- Take a question to General Conference
- Read, study, and ponder "Beware of Pride" by Ezra T. Benson. Look for yourself in the talk!
|Carleen Tanner's Positive Parenting||
Here is the video for today's class on Competition vs Cooperation.
How many had a great experience thinking about pride and competition this week?
Class member: We’ve been saying in our prayers recently to help us find ways to be kind. We are focusing on being kind at school in our questioning. We’ve been doing this for a couple of weeks now. On Sunday I told my kids that they could do Personal Progress, read church books, or Faith in God for 2 hours. My daughter decided to be kind to her brother for 2 weeks. She hid little notes around for him to keep finding.
I would recommend somewhere during this time maybe a few days in when it’s lost it’s steam, write her a note and put it where she will find it. Tell her it’s wonderful for thinking out. That it is making a difference for her.
Class member: I have a 5 year old who said that I have to look the cutest in my class. I have to be better than everyone else in my class.
Class member: I have boy/girl twins that are 6. My boy is very competitive and I realized I was feeding them. I changed it this week and he didn’t ‘win’ anything, but he is learning to get ready early enough to be read to. I took the competition out of everything. Our middle son causes contention in our home. He is my stepson. His Mom pits our house against theirs.
He is feeling at your house that he is less important than your kids. He carries abandonment issues.
Class member: I really love taking this class because it reminds me that there are things we do unintentionally. I don’t think about it until you point it out. It’s a good reminder to me. My husband is such a sweet Dad. We did all the Parent/Teacher conferences this week. Our kids are very different in motivation.
When they already know the principle…it’s not a new thing…then the way to do it is to ask questions. If I’m not like my sister then I’m not good. “What do you think you could do better?” Take the other child out. Take the other child out of it. Mend that by not doing it again, but build them in what their strengths are individually.
Class member: When we tell one of our kids to do something and we say, “You are being obedient?” They say, “Is he being obedient?”
That is competition. They are constantly seeking these outside strokes. You can say, “What do you think about him? How did he implement this?” Teach them to find good in the other person.
Class member: We do a ‘treat’ reward after scriptures if they are reverent…they are 4,3,2. Is that competition?
Not at that age. Treat motivators are good at a young age. You haven’t created a situation that’s win-lose.
Class member: One night a week is my husband and my night. Lately our kids keep infringing on that. I had a really hard time shutting that off because I’m trying to not be ‘selfish’. I had a hard time staying focused on my husband and not doing things for the kids. Is that pride or is it ok to protect that time?
To want to have the sacred time with your husband…it’s preestablished and it’s there. It’s teaching your children to respect the parental relationship. They will know when they are married that the husband/wife relationship comes first. The downside that puts you into pride is the anger. Wanting the time together is good. You have to retain love for your husband and love for your children. You need to say something so you can let it go. Just smile and say, “What night is it?” It’s just like FHE…smile and say, “What night is it?” You can do it if you stay at zero. Don’t backpack it. It blows up.
I’m going to ask you a hard question. This requires you be very honest and very vulnerable. This is no blame, no guilt, no judgment moment. “What kind of baggage are you carrying from your childhood?” From the way you were parented, sibling interactions, etc.
The baggage is a byproduct of your parenting. This is “ah ha” not guilt. See how things were when I was a child and see what the repercussions are as an adult. A lot of what we have when we were children we don’t get to lay down when we are married.
Robert D. Hales October 1993 “How Will Our Children Remember Us?”
“In many ways earthly parents represent their Heavenly Father in the process of nurturing, loving, caring, and teaching children. Children naturally look to their parents to learn of the characteristics of their Heavenly Father. After they come to love, respect, and have confidence in their earthly parents, they often unknowingly develop the same feelings towards their Heavenly Father.”
This is not to make you feel guilty. I want you to see connections! I think when we have understanding we naturally change. When we are trying to force ourselves to change with lack of understanding it is extremely difficult.
We parent because we want to teach our children to behave correctly, but we need to parent to bring our children to Christ. One is for control and one is to teach.
Do you see where some of the things that are causing you baggage is because of the pride in your family?…still no blame. Can you see that?
What you perceive as right is your truth! Some of it we create unintentionally. Some of it just happens because you are there. If you are aware of it then you can parent to it.
To get rid of pride is to take them out of competition. You do that by parenting individually. They stop comparing themselves to each other because they feel individually loved. Heavenly Father loves me because I’m on the right path.
If your parents had allowed you to fail and talked about your efforts would you have been willing to try new things.
“I’m not my sisters. You have to parent me differently.”
One of the things President Benson said was that the Book of Mormon wasn’t written for them it was written for us. How do you read the Book of Mormon? We read it and study it and it becomes a story and we learn principles, but the Book of Mormon teaches us how to handle our families. The Book of Mormon is the parental guide on how to raise families in the latter days. We don’t read it that way and we miss the instruction manual of it.
I think the first time you read it for a story with characters and who they are. You end up confused. You go back and you re-read it and some of those things start to solidify. You are getting a better picture of the Book of Mormon time line. The intent is so that it will guide us and help us and inspire us in how we raise our families and come unto Christ.
HOMEWORK: President Ezra T Benson. April 1989 “Beware of Pride”
This talk should be read at least twice a year. I don’t think you will ever internalize this talk. There is just too much in it.
Pride was the downfall of Nephites. Pride comes from ‘competition’. Remember the 200 years after Christ came. There were no “-ites”, there were no differences. It’s what you do with the riches that create competition. The word “equality” (that’s consecration). The root word for ‘iniquity’ is the same. As soon as we get out of equality we go into iniquity and pride. Competition is how it’s manifest.
He says “Once competition is gone, pride is gone.”
You look in our own homes, if we have contention we have pride. Contention is caused by competition. The goal is to take competition out of our home. Society has defined competition as something that is motivating and good and makes you want to be better. Competition with yourself to be better than yourself is good. It makes you work hard to be better. When you put yourself against someone else there competition and contention.
I think you unconsciously create competition in your own home. There is a lot of competition in marriage. If you have the feeling that your right is right and their right is wrong you are in competition. If you are trying to parent your spouse you are in competition.
When trying to motivate your children we create a ‘best’. If you have a ‘first’ you have a ‘last’. If you have a ‘winner’ you have a ‘loser’. Whenever you do that you create a winner and a loser. You don’t feel like you are putting them at odds, but you are. The one that wins is the good guy and the one that loses is the bad guy.
