Class member: Good times! I thought I would be awesome and do super fun things, crafts, projects, things would always be good. There would be no worries or stress.
Class member: My kids were perfect. They would never say no, never throw tempter tantrums.
Class member: Never have a snotty nose or yucky clothes. We would never be that family.
I had 9 under 9 and my husband was the bishop. I sat right behind this lady with 3 little girls in poofy dresses and beautiful hair. I have 4 girls and 5 boys in a row. I had assigned an older girl to a younger kid. I was looking at these kids and thinking their socks don’t match. They don’t even have their Sunday pants on. Their hair hadn’t been combed. I thought that wasn’t going to be me.
Class member: I had patient parents and felt like I was a patient person until I had kids. I thought I would never yell. I was surprised how hard it was to parent without getting upset.
Class member: I felt like I wanted to make my Mom happy when I was growing up. I knew what was right. I felt like if you grew up in a good home you did what was right and that was more inbred in them.
Class member: I was sure my kids would love the Lord and the gospel like I do. I don’t know how to fix that.
In love we want to fix our kids. We know how miserable their lives will be if they don’t embrace the Savior. Can you imagine how the Savior feels about us? A lot of us he is fixing because we have that desire in our children. There is agency. BUT we still love them and hold them and still cherish them.
Class member: I have come most of the time for 10 years. This class is something that kind of changes it up for me and helps me to study in a different way. It gives me different inspirations that I may not receive. It’s good to hear different stories. Usually I come away with a big ‘revelation’…like “Look up…He has been their parent.” One time it was “Go to the temple.” Those inspirations that won’t fix my kids, but will help them.
When I give you homework I’m not translating it for you. The Spirit should translate for you. I will give you the mindset. I want you each week to go away with “What do I do now?”
- “What Lack I Yet?” Larry Lawrence
- “Parents: The Prime Gospel Teachers of Their Children” Tad Callister
- Every time you read a parenting principle note it on the side.
- Ponder this talk and this class and answer the question “What Lack I yet?” What is my personal assignment because of this day and these 2 Conference talks. It should be simple. It will “A” something to do.
We think if we tell our children something to do or proper principles that it will go in them and they will do it.
Your frustration is “How many times have I told you….?” That becomes our issue.
If they aren’t doing it they aren’t getting it! It may have nothing to do with what you said to them, it’s that what you said didn’t get inside of them.
Elder Bednar talks about bringing the Spirit unto or into.
Can we govern them without them letting it into their heart? Yes…when they are little. When they won’t do that you come away with the conclusion that you are a bad parent. I couldn’t do what my Dad did. I went years thinking that was the only time my Dad spoke to me. The process of teaching is what is critical.
Teaching is not dissemination.
Class member: Do we obey out of the fear of God or the love of God?
We think our kids come knowing good and self discipline. We think we tell them something like “Make your bed” and they do it. They won’t. Teaching is more than telling.
Our telling is usually based on telling them what’s wrong.
Example: You think this bed is made? The sheet is wrinkly. You haven’t picked up things.
It’s correcting. As we are always focused on the negative, we think that we are teaching them correct principles. We develop a home based on rules. We need to teach and train our children on principles. Principles of the gospel change us.
President Uchtdorf “Forget-me-not”
“In our diligent efforts to fulfill all of the duties and obligations we take on as members of the Church, we sometimes see the gospel as a long list of tasks that we must add to our already impossibly long to-do list, as a block of time that we must somehow fit into our busy schedules. We focus on what the Lord wants us to do and how we might do it, but we sometimes forget why.”
We want a clean home because the Spirit can be there.
Joseph Smith History 1:59
I should be responsible for them; that if I should let them go carelessly, or through any neglect of mine, I should be cut off; but that if I would use all my endeavors to preserve them, until he, the messenger, should call for them, they should be protected.
THIS (Parenting) becomes your first priority more than Facebook, Pintrest or anything else.
Referee=calls out what’s wrong and gives penalties.
When we say “Stop fighting” we think they are getting it. We spend the time telling them what not to do.
Coach=teaches and trains, helps
Example 1: When I worked in the dental office I worked at the front desk. I was talking to a patient that came in. She was an elementary school teacher for about 20 years. She was in a predominantly LDS neighborhood. She was teaching 7-8 year olds…3rd/4th grade. I have noticed there has been a big change in them. Is it because of parent involvement? They have high parent involvement. These children their attention span is MUCH shorter than it used to be. They don’t want to do hard things. When something is hard they quit and give up.
Example 2: My son works down at the MTC and trains missionaries and mission presidents. He said, “We have a high percentage of missionaries who are coming home because of anxiety.” They can’t face and do hard things because they don’t know how to problem solve and they want to quit when it gets hard.
We are training them to a certain mental and emotional state starting young. These are good parents.
Class member: I think we have a tendency to do things for our children out of love.
