Parenting with Love & Limits
Common Parenting Mistakes
Optimal Child Development
Great Expectations for Youth
Family Council Meetings
By Nate Richardson
A Member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Available free at RichardsonStudies.com
Table of Contents
“One of the main problems in families today is that we spend less and less time together. … Time together is precious time—time needed to talk, to listen, to encourage, and to show how to do things.” -President James E Faust
“The Lord never shouts, he whispers.” -Elder Dallin H Oaks, 2020 Face to Face Event
“The human relationship is the greatest reward.” -Dr. Karyn Purvis, Texas Christian Institute of Child Development
“I have wept in the night for the shortness of sight that to somebody’s need made me blind; but I never have yet felt a tinge of regret for being a little too kind.” – Quoted by Thomas S. Monson
“Second only to your love, [your children] need your limits.” -Jeffrey R. Holland (2005, ‘To Young Women’)
Parenting is the divine calling. It is one of the most difficult tests of our souls. Where’s the handbook? This surely isn’t it, but it points us to the most trusted resources of the prophets, ancient and modern, to help us become familiar with the Lord’s doctrines & the language of the Holy Ghost in this great quest.
Enjoy studying with me as we learn the WHY and HOW of the increasingly unpopular sport of parenting! We will look specifically at how parenting opens the door for having an exponential impact on society, and how the adage, “Have lots and don’t wait around about it!” is a sweet gospel truth and blessing only understood by the bravest of saints. Beyond parenting tips, this book studies how family relationships fit into the eternal plan of salvation.
|Low Expectations/Control/Limit Setting/Discipline||High Expectations|
Granted the names “authoritative” and “authoritarian” are quite similar, but those are the terms used in the academic literature at present, so we will stick with them.
You guessed it, authoritative/involved is the preferred type. This shows in all the scientific literature.
Type 1: Indulgent: Low expectations, high warmth. Here the parent is more of a friend than a parent. The relationship is there, but it isn’t going anywhere. The child is not being well cared for, and it will severely struggle as an adult. The lack of tutoring and training by this parent is a form of neglect and abuse.
Type 2: Permissive/Neglectful: Low expectations, low warmth. This parent doesn’t really care about the child at all. So long as the child stays out of the parents way, the parent is happy. This of course is completely irresponsible and emotionally abusive. This parent will be snappy when things don’t go their way, and will abuse their children emotionally and physically.
Type 3: Authoritarian/Tyrannical: High expectations, low warmth. This parent has high hopes for the child, but is cold. They may too quickly and frequently resort to punitive measures of discipline. The child will feel they never measure up to expectations of the parent, and will live in fear of the parent. This child will have severe psychological issues as a result of the lack of warmth.
Type 4: Authoritative/Involved: High expectations, high warmth. This is the ideal parenting method. This is actually a parent, not just a friend. Children need parents. Good parents tell their children what to do and why. Good parents are highly involved in their childrens’ lives, and show genuine care for their children.
Some have suggested that the type of parenting used depends on how the child is acting. This is not supported by the research. Even a misbehaving child deserves love, and has the right to proper care. Misbehaving children need both love, and limits.
“Second only to your love, your children need your limits.” (ref Elder Jeffrey R Holland)
PART 3: PARENTING IN GODS PLAN
I feel these guidelines are some minimum standards for righteous parenting. Personalities of parents and children, as well as other factors unique to each family, will be taken into account for each couple to determine their parameters.
-don’t inflict physical harm
-don’t instill fear
-don’t expect immediate obedience
-don’t withhold meals & snacks
-don’t selectively enforce rules
-don’t make threats & rules you aren’t willing to follow through on
-out of control children should be kept near a parent until they regain control (as evidenced by a willingness to talk about the incident calmly)
-give logical consequences based on the infraction (instead of 1 size fits all ‘timeout’)
-explain natural consequences
-reward those who obey
-if you feel out of control, put distance between yourself & the child
-counsel together to ensure all feel fairly treated
-ensure all understand expectations & consequences
First a look at points in favor of spanking, then against, then some basics for whatever type of discipline is chosen.
In Favor of Spanking:
Some suggest that a ban on all things bodily punishment is absurd, and that it must be a case by case basis.
Some suggest that when children make serious infractions of basic rules, some form of minor bodily punishment can help them to learn their lesson.
I know someone who I look up to very much who spanks his children. I’ve never seen a man who loves his children more than this man. He absolutely adores them. He plays with them frequently, and his countinence glows as he spends time with them. He uses spanking when the children show flagrant disobedience to the family rules. He works hard with them when its time to work, and plays hard with them when its time to play. He gives quick and sharp discipline when it is needed, but his children always know that he loves them as he relentlessly demonstrates forgiveness and finds ways daily to enjoy time with them. His children do not fear him, they run to him. They adore him.
Hinckley quote against it
“Spare the rod spoil the child.” (ref) This verse has been used to justify physical punishment of children. It may be justified, but consider that “the rod” may also mean “the word of God” (ref). It may mean giving correction in general.
The sons of Eli (along with Eli) were damned from not being disciplined (ref).
The culture of today looks very harshly on spanking. For this reason, it may be wise to not spank. Parents are even reported to government agencies for disciplining their children in this way. Of course this is absurd, but since this is the status quo, it may be wise to avoid this type of discipline in general.
For those who are foster parents, it is a strict rule that no spanking is allowed. If a parent spanks their children but not their foster children, this can lead to a double standard and resentment, or temptation to spank the foster children. These things said, it is likely good to not spank when a foster parent at all.
Some suggest that bodily punishment creates fear in children, and gets only surface deep temporary results.
Some suggest that bodily punishment teaches children to solve problems through violence.
Some other methods of discipline include time-out, time-in, talking with the child, removing privileges, adding chores, etc.
Some Basics for Either Method:
Speak with the child about what they’ve done. Talk about why it was bad, and what they could do instead.
Teach them that obedience to parents is expected by God, and is a critical standard to maintaining order in the house.
Look for underlying issues of the child’s behavior, and address those issues.
Give consequences which are related to the infractions.
Response to a friend:
Eh… I don’t do much with legal stuff but I will say in the foster parent world no spanking is allowed. You could look into what constitutes a removal of custody to put a child into foster care. You could look at what a parent has to do to get their child back from foster care (not much just attend a few classes and show up to court). I think spanking and any other punitive punishments aren’t good, but that a parent might be justified in using spanking in extreme cases so far as the law is concerned.
Parents aren’t perfect and it takes a lot of abuse to get a child removed. My hope is that spanking and other punitive punishments will be less tolerated in the future as a society. All this being said I still have a few reservations on the subject. I suggest Glen Leatham, Karyn Purvis as a few who teach positive parenting methods without any punitive, even when working with difficult kids i.e. foster . One guideline a friend of mine Joel Skousen uses, is that if a parent leaves a mark on a child, that is abuse . Is bruise, bleeding, fractured bones, etc. In a court of law right now it’s still considered ok to spank. There’s also emotional abuse. Brainwashing. Shaming. I’ve never heard of a case where the kid is removed for that though. But there are certainly cases where a child is neglected rather than being beaten. You can also look at nutrition to detect abuse. A parent should never threaten a child by saying no dinner until you finish your chores, etc. There are lots of evil things a parent can do and still not have a child removed, such as exposing them to R rates films, etc. Naturally it should be illegal to involve minors in drug use, sex, stealing etc.
I’ll send you a link to 2 essays I compiled from the teachings of the prophets. One is about how parents shouldn’t be too wimpy and need to discipline their kids. The other is about how parents should not take it too far and spank or use other forms of aggression in parenting. Sort of the two sides of the coin: how to be strict without abuse, and how to be soft without enabling. http://richardsonstudies.com/parenting/#_Toc12135901 and http://richardsonstudies.com/parenting/#_Toc12135902.
