Today, I have the fourth post in my Parenting 101 series
Before I go on, I really want to let you know that my home is NOT perfect, my kids are NOT perfect
and by all means… I AM NOT PERFECT- not even close!
What brings me to sharing this advice with whoever will listen is an overwhelming sense of gratitude that I was not alone in raising my own kiddos.
Though, I don’t want to take away from any effort that my hubby and I put into raising our children, there is NO way I want to take the credit for most of the habits
and attitudes that we created in our home.
EVERYTHING I have done or will continue to do has been a direct result of lots of prayers, pondering, and heavenly guidance.
Many times, I have been prompted to start a habit and not until several years later have I seen the blessings of that habit.
Though I cannot promise you that these Parenting Tips will create perfection in your children or in your homes,
I can promise you that these tips will create a more peaceful home environment!
It is through diligence to some of these habits that I gain the strength that I often need to see beyond a moment of doubt, fear, and commotion to a place of peace and joy!
So now on to the meat of the matter!
I love these thoughts found in Proverbs 22:6 counseling parents to
“Train up a child in the way he should go; and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”
I live by this mantra with my kids and right now, I find a ton of solace in these words-
Create in your homes the opportunity to feel the benefits of a job well done
(and by benefits I don’t mean a candy bar or ice cream cone if they get their homework done)
Create in your home the very personal opportunity to feel the spirit and receive answers to prayers.
This does not just happen naturally in a busy home, you have to actively seek and create these opportunities.
It is important to be prepared at all times to bear testimony of the principles you value and want to help your children
appreciate and value as well. If we can teach them to find their own testimonies while they are in the protection of our homes,
they will be better prepared to bear that testimony to their friends and to stand firm when faced with temptations or trials.
Long ago I had a dear friend give me some council that shaped my thoughts and attitudes. She is older than I am, she married a little later in life
and never had children.
I was bemoaning that she had so much time to dedicate to personal study and worship. She said, “Treisha, you were called to be a missionary
and trainer to SIX of God’s most valiant soldiers that will certainly be needed in our Heavenly Father’s army standing for what is truth and righteousness.
I was called for another work. It’s important that we EACH fulfill our own and unique callings to our better than best ability.”
I love that she viewed motherhood as missionary work. I think my outlook and approach to parenting changed
a lot that day. I started to view my role as a mother as much more than an endless “To Do list” and more of an endless
“To Teach” list!
Don’t discount the small stuff you do in your homes.
Dedicate one night a week as Family Night, a night when NO other commitment can interfere, including email, texts and social media notifications! Use this night to let your children see your own personal spiritual growth and pose lots of challenges that are realistic for their own growth.
We have found this to be a huge blessing as our children are growing. These family nights have become our back bone when we feel we need to share a message of grace or mercy with teenagers who are making some difficult decisions. Had we not formed this habit early, gathering our children together for a lesson on the atonement would feel forced and uncomfortable. We have this day each week that we know we have the time and attention of those we love most.
Read good books together, including the the scriptures, where you can help explain and decipher important concepts-
your kiddos WILL learn to learn and will learn to search for answers and guidance if they are taught the value of the written testimony of others.
With instruction, and through diligent examples, they WILL learn to apply them to their own lives. The same blessing has come to our lives through this habit as with family nights. No matter what is happening in their attitudes and in their own personal study, I know they are have opportunity to hear some very peaceful messages of hope and love when we gather for family scripture study.
Enjoy family meal time- nightly if possible.
I know, I KNOW- this is a difficult task with busy schedules and growing children, especially as kiddos get older!
It has been around the kitchen table, in both preparation of daily meals and dining, that I learn the most about my children. They may not tell me they’ve had a bad
day when I say “How was school”, but when we are working together and sitting around the dinner table, I have a front row seat to their moods, needs, and concerns.
As a united team, we can build weak confidence, strengthen hearts where there are doubts, and we can offer encouragement where there is fear.
Consider if you were to clean your house once a year- it would be a long, tedious and unpleasant job.
But if you do just a little cleaning each day, hopefully with the help of others, it goes by quickly and sometimes you end up having a little fun along the way!
The same is true with teaching and raising our children, especially where spirituality is concerned.
If we teach spiritual matters in our home infrequently, it is a tedious task for our children and we tend to lose their attention.
But if we share spiritual thoughts and teachings, a little each day, we earn their respect, we have their attention, they see that we are authentice
and they have room enough to receive what we teach.
Deuteronomy 6:6-7 says, “And these words,
which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart:
And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children,
and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house,
and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down,
and when thou risest up.”
So basically ALWAYS is a good time for teaching your children the truth that you want them to learn.
ALWAYS is the time for guiding them and instructing them on becoming the Adults you want them to be!
And ALWAYS is the time to build and fortify the values that will keep your children safe, secure and prepared for a life of joy, peace and fulfillment.