Your children tattle. They make them look like the good guy and the other one look like the bad guy. You have some children in your home that have low self esteems. They feel good about themselves if they can make someone else look worse. It’s only valid to get a good grade in school if someone else is below you.
Who has a bigger house?
Who is skinnier?
Who’s kids are better behaved?
It’s in the comparison that pride is created. We start it when our children are little.
Example: You have 2 boys. One of the sons loves sports and is very athletic and it shines in the sports. He is the quarterback and he is doing fabulous and Dad loves sports. As the football games come along they talk to the quarterback and ask questions and find out stats against the other team. You are so excited and energetic. They are talking the same language. We are sharing this wonderful thing. That’s great. Now the other son is not athletic. He’s not built for athletics and has no desire for athletics. He is into choir. As the choir performance comes up Dad says “I’ll be there.” He goes and attends the performance. Afterwards he says, “Good job!”. Who do the boys think Dad loves most?
It’s not what Dad thinks. The boys’ truth is that Dad loves the football player and not the choir. By default the kids are put in competition vying for Dad’s approval and affection.
Sometimes we put our children into competition by subscribing to the philosophy of being ‘fair’. Children use ‘That’s not fair!’. If Tommy gets new shoes because he needs new shoes and Sally whines because she ‘wants’ new shoes and they are on sale.
You have some of your children come home from school and say, “It’s not fair that everyone at school has a cell phone and I don’t.” We succumb to that line of thinking about being ‘fair’.
The reality is that you need to learn that life isn’t fair! And then stop trying to make it fair. We have this idea that everything needs to be the same. We should never, never, never treat our children the same. They are different and unique. We need to parent each child with uniqueness.
We need to stop saying “kids come to dinner”. You need to individually treat them as individuals. As you celebrate their individuality they stop competing with each other.
Class member: As a society we try to lump kids into a group.
Kids lump themselves into the group and they try to be treated with the sameness.
Teach your children that life isn’t fair! That is not your goal. Your goal is to meet their individual needs.
Class member: Our Stake President says, “The fair only comes once a year and the fair is over!”
Class member: We had FHE once and my daughter had a sore on her hand so we gave her a bandaid on her hand. So I told all of them to give them their hand so they could all have a bandaid too. They said, “I don’t need a bandaid on my hand.” Then we explained that everyone has different needs. So when my kids use “It’s not fair” we say, “Do you need a bandaid?”
We will treat them ‘equal’, but not the ‘same’.
As soon as we worry about the ‘sameness’ we put them in competition with each other. If we bless them according to their needs they are out of competition.
C.S. Lewis (Mere Christianity)
“Pride gets no pleasure out of having something, only out of having more of it than the next man... It is the comparison that makes you proud: the pleasure of being above the rest. Once the element of competition is gone, pride is gone.”
Competition in sport is good as a ‘team’. If they compare themselves to each other that’s not good. It’s not to be better than someone else it’s to better ourselves.
This is a good thing to do in PPI’s. Dad has to be careful at what the child perceives. Dad needs to get across that “I love you no matter what” not “I love you if you are the star quarterback”. As we take them out of competition we take pride out of home.
“Pride is the universal sin.”
What is the fruit of competition?
The elements of pride are….
Class member: What do you do when you ask them to go do something and she is going to clean up her own room and her sister’s room too. One will clean her room and one will take forever? That’s competition, but you want them to go do what you say.
I will cover this in another lesson on how you get them to desire them to work. For right now don’t let the ‘helper’ clean her room. She needs an outlet, but there is no winner and loser.
Class member: It’s like what you talked about in Praise and Encouragement. If they hear in encouraging then the other person it motivates them to do better.
We put them in competition using praise and not encouragement.
Class member: We have had 4 in the last 4 years. I says things like “Are you boys cleaning up? “
Separate them! Is it more work for Mom? To begin with. It’s not more work than the energy taken to be mad at them. Is the energy going to be good or bad. Always separate them!
Class member: I caught myself saying a few times that says “He’s not doing his job.” I say, “Don’t worry about him. Just do your own thing.”
Tools to get your children out of competition.
Class member: You have to find ways to show them the difference. My challenge is trying to show them.
Service breeds Gratitude.
HOMEWORK: Watch what you say to put your children in competition!
How often are you in competition with your spouse and your children.
Class member: This is what they did to my 15 year old YM group. He would come home from in tears with put downs. I have kept by son home from Mutual because of it. He doesn’t think and act like that, but he has to in being part of the group.
There is one defense for it that is very effective. Humor! If you can use humor and laugh it off. If you have the gift of humor that is the best defense system there is. It takes the right person to figure that out.
Class member: My son was pouring a bowl of cereal. He missed the bowl and he looked at me like you are going to be mad at this. We looked at each of this. I said, “You suck!” We were both laughing about that. I started off dealing with it better than I would have, but I really did put him down and hurt his feelings.
Class member: When one of my start tattling I say, “What did you do?” Is that ok?
Yes. You can also say, “Why do you think they did that?”
Class member: My oldest son cares about what is fair and right. Sometimes he is doing it with the intention of ‘it’s right!’.
Siblings don’t get to parent siblings. As adult women we don’t get to parent our spouse. We should never say, “You should…” We are equal partners. We need to learn to speak to them in getting done what you need to have done. Wives tend to try to parent husbands.
Class member: My kids parent their siblings all the time…14, 13, 9, 7—the oldest does it to the younger ones, but the others copy that.
You have to know the abilities of each of the children. You have discussed it before and it’s not a new topic. Say, “I am the parent. I get to be the Mom. I love that you are concerned about them and you want them to do what is right. I am the parent. I might make mistakes, but I am accountable to Heavenly Father for my job. Someday I will stand before him and be accountable to him. We need to have a code word so we can let each other know that is happening. Smile or touch him quietly. You need to be able to call him in the moment in public without everyone else knowing.
Our children are encircled with contention and pride. This is the world we live in. We have to be different than the world. This is one way. We have to live out of competition, pride and contention. Our home has to be a safe place.
April 1994 Elder Ballard
“And as they looked to behold they cast their eyes towards heaven, and they saw the heavens open, and they saw angels descending out of heaven as it were in the midst of fire; and they came down and encircled those little ones about, and they were encircled about with fire; and the angels did minister unto them” (3 Ne. 17:21–24).
