One of the methods I’ve seen (and read about) for teaching obedience is the “flick, no” approach. I’m talking specifically about the learning process where a very young child (say 9-15 months) is figuring out that she or he must obey the command coming from mom or dad. Baby reaches up to touch the computer, and Mother flicks the baby’s hand as she tells baby, “no.” Baby and Mother repeat this procedure until one of them tires of the game.
What is puzzling me, is why the flick before the no? Why not say no, and then wait to see if the child removes his hand (or does whatever you want)?
Also puzzling to me is the need for the flick at all during the instructional phase. Don’t get me wrong, I can see that it is useful. But I’ve not seen a biblical precedent for God disciplining us before we know what the command is. Maybe I’m missing something really big here. Do parents who use physical discipline with their toddlers as a means of teaching also use physical discipline with their preschoolers and school age children as a means of teaching?
Shelley Gallamore says
I agree that it doesn’t make much sense to flick when they haven’t yet learned what they shouldn’t do…maybe it is intended to give some “force” to the word no??? I like the use of saying the command and then in the next seconds after helping the child to do it – if they haven’t done it yet on their own. For example, “mommy said don’t touch” and then as they continue to touch taking their hand and moving it while saying again “remember, mommy said don’t touch.” It forces obedience to coordinate with the command, but isn’t mean or harsh.
I’m with you. I remember the first time I starting teaching and enforcing “no” with Leah. She was about 9 months, and I was holding her on my lap while looking at a book of my mother-in-law’s. It was a nice book and there was no reason to destroy it. Leah wanted to crumble it. I calmly said, “No” and moved her hand away. We did it a few times, and then she burst into tears in frustration, but a few seconds later she was compliant. I felt like I had achieved a great victory.
You know by the tears that the child understands he must submit to his parent’s authority. Some people don’t realize this happens even without the flick.
I’m glad others agree that this way of teaching is not unbiblical.