I think there is some flexibility in parenting, if we removed kids for every spank or parental temper outburst, no one would have kids. Parents need a bit of wiggle room to figure out how to be a parent, and every member in a family needs to learn how to forgive each other. Kids should not be taught that parents are flawless. Parents need to be comfortable saying sorry to their kids. They should teach kids to not only say I’m sorry, but how to say I forgive you. I hope you’ll share your completed essay with me.
A study of positive parenting will give you a context to base a framework claim that it is both possible and plausible to raise a child effectively, and indeed the optimal way to raise a child, by using techniques to connect emotionally with a child and give instructive corrections rather than using punitive punishments. I just finished reading what’s a parent to do by Glen Latham. Also I’m reading the connected child by Karyn Purvis. I also like the book titled 25 mistakes LDS parents make and how to avoid it.
At the end of the day there are different standards in a telestial world like the one we now live in, and the celestial one we work towards. Here are some prophets who show that those who aren’t worthy of their children will be revoked of those children, and the opportunity to ever have more children, in the life to come. The standards we have for laws now are far lower than the Lord’s standards. Many children who aren’t removed from their parents in this will be in the one to come… http://richardsonstudies.com/parenting/#_Toc12135895. As foster parents we are shocked by how low the bar is set for parents to get their kids back when the parents have long criminal records and a long history of abuse, yet they manage to show up to visits, court hearings, and parenting classes. Obviously people can change for the better but I don’t think our current system does a good job of perceiving that. We have taken care of kids who we know for a fact are, when put back in bio parents home, are being exposed to more debauched behaviors.
The key issue is that as a society we think it’s ok for adults to be scandalous, and that rubs off on the children. The movies we watch. The language we use. The way we dress. The disrespect we show for one another. The lack of religion in today’s generation of parents. The government subsidizing idleness. The list goes on. We live in a wicked society that tolerates wickedness. I also think it should be child abuse to teach children that sex before marriage is ok (I also believe it would be just to have a law making adultery illegal). But we are rather moving in the opposite direction, where parents who teach children conservative values are the ones being accused of child abuse. Nowadays we have, as seen in the novel 1984, children policing their parents.
It’s amazing what people say when they hear of a stay at home mom (especially one with more than one of those little boppers waddling around)…
‘how does she do that by herself?!’ (well she’s not always by herself, and the community is there to support, and God helps, and even the kids themselves help)
‘so do you just send her a check?!’ (well we share a bank account and we work together to allocate where any family income goes based on needs and modest wants; just because she isn’t getting paid doesn’t mean i don’t ‘pay her’; what’s mine is hers, and vice versa)
‘well i know i couldn’t do that!’ (ok then don’t! lol but if you give it a try you might be surprised what you can accomplish when you chose to do tasks endorsed by the scriptures; further a tip from my mother: whenever you have a child, it’s hard, chaotic, and pushes you to the limit)
‘oh i just couldn’t stand being home all the time!’ and ‘you homeschool?! gasp!’ So who says she is home all the time? she takes the kids on field trips, she goes to see her friends, her friends come to see her, she can take kids with her to run errands (being embarrassed by them acting out now and then isn’t the end of the world fyi), we get babysitters to go on dates together on a regular basis, the older kids start being able to watch the younger kids while the mom runs errands or has some spa time etc; and if there are seasons with less frolicking about town while the family scrimps and saves to get through college and start a career, a little home life never killed anyone; we make home an adventure, and travel by great books and stories, and remember that little thing called imagination? And who’s to say she doesn’t enjoy being home? I love being home and wish I could be there more often; if she wishes, we can make arrangements for me to cut back at work and her to work a part time job somewhere, but this frequently isn’t even desired).
‘if i ever do that it won’t be for a long long time, i’m not ready for that!’ (no one is ready for that, you just do it (and btw, are you aware that your physiological ability to have kids doesn’t last forever in this life? you best take that into account); jump in now, you’ll work out your flaws, rather than jumping in much later, flaws still in tact; how does postponing parenting make you a better parent? riddle me that batman)
lastly, if it’s hard sometimes, you’re in good company, Jesus had a pretty rough go at it too. An easy life I suppose has value if one doesn’t know about the world to come, but we do know about the world to come, and the investments we are making are therefore most logical and rational.
These little boppers are like plants who haven’t fully bloomed; they are wonderful now, but when you see them in their completed format, they’ll be so majestic that you will likely lament that you didn’t take a similar course yourself, and you’ll wonder why you thought it was such a hard thing to walk that path…
We (humans great and small) are genetically wired to do hard things.
Here is someone’s take on mothering being a “real” job, a foreign idea to many:
Setting: Career Days at school; daughter wants her mother to present her “job” at career days but principal says no because homemaking is not a “real job.” This is that mother’s actual reply:
“Dear Ms. Brown, of course, homemaking or domestic labor is not an official job as specified by the Department of Labor’s handbook of occupations. But there are many services that are provided without compensation that qualify for the label of work. And indeed, economists universally acknowledge the crucial economic contribution that domestic labor provides to our society, even when it is done outside the for-pay labor market. In fact, a number of economists have studied the economic value of domestic labor. Regardless of the approach they take to calculating its value, economists easily place the value of a full-time homemaker at well over $100,000 a year. Moreover, social scientists have studied the impact of domestic labor on families and society now for decades. My academic discipline of family sciences is dedicated to understanding such things as domestic labor and helping individuals gain the knowledge and skills to be effective in their (unpaid) work.
“It is not only silly but almost offensive to claim that domestic labor or homemaking — housework and childcare — are not real jobs. The absurdity of such a position is revealed when you consider that those who do some of the work of domestic labor — childcare providers, nannies, for-pay domestic cleaning workers, laundry workers, cooks, etc. — usually do this work part time and for very short periods of time at low pay while those who take on the full range of domestic labor as full-time homemakers do it for more than full time and do it as a career for more than two decades. That they are not compensated for their work in the marketplace seems to me be a poor justification for saying it’s not real work. Oh, and by the way, there are by far more domestic laborers than any other job that is listed in the Department of Labor’s handbook of occupations. Does your school system really want to send the message that domestic labor is not real work? They would be offending a crucial constituency by so doing. Maybe all those non-workers would organize a protest and stop driving their children to school and stop helping their children finish their homework unless the school system started paying them for their labors!”
Here we will look at lists from Ogletree, Randal, and Swinton on common parenting mistakes and good discipline principles.
Ogletree’s 7 Mistakes LDS Parents Make
Ideas from Mark Ogletree PhD for Latter-day Saint parents.
- Not teaching your children how to work effectively.
- Teaching children that obedience is optional. (allowing disobedience contributes to disobedience)
- Protecting children from anything they don’t want to do, or anything that is hard, uncomfortable, or inconvenient. (Homework, participation, etc.)
- Teaching your children that agency means freedom.
- Teaching your children that you will be there to solve every problem.
- Sheltering children from rejection and disappointment. (“Trophies all around”)
- Teaching your children that they don’t need a testimony right now—it can wait until they are older.
Ogletree’s full article at http://www.ldsliving.com/7-Mistakes-LDS-Parents-Make-and-How-to-Avoid-Them/s/78481/?utm_source=ldsliving&utm_medium=sidebar&utm_campaign=related
Randal’s 25 Mistakes LDS Parents Make
From book “The 24 Mistakes LDS Parents Make and How to Avoid Them book by Randal A. Wright, PhD
Randal is a long-time social scientist and church member who has worked teaching in the CES program.
