Mailvox: I want to homeschool, but….

WK has a problem getting his boy to listen and obey:

 I have a 5 year old boy in a private Montessori school
because I failed to produce results at home.  I and my wife worked with
him using a montessori type home method. We spent quite a bit of time
and money getting the tools and setup right for him.  What is obvious to
me now is that he listens and pays more attention to other teachers in
his life other than us, the parents.  For example, I had been trying all
summer last year and this year to teach hold his breath underwater.  I
signed him up for swimming lessons with the schools in August.  He met
his teacher, an 18 year old girl, for about a minute.  She jumped in and
had my son jumping in the pool and holding his breath underwater in
about 10 seconds.  Talking with other parents I know, what I experienced
appears to be fairly common.  I am not sure if there is word for what I
described above, but there should be for this concept.  I quick search
through the homeschool blogs looking for answers and the most common
answer appears to be a shaming of the parent that they can’t get their
child to listen to them.

I quote: “You are the parent and it is your responsibility to
train your children to listen to you. Whether you homeschool or not,
they should be respectful and attentive to you.”

all fine and dandy, but I can’t be accused of not putting enough time,
research, love and effort into getting my child to listen to me and
homeschool.  I don’t have results from my work with my son.  You can’t
help but notice that at his montessori school he listens to his teacher
and does his work great.  (The school has an open door policy with
parents to come and see how their kids are doing).  I think that the
above must be a common problem for homoeschooled kids based on my limited experience.  How am I to get my kids to homeschool effectively? 
Otherwise I am going to be school poor sending my kids to private
school to avoid the slaughter at public school.  Quite honestly, a
private montessori school will still have its problems too.

I’m going to have to turn it over to the Dread Ilk on this one. I have no problem getting my kids to listen to me and neither does Spacebunny. Of course, I never had any problem getting 35 kids between 6-8 to do exactly what I told them to do at soccer practice either.
Since the kid is only five, it seems unlikely that rebellion is the issue.  My guess is that the boy knows his parents love him and he has reason to believe that he has veto on anything they tell him. For example, if my kids had resisted jumping in the pool, I’d simply have thrown them in. I don’t know if WK tried that or not, but I find it hard to imagine that anyone could spend months trying, and failing, to get a kid to jump in the pool unless he never just threw the kid in.

In most cases, a parental inability to command obedience is a parental failure to demand it.  I say this, not to shame, but to point out that the problem is likely related to expectations and communication. As long as the father offers the child a choice, he can’t fault the kid for choosing the option that the father doesn’t want. If it’s not your intention to let the child choose, then don’t pretend to give him an option.

And the correct response to “But I don’t want to” is “I didn’t ask for your opinion, I told you what to do.  Now do it.”