Example 1 ~continued~ I asked this teacher “What do you think is the reason for this?” They have too much stuff. They are given too many privileges and they aren’t learning to do anything hard at home.
We love our children so much and we are so afraid of losing them that we buy into whatever they want. We parent out of fear.
Do you remember the story of the butterfly and the cocoon and the man clipped the cocoon so he could get out. It was the process of fighting to get out of the cocoon that powered the butterfly to fly.
We are trying to hold them so tight. When they are teenagers we say “You should know how to do this.” Age does not create responsibility it creates a bigger body with hormones.
Early is the best time to teach them hard things. It is easier when they are young, but you can always teach. You have to decide that you want to teach your children correct principles.
Example: The summer Olympics are coming I save my money and buy a ticket and I get in the pool and say I want to do the synchronized swimming. Will the coach let me do that? No. You have to be trained for years.
You want a child that is responsible and loves the Lord.
With good training we will still have some suffer, but your chances of success are greater. These kids go out on their missions never having done anything harder than taking a test at school.
Jobs at home are NOT hard work. It’s climbing “Rocky Ridge” and not quitting. That’s when you learn what’s inside of you. That’s when you learn the endurance to be a missionary, a mother, a wife.
1. Be firm in teaching your children what you want them to do and not what you don’t want them to do.
Negative Example: Stop jumping on the bed.
Positive Example: You may jump on the floor or the trampoline.
(-) Stop hitting your brother.
(+) Jonny I can see you are frustrated. Let’s go talk about it.
I have given the opportunity to teach them how to be kind. He’s probably angry, but he wants someone to care about what he wants. That’s why he’s acting out.
(-) Stop slamming the door.
(+) Please, close the door softly.
For the most part Heavenly Father tells us what he wants us to do.
2. Teach your children how to do hard things.
Marshmallow Experiment “Ship shape and Bristol Fashion” by Quentin L. Cook
Class member: How do you get them to do it?
Teach a FHE lesson.
Do hard things with them all the way to the end.
Then do hard things alone.
They need to see it through to the end so they can feel the satisfaction. You make it a big deal when they get to the end of it. As you make it a big deal your focus on their effort.
What’s hard for a little child? Reverence in church. We aren’t teaching them to be reverent in church. It’s ok to have some rewards. As they get older you have to watch that it doesn’t turn into bribery. Does Heavenly Father reward us along the way? He gives us blessings along the way and sometimes we don’t even deserve them.
Reverence needs to be taught in the home. Reverence is the beginning of self discipline. Children don’t come reverent. We have to teach them on their level. What do we tend to do? We equate quiet with reverent. They are not the same things. We say…bring everything you want to play with and we will have playschool so you will be quiet. That’s not what we want to teach.
How do you begin to teach that then? It starts at home. You learn to sit for 2-5 minutes (in mini moments) to sit through FHE at home. You are going to teach them to sit beside you while you read them a story. You are going to teach them to begin to have quiet moments in their lives where they sit quietly and then that graduates to church.
If you don’t have them “Return & Report” they won’t do it. They need to be accountable. That teaches them a lot more than your nagging them.
If you make it a “Rite of Passage”---you get to go to school, primary, and be reverent in church. When you are a certain age you can mow the lawn. Those can be hard things.
3. Teach your children how to problem solve.
We usually solve it.
Class member: I caught on to this last time. I changed my verbage. How do we start? We still have to wear clothes. How many hangers would you like me to get out for you? He said 2. He has to learn. I asked him How do we start cleaning our room? I guess I could put my shoes away first. They know some things. They might not know all of them, but they know how to start. They start to think and they are doing the talking. Would you like me to help you with this or just sit here?
You can make it into a game. While I count to 57. You see how much you can get done while I count. You can make it fun for them. Just don’t think for them or do it for them.
Example: Daughter comes home from school saying she doesn’t like the girl sitting by her.
Say…That sounds like it can be really tough. What do you think you can do about that?
Pray for the ability to ask good question!
4. Teach your children to focus on effort not product
5. Teach them to develop a testimony of Christ and that they are divine.
As you stand as you are right now you are divine. Saying “You are a child of God” won’t do it. Point out what their spiritual gifts are. We teach them to live outside themselves.
Those 5 elements are important and you need them. As we teach our children what was the difference between saying “Stop hitting” and “You look frustrated let’s go talk about it.”
We have to teach them correct behavior, not tell them. Certain things have to be in place for a child to be in place to be taught. They have to be willing to open their door so they can be taught. We have to create an environment of safety.
Example: If I feel like my Mother is mad and furious at what I did and am I willing to listen.
To Create an Environment of Safety:
1. Build on a positive foundation. When you say it wrong take a breath and restate it the right way.
2. Keep your word. If they don’t trust us in somethings it’s easy to not trust us in a lot of things. If a book isn’t good for them to read it’s not good for them to read. If a movie isn’t good for them it’s not good for you. We need to not live hypocracy. We need to have one standard….the Lord’s standard….be consistent.