Clearly, those of us who have been entrusted with precious children have been given a sacred, noble stewardship, for we are the ones God has appointed to encircle today’s children with love and the fire of faith and an understanding of who they are.”
They can only know that individually.
Follow up: Competition vs. Cooperation
How did the week go? Did you realize you were in pride? Is anyone here without pride? Did you see envy, strife, contention?
Class member: I picked my daughter up from kindergarten she was going on about what each of the kids at the table were doing wrong. I said can you tell me one nice thing about each person at the table. I could hear in her voice she was smiling. I asked her to tell me how she was feeling before and how she is feeling now. She got the difference.
Class member: Your definition of gossip was good. I’ve thought a lot about your definition a lot this week. It’s changed my thought process when I’m talking to someone or how I’m thinking about that person. I told myself to stop and change my thought process.
Class member: I liked the checkpoint of the comparison where you start to hold yourself above others. I felt like I needed to learn to accept a compliment. I decided if my hair isn’t better than someone else’s then things are ok.
Heavenly Father didn’t create junk.
Class member: I read the talk about “The Tongue Can Be A Sword”. I know my kids have competition problems, but so did Lehi’s. It’s easy for me to tell them to go away from each other. I need to give them the skills to deal with it better. It was good to have those tools.
We never teach them how to learn the self discipline and the concept so they can change themselves.
Class member: The one example I thought of that didn’t have competition was Joseph Smith’s family. When he had these things they supported him. His parents didn’t say we all go to this church and this is what we do.
Mostly they did. In the beginning they all sat around the fire and talked in their family.
Class member: Back to the power of the tongue. I was thinking about how it is a powerful tool for lifting as well as bashing. I need to change the words to say positive things it changes my mood.
You have to change your thoughts first and then change your attitude.
Class member: When I was in college I had a roommate that when we started crossing the line with gossip she would say, “I love chicken!” I taught that to my kids on Sunday for FHE. They were laughing about it.
Class member: My oldest daughter was home from school. We read through the pride list and I shared with her some of the things to help with that. One of them is gratitude. We are staying in my parent’s home while they are on their mission. I backed into the garage door from the inside while it was closed. I was freaking out. I can’t get the garage door open. We finally get in my brother-in-law’s car and she says…”Speaking of gratitude…” We found things to be thankful for in this situation. We did find things to be thankful for even in that scenario.
You will have a child in your home that will quietly poke or push or take a toy. The one that was offended will retaliate with much more aggression and the first child gets what they want while the 2nd one gets in trouble.
Children know how to play the game to get what they want. Their reward is to what they want. We live in a society that is built vertical. If you are a “B” student you are better than “C,D,& F” students. If you have gorgeous hair you are better than those with stringy hair. If you weigh 115 you are better than anyone that weighs more than that. Frequently it’s not said it’s felt.
Teachers are naturally drawn to the ‘cute’ ones. There is a standard in our society that says ‘good looks, dressed well’ are better. If you have money you have value. If you are smarter than someone else you have value. If you are above someone else you are good. Your value and how good you are is dependent on how many people you have below you. Your goal becomes to be better. You get there by pushing others down.
Contention is formed by the competition in a family. I have to prove that I am better than you.
“Pride is the power by which Satan wishes to reign over us. Pride is essentially competitive in nature.”
“Pride gets no pleasure out of having something, only out of having more of it than the next man…It is the comparison that makes you proud: the pleasure of being above the rest. Once the element of competition has gone, pride has gone.”
(C.S.Lewis, Mere Christianity, New York: Macmillan, 1952, pg 109-110
As quoted by President Benson in talk on Pride, Ensign May 1989)
Pride is the power that Satan used in heaven. This competition came from the preexistence. Satan wants to bring it into our home because if there is competition there is contention and the Spirit is not there.
There is a time to be competitive. When you are in sports you can be competitive, but you should be competing against yourself. You should try to work towards the team effort instead of individual glory. Our children should participate in sports. You have to monitor it because it can teach bad things too.
Class member: I had no self worth when I was growing up. I want my daughter to feel proud of themselves.
When we talk about feeling good about a performance or an outfit we should feel good about that. We should acknowledge our value. There is a feeling of self confidence and self worth coupled with gratitude. Pride comes in when you say…I look better than….
Class member: Competition is your biggest problem self esteem.
What they both said was when I was young growing up….most of you would say that. That’s where we are today. I don’t want your children growing up and saying that. They don’t have to. We have to parent so they don’t.
We live in a selfish society and our kids are growing up there.
Goal 1: Get them out of competition.
Goal 2: When they are out of competition teach them to compete with themselves and improve for their own value. They are good, but they could seek to be better.
These goals are hand in had. It takes Competition/Cooperation, Praise/Encouragement, and Self Esteem
The Book of Ezra…. “Beware of Pride”
Put this talk somewhere that you can read it.
HOMEWORK: Study the talk “Beware of Pride” thinking about your children and parenting. Where do your children fall on this scale?
If you want a different result in your children then you need to parent differently. Your parents did the very best they could and you are doing the very best you can do. Your children will have to forgive you just as you need to forgive your parents of the baggage you carry.
When you parent…most often…when you parent and it causes them to have baggage you do it without knowing you are doing it. Parents parent with guilt. Usually guilt changes behavior quickly. It creates HUGE baggage for later. Parents don’t use guilt knowing they are creating baggage.
Most of you create competition in your family and we have to stop that. Home needs to be a safe place. They have enough of it everywhere else…school, church. In our callings and parenting we are focused on taking competition out. It’s just like Heavenly Father…He doesn’t want us to compete with each other he wants us to become the very best self we can be.
Removing competition doesn’t mean making everything the same.
Example…When you say…”Let’s see who can get dressed first!”.
We use it because it works. The result is that someone wins and someone loses. What you usually have over a period of time your blue child who always seeks to do good get dressed and be back. You will have your yellow child who gets distracted easily they are always happy, but they get distracted and child #1 is back, but the other one hasn’t even started. You say “Hurry up!” Someone is always the bad guy and one is always the good guy. Their core personalities are just different…not better than one or the other.
Example…When everyone comes back we will have a cookie. When everyone comes back we will read a book. If you get dressed first then see who you can help.
You want to make them equal, but not the same. Equality is NOT sameness. One child might need more attention. It means I give you what you need. It’s never the same. Don’t get caught up in the “It’s not fair!”