- Home environment (that reflects the gospel)
- Quality time (and quantity)
- The crossroads (be there at critical times)
- Family traditions (have them to teach, indoctrinate, & unify)
- Children’s friends (don’t allow them to associate too closely with those who don’t share their values)
- Peer pressure (teach how to deal with it)
- Television (limit exposure, none in bedrooms)
- Music (limit access to inappropriate)
- Movies (prevent exposure to inappropriate)
- Parental example
- Expressing love verbally (daily to family members)
- Physical affection (give it)
- Support (each other’s events, games, & activities)
- Marriage (build it strong to show how it works)
- Family fun (& laughter)
- Discipline (be consistent, non-harsh, non-lax)
- Worldly heroes (discourage over-involvement)
- Teaching correct principles (don’t assume church & society will)
- Human intimacy (teach the importance and proper role)
- Steady dating (prohibit during teen years)
- Underage dating (before 16)
- Communication (keep the lines open with your children)
- Self-worth (build a positive self-image in your children)
- Spiritual experiences (take advantage of inspired church-sponsored programs)
- Warning signs (recognize)
Swinton’s 13 Discipline Principles
A preview of an article by Jonathan Swinton, a Latter-day Saint Therapist
- Hierarchy exists in the classroom. Exercise your authority.
- Co-teachers be on the same page & consistent
- Age appropriate rules. Ensure they know them.
- Punishments related to infractions, not random or “go to” punishments.
- Age 1-10 timeouts can be effective. When kids are in timeout, don’t respond to their tantrums.
- No physical punishment (including spanking), it instils obedience by fear, there are better ways.
- Don’t yell. We want them to learn from our example.
- Criticize behavior not character “Use a quiet voice.” not “You are a loud-mouthed brat.”
- Positive reinforcement works better than Negative reinforcement by 5x. Praise them for following rules. Establish a reward system to motivate obedience.
- Parent Timeout – if you lose it, so will they.
- Chose your battles. But once chosen, win. Maintain the hierarchy or the child rules the class.
- Be consistent. Don’t say “I will let it slide this time,” or “It’s easier to not deal with it.” Kids keep a tally of every time you give in and plan future rebellion.
- Show love. Nothing motivates kids more than knowing you will be proud of them.
See also www.swintoncounseling.com
Administering mercy as a parent in Zion while avoiding being overly enabling.
These are evidences for authoritative preferred to authoritarian parenting.
The companion essay to this is the other side of the coin on parenting with limits but while avoiding abuse and being overly controlling, which is presented in the following chapter.
-““When ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God.”3 That concept is easy for mothers and fathers to understand. Parental love includes gratitude for service extended to any of their children, especially in their time of need. I was amused recently when one of our grown children confided that she had always thought that she was her daddy’s favorite daughter. She was surprised to discover later that each of her eight sisters harbored that same feeling. Only when they had become mothers themselves did they realize that parents hardly have favorites.” (“Teach Us Tolerance and Love” by Russell M. Nelson Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (https://www.lds.org/general-conference/1994/04/teach-us-tolerance-and-love?lang=eng))
-Alex Jensen (BYU social development professor) thinks authoritative is the preferred, not a mix of authoritative and authoritarian
-Alex Jensen (BYU professor of family life) says the defining aspect of authoritarian is control; who is in power/control. If the parent is getting the child to do things from commands of “I told you to do it now do it” that is typical of authoritarian. Use of physical punishments is also authoritarian.
-The scripture says reprove betimes with sharpness, this suggests the sharp aspect is infrequent
-authoritative doesn’t withdraw love; authoritarian would say “you did this bad thing, no hugs or kisses tonight, and I’m not going to speak to you for 6 hours.”
-authoritative punishments are very related to the offence; you break it you buy it; you spill it you clean it; etc.
-authoritative parenting can involve a swat at times if need to show the pain that action will bring says Mark Butler SFL BYU; he gave the example of him swatting his kids leg hard when his kid ran in the street since he wanted to show his kid that if this continues, pain like that but greater will come from a car hitting him. He said “I wish you didn’t have to experience this but it is for your protection”
-authoritative likely involves coming down to the child’s level, “I noticed this is happening. Why is that? Don’t you remember I asked you to do this other? So you want a different thing? Let’s make a compromise. Let’s set up a reward. Let’s remember what natural consequences will come if you don’t do this thing I have asked.”
-“I have never had a tinge of regret for being a little too kind” (LDS Church President Thomas S. Monson)
-Alex Jensen says that though spanking may be effective on some level, he has never done it since he is afraid that he would not be able to control himself if he entered that threshold.
-Alex Jensen says that in our culture, authoritative parenting is the most effective.
-authoritative emphasizes “do’s”, authoritarian emphasizes “don’ts”
-authoritative uses reasoning power to guide, leads to secure attachment, results in the child being liked by both adults and peers. But authoritarian/ heavy power assertion leads to aggression in the child and peers not liking the child.
-an LDS parenting manual uses a story of a parent who is angry and going to discipline a child but before he reaches the child calms down, and speaks with the child peaceably.
-“Parents should never drive their children, but lead them along, giving them knowledge as their minds are prepared to receive it. Chastening may be necessary betimes, but parents should govern their children by faith rather than by the rod, leading them kindly by good example into all truth and holiness” (Discourses of Brigham Young, sel. John A. Widtsoe [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1941], p. 208). (This is cited in the Parent Guide LDS manual)
-“The emotional climate in the home establishes either a positive or a negative learning environment. Climate means “the weather you can expect in a certain place.” What is the “weather” in your home? Is it warm, comfortable, secure; or is there too much thunder, lightning, and cold? Occasionally a teaching moment will arise out of an atmosphere of tension and anxiety, but most effective teaching moments occur in loving, peaceful, respectful circumstances, when the “feeling” is right and when the climate in a relationship is peaceful.” (LDS Parent Guide Manual)
-Referring to a young woman tired of her parent always asking her if she had been unchaste and being standoffish/distant toward her, “She has her agency, and she chose to be unchaste. But what might have happened had her mother loved and kissed her daughter as she left to go on a date, and if afterward she had invited her daughter to share her experiences in a private, respectful way? If parents show and express their love and give accurate information without nagging and repeating themselves endlessly, children are more likely to listen and be influenced for good.” (LDS Parent Guide)
-“ For your own sake, for the love that should exist between you and your boys—however wayward they might be … when you speak or talk to them, do it not in anger, do it not harshly, in a condemning spirit. Speak to them kindly; get them down and weep with them if necessary and get them to shed tears with you if possible. Soften their hearts; get them to feel tenderly toward you. Use no lash and no violence, but … approach them with reason, with persuasion and love unfeigned. … Get them to feel as you feel, have interest in the things in which you take interest, to love the gospel as you love it, to love one another as you love them; to love their parents as the parents love the children. You can’t do it any other way” (Joseph F Smith, Gospel Doctrine,5th ed. [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1939], p. 316).” (LDS Parent Guide Manual)
-“ Unkind parenting can plant seeds of self-doubt and even confusion about the gender role. These seeds can germinate into personal problems in the following years unless parents change and show increased affection and acceptance.” (LDS Parent Guide Manual)
-“ They need continual intimate contact with their parents. It is in this intimate closeness that their future relationships begin to develop.” (LDS Parent Guide Manual)
-“ Harsh correction could diminish their self-esteem and make them anxious about trusting others… Patient, kind acceptance of young children’s efforts to learn will help them have good feelings about themselves and feel confident in loving their parents. Through all stages of growth, children need parental encouragement. Punishment for failure will make them feel inferior and unwilling to develop close relationships. Pressure to progress faster than they are ready can create emotional frustration” (LDS Parent Guide Manual)
-““When persons manifest the least kindness and love to me, O what power it has over my mind, while the opposite course has a tendency to harrow up all the harsh feelings and depress the human mind” (Joseph Smith, History of the Church, 5:24).” (LDS Parent Guide Manual)
-“” (LDS Parent Guide Manual)