3. Use the language of respect. Say I’m sorry, thank you, please. No put downs. No labels. Not even in jest!!
4. Use eye contact. Get down on their level. Don’t holler across the room. When your children come in after school stop what you are doing and look at them.
5. Physical contact. If you gently touch them you say, “Honey why did you do that?” Physical contact should be frequent. You will have some children that are stiff as a board. They need them even if they don’t like it. He needs me to show closeness. Sometimes those that repel it the most need it the most. Don’t avoid them. Make it light and happy. We need physical touch.
6. Keep children out of an emotional corner. Have you been in the cookies? (all over their face) Why do you want them to admit that they were in the Oreo cookies when you see they are all over your face? We want them to grovel. It makes you feel powerful. We need to say instead….I can see you have been into the cookies. We were going to have those for dessert. You have already had yours.
7. Be on their side. Express faith and confidence in them. I want my children to know that I believe in them more than anyone else in the world. I am their cheerleader in the good times and bad. Sometimes I do my best cheering when they are at the bottom of the pit. You need to be your children’s cheerleader. They should know that Mom or Dad are for them and on their side. It means you love them. Heavenly Father is our cheerleader.
8. Be at the Crossroads. To lower your anxiety load plan your day to be done before they walk through the door. We have more control over that. You are there in the moment. You put aside your things. You are physically there in the moment. You need to be at the door. How was school? How did it go? Your husband comes home from work….go to the door. You need to be there. You need to touch them at the crossroads.
9. Learn how to communicate. How often do we ask the question, but don’t really care about the answer or validate what they say. They feel shut out. We have to open doors and keep them open so they will listen to us.
How to Teach….
I thought in the beginning that we were teaching our children correct principles. We are teaching them knowledge.
1. Knowledge…they have to know the facts, but don’t stop there. When I teach them the story of Joseph Smith they are receiving knowledge. They can raise their hand and answer the question. We think we have taught them, but we haven’t. They have knowledge/facts…not testimony.
2. Understanding…check to see if they understand that story. If I want to check that…I give them a test. We don’t have tests at home. How do we test our children’s understanding at home. Have them teach it back. Ask them questions about the picture on the fridge. You can do it in mini moments. If you don’t have them give back what they heard you don’t know if they understand. What we say to our children and what they get is not the same thing ever. Why did Joseph Smith go to the grove? Do they understand ‘why’ it happened. You are talking about ‘them, there, then’.
3. Internalize…We have to bring it forward. What does the story have to do with me? Joseph Smith? Jonah? How do you apply it to yourselves? We have to take what was written then and apply it to yourself? This is “me, here, now”.
4. Apply…This becomes testimony when they apply it. When Joseph Smith was having a hard time what did he do? You connect dots for them. Until they do the “do” they won’t have the testimony.
Class member: That is the difference between Nephi & Laman & Lemuel. The Lord was asking them to do that.
As you have your scripture reading you have to bring it forward so they can internalize it. You may only read a verse, but what does it look like to us. Mom’s & Dad’s should go through 1,2,3 and then show them how to do 4. After they do number 4 and have them keep a journal of spiritual experiences. They can see the tender mercies in their own lives.
Teaching is more than correcting misbehavior. School teachers have to do lesson plans for the day. If you want your children to learn to live out…how are you going to teach that? If you want them to do hard things…how are you going to teach that? If you want them to have faith…how are you going to teach that?
This is not an event. You don’t teach it once and follow it through to the end. This is a process that goes over and over and over. Because you teach child number 1 don’t forget to teach child number 6 with the same degree of concern and involvement and care. Each child needs their own training program. It has to be custom tailored for the children.
President Faust 2005 “A thousand threads of Love”
Parental teaching moments need not be big or dramatic or powerful. We learn this from the Master Teacher. Commenting on the Savior, one writer said:
“The completed beauty of Christ’s life is only the added beauty of little inconspicuous acts of beauty—talking with the woman at the well; … showing the young ruler the stealthy ambition laid away in his heart that kept him out of the kingdom of Heaven; … teaching a little knot of followers how to pray; … kindling a fire and broiling fish that His disciples might have a breakfast waiting for them when they came ashore from a night of fishing, cold, tired, and discouraged. All of these things, you see, let us in so easily into the real quality and tone of [Christ’s] interests, so specific, so narrowed down, so enlisted in what is small, so engrossed with what is minute.”
And so it is with being parents. The little things are the big things sewn into the family tapestry by a thousand threads of love, faith, discipline, sacrifice, patience, and work.
It is the mini moments that teach them the most and build them and give them the confidence to come to Christ. He has given that teaching purpose to parents to bring us all home. It will help us become more like him so we can return back to our Heavenly Father.