I don't believe in obedience. At all. While it's nice when my children do what I ask, when they don't, I'm secretly rooting for them, "Keep up that fighting spirit. Don't give in when you think something is unfair!" And I often join their side.
But I know some of you, my readers, feel that obedience in children is a good thing, and I'll admit that it is nice when my children take my suggestions. These are the questions I ask myself:
When do I obey? When do I follow the instructions or advice of another person?
I think there are times that we obey other people out of fear. Thousands (tens of thousands?) of people daily take off their shoes when going through airport security out of fear that if they don't, they'll be called aside for who knows how long, miss their flight and be out $500. Fear and threats work. Over and over even. And I can try that as a parent, but just as I don't know many people who think of the TSA with endearment, I don't think a parent/child relationship based on fear is going to be very amiable.
So think of the last time someone suggested something to you and you did it: that new restaurant you tried out, that suggestion at work your boss gave you, the medical advice from your doctor, the decision to put in a firewall or build a new roof on your house. Why did you do those things?
Because you trust the person who gave you the advice. You trusted them to have special knowledge or experience that would help you make a decision.
You want your children to obey you? Then you need to be trustworthy. Can they trust you to keep their confidence? Can they trust you to keep your cool when something doesn't go as planned? Can they trust you to be excited for them when something does go well?
Think of the people you don't trust: why is that? I know I have a hard time trusting people who use passive aggression, bribery, and other manipulation. If I want my children and other people to take my advice, then I can't be the person who manipulates. I need to be honest, I need to be forthright, and sometimes, I need to be vulnerable. I need to apologize when I'm wrong.
People revolt and protest when they no longer have trust in a person, organization, or value. That's why there are people on Wall Street right now. It's why that student in your science class ditches the lab period. It's why people walk away from political parties, religions, academic institutions, society in general.
Earning the trust of other people will do more for obedience than insisting on it. It's not going to get obedience 100% of the time, but I think it'll do lots of good.