-“Be loving when you correct your children. Do not withhold affection from them as a way to chastise them, for they may not learn to give affection to others. Physical or emotional abuse may teach a child that cruelty is the normal way to treat other people. Do not spank a child in this age-group with any force and never with an instrument. Also, avoid making a child fearful by locking him in a dark room or threatening to leave him alone.” (LDS Parent Guide Manual)
-“One couple sent their bright, energetic, and occasionally mischievous three-year-old out of the room when she became disobedient, but they never shut the door. The child was not cut off from the security of the voices, sounds, or lights in the rest of the house. When she regained control of herself, she wandered back to a warm welcome.” (LDS Parent Guide Manual)
-“A child has the right to feel that in his home he has a place of refuge, a place of protection from the dangers and evils of the outside world. Family unity and integrity are necessary to supply this need” (“Six Small Essays,” Improvement Era, Sept. 1965, p. 757) (LDS Parent Guide Manual)
-“-“In spiritual matters some suppose that men and women need not strive for personal righteousness—because God loves and saves us “just as we are.” But God intends that His children should act according to the moral agency He has given them, “that every man may be accountable for his own sins in the day of judgment.”2 It is His plan and His will that we have the principal decision-making role in our own life’s drama. God will not live our lives for us nor control us as if we were His puppets, as Lucifer once proposed to do. Nor will His prophets accept the role of “puppet master” in God’s place. Brigham Young stated: “I do not wish any Latter Day Saint in this world, nor in heaven, to be satisfied with anything I do, unless the Spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ,—the spirit of revelation, makes them satisfied. I wish them to know for themselves and understand for themselves.” So God does not save us “just as we are,” first, because “just as we are” we are unclean, and “no unclean thing can dwell … in his presence; for, in the language of Adam, Man of Holiness is his name, and the name of his Only Begotten is the Son of Man [of Holiness].”4 And second, God will not act to make us something we do not choose by our actions to become. Truly He loves us, and because He loves us, He neither compels nor abandons us. Rather He helps and guides us. Indeed, the real manifestation of God’s love is His commandments. We should (and we do) rejoice in the God-ordained plan that permits us to make choices to act for ourselves and experience the consequences, or as the scriptures express it, to “taste the bitter, that [we] may know to prize the good.”” (Elder Christofferson “Free Forever to Act for Themselves”, Oct. 2014 Conf. Report) ” (LDS Parent Guide Manual)
-“[parents’] only purpose in dealing with a child is to bless the child with their efforts. If what they are doing is causing the child to be angry or to experience physical or emotional harm, then their efforts need to cease until they can determine a better course to follow. A wise parent separates himself from the child at a moment when the parent feels such anger and frustration. Sending the child to his room or placing an infant in his crib until the parent has regained composure will often be helpful. If it is not sufficient for the parent to separate himself from the child to regain control, then a parent will do well to get himself and the child in the company of other adults. The presence of another adult or older child usually stimulates a change in the behavior and attitude of both the parent and the child.” (LDS Parent Guide Manual)
-“Few will depart from virtue permanently if they are taught in love.” (LDS Parent Guide Manual)
-“Parents can mistakenly attribute adult characteristics to adolescents who look like adults but are largely children. They need more time and experience before being expected to act and think completely as adults.” (LDS Parent Guide Manual)
-“Parents often give far too much negative counsel to their teenagers. While it is true that you must solemnly warn your teenagers against all types of sin, you should place more emphasis upon the goodness of growing up. God himself, viewing his creation of this earth, pronounced it “good” (see Genesis 1:31). Teach your children that it is good to mature and that adolescence can be filled with beauty and power. Praise them for their spiritual development and maturity.” (LDS Parent Guide Manual)
-“I will here say to parents, that kind words and loving actions towards children, will subdue their uneducated natures a great deal better than the rod, or, in other words, than physical punishment. Although it is written that, “The rod and reproof give wisdom; but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame,” and, “he that spareth his rod hateth his son; but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes;” these quotations refer to wise and prudent corrections. Children who have lived in the sunbeams of parental kindness and affection, when made aware of a parent’s displeasure, and receive a kind reproof from parental lips, are more thoroughly chastened, than by any physical punishment that could be applied to their persons. It is written, that the Lord “shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth.” And again it is written, “a whip for the horse, a bridle for the ass, and a rod for the fool’s back.” The rod of a parent’s mouth, when used in correction of a beloved child, is more potent in its effects, than the rod which is used on the fool’s back. When children are reared under the rod, which is for the fool’s back, it not unfrequently occurs, that they become so stupified and lost to every high-toned feeling and sentiment, that though you bray them in a mortar among wheat with a pestle, yet will not their foolishness depart from them. Kind looks, kind actions, kind words, and a lovely, holy deportment towards them, will bind our children to us with bands that cannot easily be broken; while abuse and unkindness will drive them from us, and break asunder every holy tie, that should bind them to us, and to the everlasting covenant in which we are all embraced. If my family; and my brethren and sisters, will not be obedient to me on the basis of kindness, and a commendable life before all men, and before the heavens, then farewell to all influence. Earthly kings and potentates obtain influence and power by terrorism, and maintain it by the same means. Had I to obtain power and influence in that way, I should never possess it in this world nor in the next. Fathers who send their little boys and girls on the plains and ranges, to herd their cattle and sheep, and drag them out of bed very early in the morning, to go out in the cold and wet, perhaps without shoes and but scantily clad otherwise, are cruel to their offspring, and when their children arrive at years of maturity, they will leave the roof under which they have received such oppression, and free themselves from the control of parents, who have acted towards them, more like task-masters than natural protectors. It is in this unnatural school that our thieves have their origin, and where they receive their first lessons in dishonesty and wild recklessness. Mark the path in which a number of our boys have travelled, from the time they were eight or ten years of age, to sixteen, eighteen and twenty. Have they been caressed and kindly treated by their parents, sent to school, and when at home taught to read good books, taught to pray themselves, and to hear their parents pray? Have they been accustomed to live and breathe in a peaceful, quiet, heavenly influence when at home? No. Then can you wonder that your children are wild, reckless and ungovernable? They care not for a name, or standing in society, every noble aspiration is blunted; for they are made to go here or there, like mere machines, at the beck and call of tyrant parents, and are uncultivated and uncivilized. This picture will apply to a few of our young men. Let parents treat their children as they themselves would wish to be treated, and set an example before them that is worthy of you as Saints of God. Parents are responsible before the Lord, for the way in which they educate and train their children, for “Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord; and the fruit of the womb is his reward. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them; they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.” (Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses Vol. 10, 360-362; find it here https://www.fairmormon.org/answers/Journal_of_Discourses/10/66) (a portion of the above quote is also featured in Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young, Ch 46 https://www.lds.org/manual/teachings-brigham-young/chapter-46?lang=eng)
-“None of us know what course our children will take. We set good examples before them, and we strive to teach them righteous principles; but when they come to years of accountability they have their agency and they act for themselves.” (Teachings of the Presidents of The Church: Wilford Woodruff, Ch. 16; https://www.lds.org/manual/teachings-wilford-woodruff/chapter-16?lang=eng&_r=1)
– “Discipline with love. ‘“Discipline” and “punishment” are not synonymous. Punishment suggests hurting, paying someone back for a wrong committed. Discipline implies an action directed toward a goal … of helping the recipient to improve himself’ (William E. Homan, ‘How to Be a Better Parent,’ Reader’s Digest, Oct. 1969, p. 188). Discipline should always be with love” (Elder Ben Banks, in Conference Report, Oct. 1993, 40; or Ensign, Nov. 1993, 29; cited in Eternal Marriage manual, see https://www.lds.org/manual/eternal-marriage-student-manual/parenthood-creating-a-gospel-centered-home?lang=eng).
