as children enjoy being praised and have the attention on them, helping them know from good and bad, once they get praised and attention of their parents they get to carry on making it much of a norm in their life’s.

Social norm, social norm is another of the possibilities of the reason to why children may obey. McLeod, S. A. (2008) Social norms is a term to something of which is expected of us to do/ unwritten rules of how to behave and act in certain situations as well as everyday life’s, or in children’s lives is to learn and live the expectations. (Walters Wright, n.d.) It is believed that children that don’t follow the social rules have a huge problem of feeling left out, so the parents that teach their kids of social norms within the society are more likely to have children that are a lot more obedient than the ones whom are less likely to teach or the ones whom for example don’t necessarily know social norms themselves and are lot with their kids and they’re hugely unsure of how to handle their own children as for example, social norms teach people of how to stay out of trouble with the major authority figures, such as police. Social norms include, learning about manners. It is known that people which seem less obedient are the ones whom had a difficult childhood, usually the people with difficult childhood end up in trouble with authority figures, then it could be argued that the people in trouble would be less obedient to them authority figures which could provoke them getting in deeper trouble suggesting that without social norms it is very unlikely for people without any would be very obedient to the authority figures, for example without learning manners and obedience when in court, this could put the certain person in larger trouble, as in extending sentence for instance, or give them a lot more of the harder time, because they could not adjust the norms as they had no clue of them, than the people which social norms being very important and used to. Social norms are a very important port in the child obedience, as it shows and suggests that it is important to teach and acknowledge them especially when it comes to certain commitments and scenarios in life.

To conclude, children have been found to obey due to religion, discipline, reinforcement and social norms which have been previously discussed, are believed to be a major part in children and their obedience to authority figures helping them to be a lot more acknowledge and their better living to a much more fulfilling life giving them, more opportunities as it’ll keep them out of trouble and making sure that they adjust well into the society. Bring religion into the obedience is having a guide helping and adjusting to the certain lifestyle making sure that everything is as it says and has been found. Discipline is there to show the consequences of disobeying as well as showing children and making sure they make the right decisions throughout the life, once they get a discipline it makes a child not to do it again or stopped and rethought twice about what they’re about to do, it is rather unusual to find a child doing something they were disciplined not to do it again. Reinforcement, is placed to show children that once they do something good or they follow a certain way of doing something, like for example being obedient to their authority figures, they get rewarded with either a primary or secondary reinforcement, depending on which one is more convenient to their child, or they get a punishment, and lastly social norms, are a huge part of why children obey, it is important that kids know the social norms and the importance of being obedient, sometimes just a simple social norm or an obedience is needed to help you get to certain situation or to keep the child from the trouble. 

16 December 2021
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