Class member: I get that as little kids. I have 3 boys in a row and one of them is a yellow boy and the only thing that helps him is the competition. My youngest is 10. I don’t know how to do that with older kids.
When they are all older it’s important to have a family meeting…not family night. We seem to have a problem getting down for scriptures in the morning. You put the problem on the table and you say what can I do about it. Do we need to have scriptures at a different time? Let’s think outside the box. How can we make this happen differently? They are more willing to help because they are helping solve the problem.
Class member: My fear is that you would be rewarded for leaving them home from church. Then what?
You can give them a topic and had them do a report. I would probably go back and get them and bring them back.
Dad really loves athletics. He has two sons. One is involved in sports and one is involved in choir. The dad says he likes to attend both. However, when a game is coming up, dad talks plays, scores, strategy, with his football son. Dad is excited for the game and it shows in his talk and the interest he displays. The second son has a choir concert coming up. Dad attends, but there is little conversation about what it involves. By default the second son thinks Dad loves the first son more. This is not true, but what they think is true, is their truth. We have to focus on what they feel and not what we know is the truth.
Who do the boys think the Dad loves the most? The athletic one.
Your truth doesn’t matter to your children. Their truth is their reality. You need to be aware of their truth. You work to that feeling. Dad has to do something to help the 2nd child feel loved. He needs to do something that creates the feeling he is loved.
Kids put themselves in competition with each other. We need to not put them into it in our home. We need to teach them to be out of competition.
Some of you are in major competition with your spouse. How many of you think your right in parenting your children is more right than their right? That is competition.
A sad experience happened to two of my grandsons when a well-meaning adult put them in an uncomfortable situation of competition. They were standing in the hallway at church and one of the youth leaders was chatting with them. A young lady in the ward came up and joined the conversation. The adult turned to the girl and said, “Now, if you were old enough to date, which one of these boys would you choose…Spencer the athletic football player, or Carson the musical one?” All three of the youth were uncomfortable. She didn’t want to say and they did not want to know. The adult was just trying to be funny, but it put everyone in a lose/lose situation.
People who suffer with pride are so into competition that they take their value and it’s reflected on who the world views them. They look to the world to tell them if they have value. They are more concerned about what their peers and the world think of them than what the Lord thinks of them.
“When pride has a hold on our hearts, we lose our independence of the world and deliver our freedoms to the bondage of men’s judgment. The world shouts louder than the whisperings of the Holy Ghost. The reasoning of men overrides the revelations of God, and the proud let go of the iron rod. (See 1 Ne. 8:19–28; 1 Ne. 11:25; 1 Ne. 15:23–24.)
Pride is a sin that can readily be seen in others but is rarely admitted in ourselves.” (Beware of Pride…Ezra T. Benson)
Pride was what destroyed the Nephite nation.
President Benson taught some of the elements of pride are:
Do you have any of these? Or are these reflected in your children?
How do you conquer the pride you see?
Eliminate competition and create cooperation.
HOMEWORK: Marvin J Ashton “The Tongue Can Be A Sharp Sword”
“The number of those who report that their “whole family usually eats dinner together” has declined 33 percent. This is most concerning because the time a family spends together “eating meals at home [is] the strongest predictor of children’s academic achievement and psychological adjustment.” Family mealtimes have also been shown to be a strong bulwark against children’s smoking, drinking, or using drugs.4 There is inspired wisdom in this advice to parents: what your children really want for dinner is you.” Good Better Best Dallin H Oaks
There will be no contention in heaven. If we want our children to feel comfortable there we need to create that environment in our homes where they are safe, loved, and accepted and everyone else is as well. They are not competing with anyone in or out of the home. Until they reach that level they have a hard time lifting others along the way.
This is a hard principle to learn. This is where Satan tries to put his power into your home. This is one of Satan’s biggest tools in destroying family relationships.
The Tongue of Angels Jeffrey R. Holland
The Tongue Can Be A Sharp Sword Marvin J Ashton
Beware of Pride Ezra T Benson
How did your week go? Did you watch your family to see if they are competing? What are the signs? Backbiting, arguing, contention
Class member: I have a 7 year old and a 4 year old. The 4 year old tries to do everything that the 7 year old does. I tell them they have different abilities.
What would you suggest? Pull them out of competition.
Class member: Let the 7 year old the job of ‘mentor’ and have them teach the 4 year old what to do.
You create the oldest helping the younger ones. BUT in doing that you have to pre-counsel the 7 year old to validate. You are going to train the oldest to be a good mentor in taking them out of competition. The 7 year old could increase the problem. Help them understand they are a teacher and not a show off.
Class member: Depending on the situation you could do a rite of passage…when you get to be this age you can…
The 4 year old needs to see themselves growing up. Does the 4 year old see that? It doesn’t make sense to them. I’m throwing a tantrum. As you set the rites of passage to help him see what happens between now and 7 that says they are growing up.
Class member: Create a team experience where they can both be successful.
Create an experience if you can that the 4 year old can be ‘in charge’. FHE the 4 year old gets to lead the game and we all get to do it.
Class member: My boys hate each other and they will say that and won’t cooperate and serve each other. The 7 year old is jealous because the 5 year old stays home with Mom. They won’t and don’t serve each other.
What happens here? How do we take them out of competition?
Class member: Make them dig up dandelions. J
Class member: One thing I am going to try with my 13 yr old and 9 yr old girls. I’m going to have them do a ‘sibling journal’ where they write back and forth with each other.
This bank account is too low.
Class member: Fun activities as a family where they are creating good experiences together.
Class member: Building up individually.
They feel loved, but being loved isn’t enough because they are in competition for Mom’s love. The 7 year old says “You love him more.” Part of this will resolve itself with time. Two things need to happen. The 5 year probably doesn’t hate the 7 year old as much as the 7 year old does. Don’t deal with it out of fear deal with it out of faith. First Jarvis (7) needs to feel individual. I am different and you are different so we don’t get the same things but we both get what we need.
Class member: I’ve noticed with my 4 year old she wants me to do the same things that I’m doing for the 2 year old. I’ve learned that she wants to get dressed by herself because she is proud that she can do it a lot. Every other week go volunteer at the school with the 5 year old going somewhere else.
For you to volunteer at the school is a fabulous idea. That says I’m as important as younger brother. To let Jarvis (7) stay out of school while younger brother is somewhere else. It’s important to help Jarvis understand who he is. He needs to feel needed and have something to contribute to the whole. There needs to be something that says you get to…and I need your help to…Now it’s cool being 7. I don’t want to be 5 I want to be 7. Maybe he gets to stay up an extra 15 minutes. Create something that makes him feel needed and individual.