-“Parents can provide an atmosphere of reverence and respect in the home if they teach and guide their children with love.” (Gospel Principles Ch 37 “Family Responsibilities”; see https://www.lds.org/manual/gospel-principles/chapter-37-family-responsibilities?lang=eng&_r=1)
-“A worthy father who is a member of the Church has the opportunity to hold the priesthood, making him the priesthood leader of his family. He should guide his family with humility and kindness rather than with force or cruelty. The scriptures teach that those who hold the priesthood should lead others by persuasion, gentleness, love, and kindness” (see D&C 121:41–44; Ephesians 6:4). (Gospel Principles Ch 37 “Family Responsibilities”; see https://www.lds.org/manual/gospel-principles/chapter-37-family-responsibilities?lang=eng&_r=1)
-“A mother needs to spend time with her children and teach them the gospel. She should play and work with them so they can discover the world around them. She also needs to help her family know how to make the home a pleasant place to be. If she is warm and loving, she helps her children feel good about themselves.” (Gospel Principles Ch 37 “Family Responsibilities”; see https://www.lds.org/manual/gospel-principles/chapter-37-family-responsibilities?lang=eng&_r=1)
– “Bible verses in the book of Proverbs that have been interpreted to be in favor of spanking children: Proverbs 13:24 says, “He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chastenth him betimes.” Proverbs 29:15 says, “The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame.” Proverbs 23:13-14 says, “Withhold not correction from a child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die. Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell.” These verses have been interpreted many ways. Most people interpret them to mean that children need to be hit with branches, sticks, and reeds, which is one definition of the Hebrew word “shebet” interpreted means “rod.” However, the word shebet has also been interpreted to mean authority, clan or tribe, and has been known to mean God’s authority as well. Due to the poetic nature of the book of Proverbs and the multiple interpretations of the word “rod” some people think that the term means something metaphorical; such as to use the scriptures to reproof or teach children, or that parents need to remember to exercise their authority over the children in order to help the children have a proper upbringing. Sometimes the truth can sting like a rod might hurt the flesh. So children would not die from the pain of truth. However, there have been cases when parents have beat their children to death with rods and reeds, so it appears that Proverbs 23:13-14 cannot mean to literally beat a child with a rod. A few other Bible verses that give further understanding to parents about disciplining children: Hebrews 12: 6-11 talks about the importance of chastening. Specifically verse eleven says, “Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.” Ephesians 6:4 says, “Now, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” Colossians 3:21 says, “Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.” 2Timothy 3:16 says, “All scripture is given by the inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” This second sampling of Bible verses instructs parents to by calm but firm in correcting and instructing children. They tell parents not to be angry or aggressive, but to use words of truth and reproof. In Hebrews it even says that correction should lead to more peace in the family. These verses suggest that parents are to love and rear their children in righteousness and without any anger.” (ldsmag.com; not an official church publication; https://ldsmag.com/can-spanking-be-okay-sometimes/)”
-An episode of Brigham Young’s parenting: “a small son of his had the habit of knocking his spoon and his bowl of bread and milk to the floor whenever it was placed in front of him. The child’s mother was perplexed. Brigham counseled her: “The next time he knocks the dish from your hand lean him against the chair, do not say one word to him, [and] go to your work.” The mother did this. The child at first stood by the chair and looked at his mother, then at what he had knocked onto the floor. Finally, he crawled to the spoon and the bowl and placed them back on the table. The child never knocked them from the table again. Of his wife’s action President Young said, “She might have whipped him and injured him, as a great many others would have done; but if they know what to do, they can correct the child without violence” (LBY, xxv).” (Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young, Ch 46 “Parental Responsibility”; see https://www.lds.org/manual/teachings-brigham-young/chapter-46?lang=eng)
-“That President Young lived the principles he taught is evidenced by his daughter Susa’s description of him as “an ideal father. Kind to a fault, tender, thoughtful, just and firm. … None of us feared him; all of us adored him” (LSBY, 356)” (Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young, Ch 46 “Parental Responsibility”; see https://www.lds.org/manual/teachings-brigham-young/chapter-46?lang=eng)
-“Nurture your children with love and the admonitions of the Lord. Rearing happy, peaceful children is no easy challenge in today’s world, but it can be done, and it is being done. Responsible parenthood is the key. Above all else, children need to know and feel they are loved, wanted, and appreciated. They need to be assured of that often. Obviously, this is a role parents should fill, and most often the mother can do it best. …” (Ezra Taft Benson, Eternal Marriage manual, “Parenthood: Creating a Gospel Centered Home”; see https://www.lds.org/manual/eternal-marriage-student-manual/parenthood-creating-a-gospel-centered-home?lang=eng)
-“A successful parent is one who has loved, one who has sacrificed, and one who has cared for, taught, and ministered to the needs of a child. If you have done all of these and your child is still wayward or troublesome or worldly, it could well be that you are, nevertheless, a successful parent. Perhaps there are children who have come into the world that would challenge any set of parents under any set of circumstances. Likewise, perhaps there are others who would bless the lives of, and be a joy to, almost any father or mother” (Howard W Hunter, in Conference Report, Oct. 1983, 94; or Ensign, Nov. 1983, 65). (Cited in Eternal Marriage manual, “Parenthood: Creating a Gospel Centered Home”; see https://www.lds.org/manual/eternal-marriage-student-manual/parenthood-creating-a-gospel-centered-home?lang=eng)
-“Some of you have children who do not respond to you, choosing entirely different paths. Father in Heaven has repeatedly had that same experience. While some of His children have used His gift of agency to make choices against His counsel, He continues to love them. Yet, I am sure, He has never blamed Himself for their unwise choices” (Richard G Scott, in Conference Report, Apr. 1993, 43; or Ensign, May 1993, 34). (Cited in Eternal Marriage manual, “Parenthood: Creating a Gospel Centered Home”; see https://www.lds.org/manual/eternal-marriage-student-manual/parenthood-creating-a-gospel-centered-home?lang=eng)
-“Hold family councils to discuss family plans and concerns. Some of the most effective family councils are one on one with each family member. Help our children know their ideas are important. Listen to them and learn from them. …” (Robert D Hales in Conference Report, Apr. 1999, 41–44; or Ensign, May 1999, 33–34; Cited in Eternal Marriage manual, “Parenthood: Creating a Gospel Centered Home”; see https://www.lds.org/manual/eternal-marriage-student-manual/parenthood-creating-a-gospel-centered-home?lang=eng)
-“Nothing is so much calculated to lead people to forsake sin as to take them by the hand, and watch over them with tenderness. When persons manifest the least kindness and love to me, O what power it has over my mind, while the opposite course has a tendency to harrow up all the harsh feelings and depress the human mind” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, sel. Joseph Fielding Smith , 240) (Cited in Eternal Marriage manual, “Parenthood: Creating a Gospel Centered Home”; see https://www.lds.org/manual/eternal-marriage-student-manual/parenthood-creating-a-gospel-centered-home?lang=eng)
-“18 percent fewer kids were spanked or beaten (using an object like a paddle or a belt) in 2010 than in 1975. But almost half of all 8- and 9-year-olds are still hit by their parents; and younger kids aren’t exempt from the damaging abuse, either. Research shows that kids who are spanked or hit with an object have lower IQs; they shut down their learning powers. They are also more aggressive, particularly boys, and get in more trouble than kids who are not spanked. Children who are spanked also have sexual problems and low self-esteem as adults. So what can you do when your child is a pain in the neck? Understand what’s going on. Children act out when they don’t have words to express their frustration and anger. To teach your 4-year-old to express his thoughts and feelings, you can put words in his mouth. You might say, “I know you’re feeling tired and wish we could go home, but we can’t. We have to finish grocery shopping.” This helps him release the tension he feels from being trapped somewhere he doesn’t want to be and shows him what he could say to you to make you understand his feelings. It doesn’t always work; sometimes you just have to leave the store before you want to. But it’s important to offer that help so he can learn impulse control and to use words in place of actions. And remember, whenever you feel like spanking your child, take a deep breath and count to 10. You’re the grown-up and should be able to come up with an expressive and thoughtful alternative to hitting your child.” (Michael Roizen, M.D., Deseret News, https://www.deseretnews.com/article/765579398/Spanking-not-best-way-to-discipline-your-child.html)
– “You will be far more successful with love as your watchword than you will be with a whip or lash or anything of the kind.” (Gordon B Hinckley, cited in https://education.byu.edu/youcandothis/spanking.html)
-“have never accepted the principle of ‘spare the rod and spoil the child.’ I am persuaded that violent fathers produce violent sons. Children don’t need beating. They need love and encouragement” (Gordon B. Hinckley, Ensign, Conference Report, Nov. 1994).
