Saturday, November 5, 2016

Parenting with the Gospel

The proclamation gives a fantastic and substantial list of principles and way parents should seek to establish a happy and successful family. It suggests that significant teaching is necessary to bring about the positive outcomes that each parent desires for their children. The gospel helps us to find the behaviors we want to teach and shares how to teach them.

While kids can be very influenced by their peers, they can been even more influenced by their parents. An example of this is that when parents teach their kids to avoid drugs they are less likely to use drugs, even when their best friends abuse drugs! My textbook (see bottom of the post for information) teaches that better parenting by mothers alone leads to a reduction in deviant behavior in their sons. This boost actually leads to better relationships between mom and son.

This is recommended reading for parents who want a to have a better relationship with their kids than their children's peers have with them.

As parents we should heed Brigham Young's counsel to "study our children's dispositions and temperament, and deal with them accordingly." We have the opportunity to help our kids develop the positive traits we desire for them and to help them overcome undesirable tendencies.

When we are close to each of our children the Lord will bless us with "a spiritual early warning system" which helps us as parents sense problems that may be emerging. When this happens we need to prayerfully ask for help and use deliberate intervention methods.

Latter Day prophets have counseled against the use of physical punishment with children. It is suggested that "infrequent, non abusive spanking, in the context of an otherwise warm and responsive relationship, may not cause lasting harm, but it is not likely to be a teaching moment." I have spanked my children in the past and have found this to be true. It really doesn't seem to be effective in anything except straining the relationship of myself and my child. I went to a class on parenting boys that advised that they need to be spanked to learn. The teacher suggested that girls learn differently and don't need spankings, but boys need that pain to remember lessons. Well, they remember that mom spanked them, but the bad behavior seems to be repeated. With my boys I find that explaining why it's not an appropriate behavior and coming up with different ways to deal with it are better at deterring the bad behavior in the future.

Now, what if you are not a "bubbly" or lovely mother? Are you doomed? Nope, my favorite part of Chapter 11 says, "Parents need not despair if they do not feel that they are the perfect balance of being both responsive and demanding in their parenting approach. A parent who is not "bubbly" in his or her expression of warmth, yet is appropriately demanding, can do well in child rearing, so long as that parent provides sufficient amounts of warmth so that eh child feels adequately accepted and not rejected."

To teach our kids it is suggested that we have regular family home evenings where we teach correct principles; have scripture study as the family, engage in family prayer, and participate in wholesome family activities. Create traditions for your family at holiday's and throughout the days of the week. These are the things that pull families closer together.

Fun Tradition: He who can stay in the near freezing Waterton Lake the longest wins.... Bill wins every year. He must not have feeling in his feet! (He's holding Rosena in this picture. She lasted about 3 seconds!) Hyrum lasted almost 30 seconds.

Fun tradition: Trampoline Stargazing. He who stays awake the longest wins! Bill lost!

Fun tradition: Thanksgiving Family Home Evening with the Reeve's. We sang songs, shared talents, and ate amazing food.

Edited: 12/10/2016 - Ideas and quotes were enhanced by the text book Successful Marriages and Families: Proclamation Principles and Research Perspectives. Edited by Alan J. Hawkins, David C. Dollahite, and Thomas W. Draper. I really recommend that everyone purchase and READ this book. It's so great.

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