Class member: I have a question about the bank account. What do you do with one who is a black hole with your bank account? My 13 yr old girl is never enough.
Class member: You have to plug the hole.
Class member: Praise can create entitlement…I deserve it…I need it…I want it.
Class member: With my kiddos we do ‘late’ nights. We put it on the calendar.
Mom’s validation that comes in dates is good. Should that be done away with? No. When you look at this and it seems like I need to take her on a date all the time. It doesn’t feel like it’s working. It just means you also have to do something different. The number one problem is that she is 13. You could be doing everything right and still have 13 year old girls that act like they are 13. Deacons will act like they are 12, but not so emotional. You need to learn what to expect at different ages. In the best home with the best parents you won’t have kids that are saintly. It’s part of learning how to figure out what’s going on.
In this case, you are doing wonderful to fill in the bank account individually with all of them. Early teens are a period where boys and girls are wondering who they are. You can stroke them, but because they are wondering about their identity. They have all of these self doubts. That’s normal. Teach them how to move forward in them. Some people never move forward. Did I do that well enough? Are you learning anything?
Give experiences that bring it from the inside out. They need to feel divine from the inside out. You need to validate to take her out of competition. Do it with encouragement and not praise. You ask questions and get her to bring it out. We have to create for them other kinds of experiences that give them a feeling of accomplishment. All of these things come together.
We talked about the needs of individuals---emotional needs.
Need to belong to the group
Need to feel of worth/be understood/feel like you are worthy
Need to feel your uniqueness is needed/you are appreciated for your uniqueness in the group.
How does encouragement help fill those needs?
Class member: You can fill them yourself instead of needing to get them from somewhere else.
We are trying to create that fountain from inside to tell you that you are good enough and am I still part of the group. When we use encouragement we are trying to create within ourselves the feeling of worth. That is the principle of Divine Nature/I am a Child of God.
When these needs are not met it creates contention. If you praise instead of encourage the children are comparing themselves to each other. It’s all ‘what about me?” We have to create this experience that it’s about others and I’m safe with that. I am having my basic needs met so I can reach out.
Taking our families out of competition! If there were men in this class they would be on edge. Men think competition is good. Competition has a place. For men in the business world it can be motivating. When we are competing with each other in our families it’s not good. Competition between siblings or husband/wife it’s not good. Women will say I’m not in competition with my spouse. How often do you think “I parent better than he does.” How often do you think, “You can do FHE better.”
Everything in your child’s world is competitive. The world treats your children like a pendulum. On one end it’s competitive. You try out for the ball team and don’t get it. The teacher puts a chart on the wall and you see where you are in comparison. There are so many things in school in the world that they function in that’s competitive.
Who is the most popular? The skinniest, smartest, most athletic. You know who the cheerleader is. You know who the football captain is. They feel that. There is a social structure out there based on competition. This is based on product…Praise. You are the best and you are the best.
The other end of the pendulum is “No child left behind”. Everyone on the team gets the trophy. You just have to come you don’t have to play well. You don’t have to do anything and you are getting a trophy because you are alive…You are nothing and you are the best.
Do you see the 2 ends that our children are living with?
One creates quitters and a huge sense of entitlement. You went to school, ate breakfast, and came home. You’ve had such a hard day so you don’t need to anything. You don’t have to do anything and you are wonderful.
The other side creates a picture that if they are not genetically they are the most beautiful. They didn’t do anything to be beautiful. You have some kids that work just as hard in athletics and they won’t be as good because they weren’t blessed with the genetics.
Both ends create the feeling of not having worth or being part of the group.
You have a child that puts forth effort and work hard, but they aren’t taking the college classes. How does that child feel? They feel like who is of worth. The smart kids are of worth and I’m not. They feel like they need to tear down the smart kids to make myself feel better. “They are just brown nosing the teacher.” We need to feel value.
Class member: The girls that are really good we would rip apart…”Oh she is Molly Mormon.”
Let’s bring it into home.
Example…You have 3 sons. You married an athletic man. One of your sons genetically is big and buff and athletic. He loves football and is the star. The other son inherited a gorgeous voice and sings and is in choir. That Dad starts talking about everything in football and their stats. They talk it up. That’s good for Dad and son to share something. Choir concert comes up. Dad says…Ok when is your concert? Where is it at? Ok we will go. The boys are saying “Dad likes you better than me.” That’s probably not truth.
Truth does not matter. Their perceived truth is their truth!
Even though you say we love all of you. They perceive that you are more excited about one thing rather than the other they feel one is more loved than the other. We have created competition.
What if you say to your little people…Let’s see who can get dressed first. Generically speaking you will have one child that is quick to obey and you will have a happy dawdler. You have created the winner and the loser. The same child wins everytime. As this is repeated you create that feeling in children that I’m better than you are. How come they are always so slow? “We are always waiting for Jamie. Can’t you hurry? Let’s see if it can be you tonight.”
We need to learn how to be interested no matter what. It’s not about us. It’s about them.
Experience: Spencer was the football star. Carson was very musical. They were equally fabulous in their own rights. There wasn’t competition in their home. They are standing in the hall and talking to a Young Men leader. This good intentioned Young Men leader says “If you were old enough to date which one would you want to go out with. Spencer the football star or Carson with the music.” No one wanted to answer. It was good intentional, but the competition was created there.
We have to stop putting our kids in competition. That competition is the heart of contention.
In the Book of Mormon after the Savior came there was a period of peace because there were no ‘-ites’. Equality breeds peace. Inequality breeds contention. That is the circle of pride.
The key is to take them out of competition that will take them out of contention.
Ezra Taft Benson’s “Beware of Pride”
You should read this once a year. You need to read it often. President Benson said this is the universal sin. We all suffer it. This sin you see in others but you don’t see in yourself.
Class member: We were talking in Hebrews that was over and over is ‘harden not your hearts’. When I think of hard hearts she pointed out that we put a wall around our heart to protect it because we were hurt.
That heart is shut off for one reason or another.
Do you see any of these attributes in your home? Attributes of pride (Syllabus pg 47)
“Another major portion of this very prevalent sin of pride is enmity toward our fellowmen. We are tempted daily to elevate ourselves above others and diminish them. (See Hel. 6:17; D&C 58:41.)