-“Above all else, children need to know and feel they are loved, wanted, and appreciated. They need to be assured often of that” (Ezra Taft Benson, Ensign, Nov. 1982, 60).
-“Use no lash and no violence, but . . . approach them with reason, with persuasion and love unfeigned. . . You can’t do it any other way. You can’t do it by unkindness; you cannot do it by driving. . . . You can’t force your boys, nor your girls into heaven. You may force them to hell, by using harsh means in the effort to make them good, when you yourselves are not as good as you should be. The man that will be angry at his boy, and try to correct him while he is in anger, is in the greatest fault. You can only correct your children by love, in kindness, by love unfeigned, by persuasion, and reason” (Joseph F. Smith, Gospel Doctrine, 5th ed., SLC: Deseret Book Co., 1939, 316-317)
-“It is not by the whip or the rod that we can make obedient children; but it is by faith and by prayer, and by setting a good example before them” (Brigham Young, Deseret News Weekly, 9 Aug. 1865, 3).
– “My father never laid a hand upon me except to bless me” (Gordon B Hinckley, “Go Forward with Faith”, pg. 141)
-“now days if a parent spanks a child it is likely that the child will have been taught by their school that this is abuse. This teaching encourages children to tell on their parents or to report their parents to authorities even when the spanking was going to be done with love and calmness. Since there are people telling children what is right and wrong instead of parents being the authority on what is right and wrong parents have just cause to abandon spanking as an acceptable parenting practice to protect their families from government intrusion.” (Meridian Magazine (not an official church publication), Nicholeen Peck (author of
A House United: Changing Children’s Hearts and Behaviors by Teaching Self Government ) 2014 “Can Spanking be ok Sometimes?” https://ldsmag.com/can-spanking-be-okay-sometimes/)
-“The genius of our Church government is government through councils. … I have had enough experience to know the value of councils. Hardly a day passes but that I see the wisdom, God’s wisdom, in creating councils: to govern his Kingdom” (Stephen L Richards, in Conference Report, Oct. 1953, 86; also in Eternal Marriage manual https://www.lds.org/manual/eternal-marriage-student-manual/parenthood-creating-a-gospel-centered-home?lang=eng).
-“If parents are immature and cannot settle their differences without anger, fighting, and name-calling, a child becomes most insecure, and as he grows older he is apt to take up with the wrong type of friends just to get away from an unhappy home environment” (Elder Delbert L. Stapley, in Conference Report, Oct. 1970, 45; also in Eternal Marriage manual https://www.lds.org/manual/eternal-marriage-student-manual/parenthood-creating-a-gospel-centered-home?lang=eng).
-“Often parents communicate most effectively with their children by the way they listen to and address each other. Their conversations showing gentleness and love are heard by our ever-alert, impressionable children” (Elder Marvin J Ashton in Conference Report, Apr. 1976, 81; or Ensign, May 1976, 53; also in Eternal Marriage manual https://www.lds.org/manual/eternal-marriage-student-manual/parenthood-creating-a-gospel-centered-home?lang=eng).
-“It helps children to see that good parents can have differing opinions and that these differences can be worked out without striking, yelling, or throwing things. They need to see and feel calm communication with respect for each other’s viewpoints so they themselves will know how to work through differences in their own lives” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1993, 10; or Ensign, Nov. 1993, 9; also in Eternal Marriage manual https://www.lds.org/manual/eternal-marriage-student-manual/parenthood-creating-a-gospel-centered-home?lang=eng).
–if, in our homes, parents will read from the Book of Mormon prayerfully and regularly, both by themselves and with their children, the spirit of that great book will come to permeate our homes and all who dwell therein. The spirit of reverence will increase; mutual respect and consideration for each other will grow. The spirit of contention will depart. Parents will counsel their children in greater love and wisdom. Children will be more responsive and submissive to the counsel of their parents. Righteousness will increase. Faith, hope, and charity—the pure love of Christ—will abound in our homes and lives, bringing in their wake peace, joy, and happiness” (Marion G Romney, in Conference Report, Apr. 1980, 88, 90; or Ensign, May 1980, 66–67; also in Eternal Marriage manual https://www.lds.org/manual/eternal-marriage-student-manual/parenthood-creating-a-gospel-centered-home?lang=eng).
-“The first and most important inner quality you can instill in a child is faith in God. The first and most important action a child can learn is obedience. And the most powerful tool you have with which to teach a child is love. (David O McKay, See Instructor, Dec. 1949, p. 620)” (quoted by L Tom Perry, in Conference Report, Apr. 1983, 106; or Ensign, May 1983, 78; also in Eternal Marriage manual https://www.lds.org/manual/eternal-marriage-student-manual/parenthood-creating-a-gospel-centered-home?lang=eng).
-“A principal purpose for discipline is to teach obedience. President David O. McKay stated: ‘Parents who fail to teach obedience to their children, if [their] homes do not develop obedience society will demand it and get it. It is therefore better for the home, with its kindliness, sympathy and understanding, to train the child in obedience rather than callously to leave him to the brutal and unsympathetic discipline that society will impose if the home has not already fulfilled its obligation’ (The Responsibility of Parents to Their Children, p. 3)” (James E Faust in Conference Report, Oct. 1990, 41–42; or Ensign, Nov. 1990, 34; also in Eternal Marriage manual https://www.lds.org/manual/eternal-marriage-student-manual/parenthood-creating-a-gospel-centered-home?lang=eng).
-“Motherhood consists of three principal attributes or qualities: namely, (1) the power to bear, (2) the ability to rear, (3) the gift to love. …This ability and willingness properly to rear children, the gift to love, and eagerness, yes, longing to express it in soul development, make motherhood the noblest office or calling in the world” (David O McKay, Gospel Ideals, 453; also in Eternal Marriage manual https://www.lds.org/manual/eternal-marriage-student-manual/parenthood-creating-a-gospel-centered-home?lang=eng).
-“Love is the very essence of family life. Why is it that the children we love become so frequently the targets of our harsh words? Why is it that these children who love their fathers and mothers sometimes speak as if with daggers that cut to the quick? ‘There is beauty all around,’ only ‘when there’s love at home’ (Hymns, no. 294)” (Gordon B Hinckley, in Conference Report, Apr. 1989, 83; or Ensign, May 1989, 67; also in Eternal Marriage manual https://www.lds.org/manual/eternal-marriage-student-manual/parenthood-creating-a-gospel-centered-home?lang=eng).
-“parents, who had once been hitters and spankers, had made the shift to calm, firm self-government parenting. Their thirteen-year-old son was “out of instructional control” and the father was calmly going through the Rule of Three to help the son become calm and ready to receive his negative consequence. Then the son said, “Just hit me Dad. It would be quicker. Just hit me.” I loved this great moment for this reformed father. He saw clearly that his son used the previous beatings as a way of not taking responsibility for his actions. He also clearly saw that the child didn’t have to accept the consequence or become calm for a beating to occur. When he did those beatings he was denying his child the opportunity to accept his consequence as something he earned. For justice to be completely effective the guilty must acknowledge his wrongdoing.” (Meridian Magazine (not an official church publication), Nicholeen Peck (author of
A House United: Changing Children’s Hearts and Behaviors by Teaching Self Government ) 2014 “Can Spanking be ok Sometimes?” https://ldsmag.com/can-spanking-be-okay-sometimes/)
-“Let parents treat their children as they themselves would wish to be treated, and set an example before them that is worthy of you as Saints of God.” (DNW,7 Dec. 1864, 2) (also cited in Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young, Ch 46 https://www.lds.org/manual/teachings-brigham-young/chapter-46?lang=eng)
-“Bring up your children in the love and fear of the Lord; study their dispositions and their temperaments, and deal with them accordingly, never allowing yourself to correct them in the heat of passion; teach them to love you rather than to fear you.” (DBY, 207) (also cited in Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young, Ch 46 https://www.lds.org/manual/teachings-brigham-young/chapter-46?lang=eng)
-“In our daily pursuits in life, of whatever nature and kind, Latter-day Saints … should maintain a uniform and even temper, both when at home and when abroad. They should not suffer reverses and unpleasant circumstances to sour their natures and render them fretful and unsocial at home, speaking words full of bitterness and biting acrimony to their wives and children, creating gloom and sorrow in their habitations, making themselves feared rather than loved by their families. Anger should never be permitted to rise in our bosoms, and words suggested by angry feelings should never be permitted to pass our lips. “A soft answer turneth away wrath, but grievous words stir up anger [Proverbs 15:1].” “Wrath is cruel, and anger is outrageous;” but “the discretion of a man deferreth his anger; and it is his glory to pass over a transgression [Proverbs 19:11]”” (DBY, 203–4)
-“In passing through the world I see that the most of parents are very anxious to govern and control their children. As far as my observations have gone I have seen more parents who were unable to control themselves than I ever saw who were unable to control their children. If a mother wishes to control her child, in the first place let her learn to control herself, then she may be successful in bringing the child into perfect subjection to her will. But if she does not control herself how can she expect a child,—an infant in understanding—to be more wise, prudent and better than one of grown age and matured?” (DNSW, 12 July 1870, 2)
-“I can pick out scores of men in this congregation who have driven their children from them by using the wooden rod. Where there is severity there is no affection or filial feeling in the hearts of either party; the children would rather be away from father than be with him.” (DBY, 203)
-“It is not by the whip or the rod that we can make obedient children; but it is by faith and by prayer, and by setting a good example before them.” (DNW, 9 Aug. 1865, 3)
-“I do not believe in making my authority as a husband or a father known by brute force; but by a superior intelligence—by showing them that I am capable of teaching them. … If the Lord has placed me to be the head of a family, let me be so in all humility and patience, not as a tyrannical ruler, but as a faithful companion, an indulgent and affectionate father, a thoughtful and unassuming superior; let me be honored in my station through faithful diligence, and be fully capable, by the aid of God’s Spirit, of filling my office in a way to effect the salvation of all who are committed to my charge.” (DNW, 23 July 1862, 2)
-“At times our children may not be in possession of a good spirit; but if the parent continues to possess the good Spirit, the children will have the bad spirit but a short time. … Rule in righteousness, and in the fear and love of God, and your children will follow you.” (DNSW,7 Apr. 1868, 3)
-“Kind looks, kind actions, kind words, and a lovely, holy deportment towards them will bind our children to us with bands that cannot easily be broken; while abuse and unkindness will drive them from us, and break asunder every holy tie that should bind them to us and to the everlasting covenant in which we are all embraced. If my family, and my brethren and sisters will not be obedient to me on the basis of kindness, and a commendable life before all men, and before the heavens, then farewell to all influence.” (DNW, 7 Dec. 1864, 2)
-“You ought always to take the lead of your children in their minds and affections. Instead of being behind with the whip, always be in advance, then you can say, “Come along,” and you will have no use for the rod. They will delight to follow you, and will like your words and ways, because you are always comforting them and giving them pleasure and enjoyment. If they get a little naughty, stop them when they have gone far enough. … When they transgress, and transcend certain bounds we want them to stop. If you are in the lead they will stop, they cannot run over you; but if you are behind they will run away from you.” (DNSW, 8 Dec. 1868, 2–3)
-“A child loves the smiles of its mother, but hates her frowns. I tell the mothers not to allow the children to indulge in evils, but at the same time to treat them with mildness. If a child is required to step in a certain direction, and it does not seem willing to do so, gently put it in the desired way, and say, There, my little dear, you must step when I speak to you. Children need directing and teaching what is right in a kind, affectionate manner.” (DBY, 209)
-“How often we see parents demand obedience, good behavior, kind words, pleasant looks, a sweet voice and a bright eye from a child or children when they themselves are full of bitterness and scolding! How inconsistent and unreasonable this is!” (DBY, 208)
-“Let the father and mother, who are members of this Church and Kingdom, take a righteous course, and strive with all their might never to do a wrong, but to do good all their lives; if they have one child or one hundred children, if they conduct themselves towards them as they should, binding them to the Lord by their faith and prayers, I care not where those children go, they are bound up to their parents by an everlasting tie, and no power of earth or hell can separate them from their parents in eternity; they will return again to the fountain from whence they sprang.” (DBY, 208).
(Handbook for Families: Disciplining with Love, LDS Ensign Sept. 1985 https://www.lds.org/ensign/1985/09/disciplining-with-love?lang=eng)
This chapter focuses on how to have strong limits as a parent, while avoiding abuse. This is the companion essay to parenting with love while avoiding being overly enabling.
Note: spanking or other physical harm is likely never ok, and prophets have taught it likely does more harm than good, and that there are more appropriate and effective ways for child discipline. There may be occasions where this would be appropriate, but the rule of thumb is typically to avoid it.
-1 Sam. 3 the Lord punishes Eli for not restraining his children from doing evil. It seems Eli lost his priesthood for this offence.
-we lose our children by sending them to public school where outrageous peer pressures consume them, and attitudes are learned which are never unlearned.
-should we allow our kids to swear like sailors? I worked at a youth rehab where this was allowed and entirely disapprove. A basic level of respect is required. I stopped working there because my presence suggested that I agreed with that pitiful policy. I’ve seen other rehabs with a strict language policy which are much safer and successful environments for rehabilitation into adulthood and working lifestyles.
-showing great displeasure at repeated disobedience expresses to the child that you are serious
-kids don’t need a lot of free time
-kids don’t need tons of friends
-public schools move too slowly or for some subjects move on without comprehension and are not catered to each child’s needs
-essential core fundamental curriculum exams must be passed at 100% before the student can move on
-President Boyd K Packer says no one owes a child entertainment
-President Spencer W Kimball taught in his book “Faith Proceeds the Miracle” that large amounts of free time for children is not natural and not healthy.