The proud make every man their adversary by pitting their intellects, opinions, works, wealth, talents, or any other worldly measuring device against others. In the words of C. S. Lewis: “Pride gets no pleasure out of having something, only out of having more of it than the next man. … It is the comparison that makes you proud: the pleasure of being above the rest. Once the element of competition has gone, pride has gone.” (Mere Christianity, New York: Macmillan, 1952, pp. 109–10.)”
We are going to try to change the percentages of the pride.
What do you think tattling is? It is pride. I am going to tattle so you think I’m good and they are bad. This is what pride looks like on a tiny little level.
Class member: My kids handle things themselves…physically…I kind of enjoy it that way because I don’t like the tattling thing. My husband tells them to come tell us when something is wrong.
There are 2 options for having them come tell us. One is teaching (discipline). I want you to come tell me so we can problem solve and teach you how to do it in the correct way. Two is the tattling. I as the adult will intervene and solve what’s wrong. Is it bad for them to tell you what is wrong? Not if you use it to teach.
“Before you tell me what they did I want you to tell me 3 good things about them.” You are trying to change the mindset. You must tell me your part in it not just his. You walk them through and teach them to resolve. “You can’t say the same things you said before.” Take them out of competition.
Class member: I am dealing with this with my youngest coming home and telling me what everyone at school tells me what to do. She is always telling me everything that is wrong. It’s what they see around us. What we do sitting in sacrament meeting thinking that our kids would never do that.
You have to train and teach them to tell you 3 good things that students in your class specifically did. You are trying to help her look for the positives in students rather than the negatives.
Class member: I read an article about saying you should never force your children to say “I’m sorry in the moment.” It was more of a feeling.
That is in the discipline lesson…They have to get through anger before they can feel sorry. We will teach them to look at their feelings and how it creates feelings in others and how you take care of that.
Example…These 2 boys were fighting. They were 13 & 14 years old. They are fist fighting. She called her brother and took them out to their uncle’s back yard to dig out dandelions with a spoon. They can drink from the hose. They can’t come in the house for anything. They worked out in the hot sun in 100 degrees for 5 hours. They worked together and liked each other, but didn’t like Mom.
See if any of these things are in your children or you.
Some of you are a big sucker for “It’s not fair!” How come they get to stay up? How come they get a new backpack and I don’t? That’s not fair!
The Lord does not treat us fairly he treats us ‘uniquely’ and treats us according to the needs we have.
A child wants to say you treat everyone the same. The Lord’s feeling of fair is I treat you uniquely. I see your needs and we meet your needs.
“When children compare themselves to each other they say they want equality.
2. If you have trouble with comparison then emphasis individuality. Don’t say “come on kids come and eat. Individually they contribute and are worthwhile. If you have ‘kid for a week’. One child gets ‘date night’ with Mom & Dad. Saturday is ‘date day’. You can individually tell them that they are important and they take turns. They learn that they are ok because it will be their turn soon.
3. Teach your children that you won’t even try to treat them the same. If a brother see the reward and wants it you can say the reward is for something in her life she is working on. Let me know what you want to work on and I will think of a reward for you as well.
4. “Everyone is doing it.” This is a way to manipulate you. Remind them that your child is different and has different values than their friends. As parents we decide what our rules are. Everyone else is not doing it.
They individually want to feel special. They really don’t want that item they want to feel special also. We have to take them out of competition.
Steps to Take Children Our of Pride
1. Teach children to be grateful.
Study the atonement. If you want to know how to come out of pride understand in great depth the Atonement.
2. Create win-win experiences.
“When everyone is down we will read a story.” When the first one comes down you can say “Do you want to go help?” This is creating a family team.
3. Use language of love and respect.
This is using please and thank you. It’s greeting them and saying hello and goodbye at the door. Watch how they joke with one another. Today it’s crude and put downs. The humor is at someone’s expense. They can still be using cruel words if they are not using crude words. Kids use “I’m just kidding”.
Class member: How do you stop that?
You teach that in FHE. You teach the principle. It’s all part of chastity….clean words and how you teach each other. You can have clean humor. They don’t realize it. If it’s at someone’s expense it’s not clean.
Avoid sarcasm. It’s cruel! Avoid labels and calling people names. You don’t know the heart of the other person. Those things don’t go away. No name calling. Don’t let them call each other names.
Be careful when your children want to give themselves nick names that are negative.
As you teach your children to pray for one another’s success they get out of competition. They don’t know what to pray about if you don’t talk about what you have going on with their lives for the day. We take each other’s trials and we carry them together rather than making fun of them. Teenage siblings make fun of the little sister with no friends.
5. Serve each other.
On a small scale it means having an older sibling read a story to the younger one. In my case it was having my older boys help the youngest with Math. Help them help each other. If you have one that’s more musical or more athletic have them help a younger child to teach them and work with them to become better.
There is no jealousy or competition. They come together and want to serve each other. You have to create that opportunity for that relationship to happen.
Have children write thank you notes. They need to do that service for others.
They need to serve each other and think outside themselves.
6. Use PPI’s.
To help them set goals. Our kids should compete against themselves. They set goals and then become better. They set a goal and become better. Your responsibility in this is to say, “How can I help you?” I think you did well on this, this, and this. You want them to plan it. Goal attaining is a step by step process. You are going to validate them. What if they decide they don’t want to do it anymore? They can change a goal. It’s ok to try several things. They need to give it a good effort. What about a sport they sign up for? They need to finish it because they were part of the team. If you see them habitually stopping and starting you need to take a goal and help them see it through to the end.
7. Have dinner together as a family.
Use that time to discuss good things. This is talk time. Have good communication during dinner time. You may have to have a jar of questions or play some kind of a game. You create the conversation. You want them all there to talk happy things together. Regularlly!
8. Encourage children to seek and verbalize good in peers.
You will have to ask them questions to help them validate it in someone else. This is contrary to pride. This is opposite of what Satan wants them to do.
9. You have to use positive discipline instead of punishment.
Punishment will put them in competition every time.
10. Teach them the doctrine behind contention.
Who is the source? Satan. 3 Nephi 11:29-30. Look it up in the topical guide.
Class member: My Mom would pull out Mosiah 24:14-15 when we were fighting.
The goal of the spirit of cooperation is…..
1. To be more interested in another’s welfare than your own.
2. To treat others about us with at least as much respect as we would like to receive.
3. Contention is often tied to too much concern about what we are doing.
Today’s lesson is not an event. It’s a process of becoming. In the gospel Adam and Eve when they were cast out in Moses we are told they were commanded to offer sacrifice. The first thing was the principle to obey. First principle is obedience. We tell ourselves (we contend with ourselves) that we will do or we will try. The second law was the law of sacrifice. He went and made sacrifices. He didn’t know why in the beginning….that’s the law of obedience. As you seek to take contention out of your home you may not totally understand it. Will you have to give up something to take contention out of your home? You have to change something in your to take this universal sin out of yourself and home. Next Adam was taught the gospel. In the law of the gospel we learn the ‘why’. We may have to start planting the seed before you feel the ‘why’. As we walk through this process consecration comes next. In the city of Enoch they were righteous because there was no contention. They were of one mind and one heart. The Lord has set the pattern.
Contention started in heaven between Satan wanting to be better than the Savior. He wanted the glory. He came to earth. Cain and Able…Cain didn’t want Able’s sacrifice to be better. What tool is Satan’s favorite tool to cause dissention…contention! If he can keep us in that fight we won’t become of one heart and one mind.
It begins with us. It’s a hard principle. As you seek to apply it your family will be blessed. You will feel the spirit of one-ness coming into your home and the fighting leaving as you seek over a process of time to implement this principle.
This is a powerful, powerful tool to use in your family. We instigate it in our homes without knowing it.
In society there is LOTS of competition. If someone things you are beautiful it’s because there are a lot of others that are homely. You see commercials on TV about losing weight, lose wrinkles, etc. All of these things are to make you better than someone else. It’s not to make you better, but it’s to make you better than someone else. In order for there to be a winner there has to be a loser.
Husbands usually more than Mom’s are wanting to get kids started in sports at age 4. What is the purpose of it? It’s because somewhere deep inside the parent says if you start at 4 when you are in high school you will be the star. You will be so good and everyone will want you on their team.
Kids go to school and get grades. Some child can read really well and who is the teachers pet. The one that can read. This is a natural part of this world. If you have been called as a 6 year old primary teacher. You are brand new and don’t know anyone. One is a little girl in a pretty dress, with cute hair and who are you drawn to?
I went to the grocery store and I have a very cute boy…drop dead gorgeous. I take him with me and people will say ‘He is so beautiful! He is such a good looking child!” They focus in on this child when you have 4-5 others in here. The others are feeling not adequate. Silence says that they aren’t adequate. None of this is intentional.
Our focus has to be “I mean….to build you up.” We have to change what is going through our brain. I mean to take you out of competition. They live in this world. They aren’t going to get out of it. In the business world it is merciless. We have to make home a very safe place! It needs to be a place to make them all equal. One does make me happy. One does make me mad. They are not the same, but they have to feel equal.
We have to figure out what this competition is and what it looks like in our home. What does it look like to have it gone and how do I get it gone. We have to understand it before I can help you get rid of it. This is a spiritual topic. It has to be felt. The Spirit has to teach it to get inside of you. You really need to get this vision. It’s very powerful with boys…it’s for girls too, but definitely girls.
4 Nephi 1:15-17
Take that verse and put it in your home and tell me what it means.
If I want to get the love of God into my children it comes from how they feel like you love them. If you correct everything they grow up not feeling like they are good enough. When we get older we feel like Heavenly Father feels the same way. Getting the love of God into the hearts of children is getting that into the heart of your children so they feel love.
Class member: I was always compared to my brother. Look what he can do. As I grew up I had this resentment and felt like I was a worthless child. After coming to your classes I know that I’m the one that has to begin to heal those deep wounds. I have to teach my children that I don’t love one of them better than the other one. It’s not that she hates me she just doesn’t know what to do. She is sick.
With this example and understanding what this would be like in your home. They all were happy and lived with everything in common. Listen to the verse about what happens….
4 Nephi 1:24-26
Now look at your kids. Are they divided into classes? Try to look at them 3rd person. Someone looking at your family. Do your children feel like life is not fair? You love someone more than someone else. Someone else gets more than someone else.
Example: One child shows you their project and the other 2 are saying look at mine. In their hearts they are saying if I can’t get you to interact with me then I’m not good
"Beware of Pride" President Ezra T. Benson April 1989
I think everyone of you need to read this once or twice a year. I think you need to memorize from it and know what it says. It’s the talk that President Ezra T. Benson. In this talk he talks about the Nephite people going through righteousness and wickedness.
3 times in the D&C he warns about pride. One of them being Emma in D&C 25.
"Pride is essentially competitive in nature."
That’s why it’s critical to get competition out of our home. Pride is the source.
Enmity towards God and our fellowmen is pride. Enmity means opposition.
This is a sin that can be seen in others before it can be seen in yourself. We justify our indiscretions because we have a good reason.
Pride doesn’t accept counsel or correction well.
Those are all conditions of pride. As you look at your home do you have pride there? The question then is how do we get rid of it? We want to take it out of our home. Pride is competition. Our goal is take competition out of our home.
President Benson said the antidote (cure) for pride is humility.
How do you know if you are getting humble? The Savior was the most humble person on the earth. He was strong. It was righteous strength. For me, as I think about trying to teach humility, I think there are elements you need to plug in.
Just think for a moment, you are not allowed to feel bad about yourself. How often do we create an experience in our home that is creating competition?
Example: You have 2 children. One is involved in music, one in sports. Your husband is involved in sports. You support both kids…music recitals and games. ‘Oh you have a game this weekend? How many yards did you get last time? I love the tackle.” That is the conversation with your sports son. Now you go to the choir son. “Yep the whole family is going there to hear you. It was a really good choir.”
Do you see how your children are viewing that? Mom and Dad like you better (sports). Mom & Dad just come to mine because they have to. You are unconsciously putting them into competition. You are going to have to learn more about the choir and get involved. You have to talk to that child and ask questions. When you are involved you are saying “I care”. When we talk about equlatity it’s giving equal concern and support. You have to give the same time and energy.
Question: What about when the other kids are saying they don’t want to go?
Answer: You mirror the enthusiasm you want them to learn. You can say “You bet! We are all going to this and we are all going to the football game on Friday night.” You haven’t distinguished one over the other.
Example: Whoever gets their jobs done first….. Whoever gets good grades…. Whoever gets dressed for bed first….
You are using the wrong words and need to use the right words to build them. When we take our kids out of competition they stop fighting as much. We fill both emotional bank accounts. Use praise & encouragement. Make them serve one another. You love whom your serve. Give them opportunities to feel the Spirit and serve ech other.
Question: We started something in FHE when we do family business…Does anyone have anything to celebrate or share this week? Did I institute competition?
Answer: No you didn’t do anything wrong. Be mindful of it. Generically speaking you have one child that does good things all the time. It because a toot my own horn thing. You have another child that may not be that outgoing. If you have one that is doing more than the other you need to create the balance. It would be better if you could say, “I want you to watch each other and tell us what you saw in your siblings that they did good.”
Ways to teach humility (Teaching them to live outside themselves)
1. Teach your children gratitude
Teaching gratitude is the process of giving them less and help them to earn things themselves. They will take better care of them.
Between now and Thanksgiving start writing something good. It’s just to retrain minds. In the beginning they will get stuck. You might have to help them. You need to find things you are thankful for. They will start looking for things. Before family prayer each night pause for a moment stop and say, “What can we thank Heavenly Father for?” They are noticing things to be thankful for. Try to have them not be repetitive.
Class member: We did something similar usually in our morning prayers. We have the kids think about….Does anyone have a game today? A test today? Something they are struggling with? They are looking outside yourself.
Class member: In the September issue called “1,000 things to be thankful for”
Our children look for the negative in the day. You need to encourage them to tell you all the things that went right. They need to learn to create a balance.
I challenge you to study the Atonement if you really want to learn gratitude.
2. Create win-win situations in your home.
Example: We are going bowling as a family. If we get 150 points as a family we all go to ice cream.
Example: When everyone gets ready for bed we will read a book.
Question: If one person can’t keep up with that situation is that creating competition?
Answer: If you get done with your part then we all go help the team. You will always have one that gets done faster than the other one.
Question: What if you have a 10 year old who chooses to wait and not do their job because they know you will have someone help them?
Answer: If it’s habitual then leave and say we will be back in an hour. I hope that you will make it next time. Create situations where he has to finish the job.
3. Use the language of love and respect.
Avoid sarcasm. Our children are raised on a this. Humor is a put down. You have the quickest come back and the nastiest things to say. We cannot have put downs in our home. They can’t belittle or make fun of family members. Some of us as parents are pretty sarcastic. We need to watch what we say. Help your children acknowledge when someone did something well.
Example: Each one of you…what did you like about this paper? You show the family the paper and have them validate one another.
They are raised on the thought that if they say something good about someone else then they aren’t good.
Question: When they do put down another person…when they say, “I’m never so good.”
Answer: Back them up…I know you are good, but what do you think is good here. Give them the opportunity. Encourage them to follow through. I learned that a long time ago…yes you did when you were in second grade.
Have them give encouragement to each other if they are in the same activities.
4. They need to serve one another.
We don’t want to teach our children to be helicopters for siblings, but they can serve each other in kindness. “Do you want me to help you clear off the table tonight?”
One family cut out handprints and left a “Helping Hand” when they helped someone.
Look at, ponder a major service project that your family can do at Christmas time for someone else. It’s service within the family.
It’s not to be paid. Babysitting for someone going to the temple. Our children need to be taught that they are not paid for everything. You do it because someone else needs something.
Teach them to write thank you notes. They need to send hand written notes. They should send notes of appreciation. They should send a note to Primary or YW leaders, to bishop, to grandparents. It’s teaching them to appreciate.
Have one a month have a family hero…pick out an ancestor, study their life, put up a picture, character traits…look at other people and gain positive attributes. We are allowing ourselves to learn and grow from them.
If you have teenagers and have someone outstanding in the ward talk about their good characteristics…pull it out and seek to put it in their lives.
You mothers have to change the way you allow yourselves to be served. Accepting service is not very comfortable for you. When someone wants to come in and serve you, you will say “I’m good.” You deny someone else the opportunity to grow. Your gift to them is a grateful heart.
Example: What can we do to help you? I’m fine. We are good. What an opportunity lost. They had meals brought in 2 nights. She had someone in the ward that came up and said let me come clean your bathrooms. The lady said, “I’m coming to clean your bathrooms.”
What a gift of love, but it has to be received! We need to teach our children to be good receivers as well and doers.
Class member: A friend of mine did something that really touched me. I said to my kids “Someone did something for me today. It really touched me.” The kids need to see that it has an impact on your life.
5. Make use of PPI’s. Personal Progress interviews.
We sit down with our children and help them evaluate their personal progress. Help them set personal goals. They should do the talking. You should do the supporting. You may not use them for lecture series or corrections. They feel comfortable with you. They should start at age 2. It is time when you have one on one with them. A 2 year olds attention span is about 2 seconds. You hug them and tell them you appreciate them picking up the toys. You evaluate the things they are doing well. You should have a regular time (fast Sunday afternoon) to talk to you. It’s great when Dad’s do it. Dad won’t do it…you see if you can get him to do it with you. Don’t make it a guilt trip. It makes them start looking forward to it.
Help them set goals through asking questions. Help them keep them small enough so they are attainable. Small goals need to lead to big goals. We need to set goals and stick with them. That is where they can look at themselves and feel good about themselves because they accomplished something. They need to validate themselves from the inside out. It needs to be positive, return and report, set goals, & regular.
Help them evaluate….
Class member: Stephen Covey teaches one on one with each individual child. That has done more to fill their buckets. They get 2 hours. Pick 2 or 3 things that they want to do. Go to the park, go for ice cream, movie that the 15 year old wants to see.
When they each have their own one on one time they aren’t competing for your time and attention.
Class member: My husband is super busy. If he is going to run to the parts store and grab a kid to go with them. He’s starting to see that too. It can be just a couple minutes and it means the world to them. If you don’t start this time with them young they won’t be able to talk to you when they are older.
It takes them out of competition with each other.
Class member: 6 year old…driving to Horseshoe Bend….We talk about rivers bending. She says rivers don’t bend. Everything is a conflict. The competition is between us.
She is saying that she is the parent so she is right. It’s not about being right. We think it is. I am right and I’m going to teach you and you will do what I say. Does it matter that is where it came from? What do you think you would have called it? Start using questions rather than fighting. If you take the wind out of her sails you can disengage. It is hard!
"The Lesson: A Fable for Our Time" by Carol Lynn Pearson
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I will be posting my class notes from Thursday Parenting Class within a few days after class.