-referring to “spare the rod spoil the child”: The rod can be strict rules of respect in the home and enforced in usually non-physical ways, but must be enforced. Don’t physically harm them. “You will be far more successful with love as your watchword than you will be with a whip or lash or anything of the kind.” (Gordon B Hinckley, cited in https://education.byu.edu/youcandothis/spanking.html)
-“have never accepted the principle of ‘spare the rod and spoil the child.’ I am persuaded that violent fathers produce violent sons. Children don’t need beating. They need love and encouragement” (Gordon B. Hinckley, Ensign, Conference Report, Nov. 1994).
-‘stand in holy places till the Lord come’ we have to not wait around for the popular ideas of the masses, but to be bold, not subjecting our children to more evil than is needed. Like the young tree who needs a rope in the wind to not fall over, we want to put ropes on it, not to add wind.
-a key to giving your children clean environments and media etc. is that there is so much good, you don’t need to mess with the bad. Why go to a place where there is known immodesty where there are others with the beauty of nature? Or why a song of evil, when so many songs of both holiness and fun which are wholesome? Or why waste time with entertainment when there is so much wholesome and enjoyable things to learn?
-Isaiah says to turn the foot and ear away from violence
-for media decisions: is the violence glorified or to show the consequences of someone’s poor choices?
-one of the prophets, Hinckley? Encouraged the men to control their anger, and the women to control their voice levels. But that doesn’t mean a parent can’t take some sort of controlled actions lead to a child learning self-control, which leads to good behavior, and less temptation to resort to anger or yelling.
-“ Our children are responsible for their own behavior. Give them the opportunity to sit in council with you, however informal and spontaneous. Give them clear counsel to guide them, and let them practice following that counsel. They must feel the weight of decision making and, at times, the pain of error.” (Parent Guide Manual LDS)
– “Fathers and mothers counsel (advise, teach) their children as they sit in council (ponder, listen, discuss) together. It is inconceivable that their counsel is given rudely or harshly, although they must sometimes be solemn and stern as they deal with children who may be rebellious.” (Parent Guide Manual LDS)
-your “role as a parent requires that you pass judgments on your children and correct them as necessary” (Parent Guide Manual LDS)
– “you can react with concern, candor, and practical steps to correct the error” (Parent Guide Manual LDS). Here it is undefined by what is meant by “practical steps”, leaving that open to our interpretation.
-“At times you must express love in a firm and stern way. But even after you have rebuked your children, if you then make sure they know that you love them, they usually accept the guidance and teaching they receive.” (Parent Guide Manual LDS)
–“The home is the best place in the world to teach the child self-restraint, to give him happiness in self-control, and respect for the rights of others. I feel that the first contribution of the home to the happiness of the child is to impress him with the fact that there are bounds beyond which he cannot go with safety; second, to teach him to be considerate of the rights of others;” (David O McKay, “Home … and the Strength of Youth,” Improvement Era, Aug. 1959, p. 583).
(LDS Parent Guide Manual)
-“This phase is the time to make sure your children establish habits of good nutrition, hygiene, grooming, and exercise. Help them develop appetites for healthy rather than junk foods. If you encourage them in frequent, vigorous physical exercise and play, they can develop enjoyable habits with lifelong benefits… Whatever your child’s situation, encourage him during this period to acquire habits of self-respect, hygiene, and attention to his body’s condition.” (LDS Parent Guide Manual, in the chapter about 4-11 year olds)
-“ this is a special period of development in which parents should teach courtesy, honesty, fidelity, mercy, good humor, and spiritual integrity. Interpersonal relationships may be divided into three basic categories: courteous, affectionate, and intimate. Children must learn the differences between these categories and what is proper within each” (LDS Parent Guide Manual, in the chapter about 4-11 year olds)
-“only occasionally will a child see on television healthy male-to-male or female-to-female affection. Frequently the language, voice tones, and body mannerisms shown by televised entertainment do not portray the gentle affection for which the Savior’s followers ought to strive.” (LDS Parent Guide Manual)
-“Teach your daughters and your sons to seek opportunities to learn and to exploit every such opportunity fully. Girls and boys should learn all they can about every subject within their capabilities. They should nurture and develop their gifts (see D&C 46:11–26), striving always to achieve their full potential and to fill the measure of their creation (see D&C 88:19).
Girls ought to be taught the arts and sciences of housekeeping, domestic finances, sewing, and cooking. Boys need to learn home repair, career preparation, and the protection of women.” (LDS Parent Guide Manual)
-“We understood well before we came to this vale of tears that there would be sorrows, disappointments, hard work, blood, sweat, and tears; but in spite of all, we looked down and saw this earth being made ready for us, and we said in effect, Yes, Father, in spite of all those things I can see great blessings that could come to me as one of thy sons or daughters… You will need to develop yourself and grow in ability and power and worthiness, to govern such a world with all of its people. You are sent to this earth not merely to have a good time or to satisfy urges or passions or desires. You are sent to this earth, not to ride merry-go-rounds, airplanes, automobiles, and have what the world calls ‘fun.’ You are sent to this world with a very serious purpose. You are sent to school, for that matter, to begin as a human infant and grow to unbelievable proportions in wisdom, judgment, knowledge, and power” (The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, ed. Edward L. Kimball [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1982], p. 31). (LDS Parent Guide Manual)
– The following account is about a father who explained the why behind a rule forbidding cussing (particularly the specific word used was explained as to its vulgarity), and also gave a punishment. ““Am I grounded for cussing?” The father then realized that, for this boy, the biggest issue was bad language. Oh well, he thought, parenthood is a lifetime program. Hoping that in mercy he had enlightened his son, he dispensed justice. “Yes, you’re grounded until 8:00 P.M. tonight for using improper language.” (LDS Parent Guide Manual)
-“ Love unfeigned is the most powerful force in the world because it brings the ability to direct one’s efforts toward God’s purposes rather than toward our purposes.” (LDS Parent Guide Manual)
-“ Love unfeigned is the most powerful force in the world because it brings the ability to direct one’s efforts toward God’s purposes rather than toward our purposes.” (LDS Parent Guide Manual) I’ve included this quote here to suggest that when we fail to discipline it is a lack of love, and that when we do need discipline, we must control ourselves and only give the appropriate amount the child needs.
-“In spiritual matters some suppose that men and women need not strive for personal righteousness—because God loves and saves us “just as we are.” But God intends that His children should act according to the moral agency He has given them, “that every man may be accountable for his own sins in the day of judgment.”2 It is His plan and His will that we have the principal decision-making role in our own life’s drama. God will not live our lives for us nor control us as if we were His puppets, as Lucifer once proposed to do. Nor will His prophets accept the role of “puppet master” in God’s place. Brigham Young stated: “I do not wish any Latter Day Saint in this world, nor in heaven, to be satisfied with anything I do, unless the Spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ,—the spirit of revelation, makes them satisfied. I wish them to know for themselves and understand for themselves.” So God does not save us “just as we are,” first, because “just as we are” we are unclean, and “no unclean thing can dwell … in his presence; for, in the language of Adam, Man of Holiness is his name, and the name of his Only Begotten is the Son of Man [of Holiness].”4 And second, God will not act to make us something we do not choose by our actions to become. Truly He loves us, and because He loves us, He neither compels nor abandons us. Rather He helps and guides us. Indeed, the real manifestation of God’s love is His commandments. We should (and we do) rejoice in the God-ordained plan that permits us to make choices to act for ourselves and experience the consequences, or as the scriptures express it, to “taste the bitter, that [we] may know to prize the good.”” (Elder Christofferson “Free Forever to Act for Themselves”, Oct. 2014 Conf. Report)
-“It is relatively easy for you to sit in council and to counsel, urge, or even require children between four and eleven to behave virtuously. There is nothing wrong with expecting your children to be good long before they enjoy it. But there is much for parents to repent of if they shirk their duty and avoid the stress of such discipline.” (LDS Parent Guide Manual)
-“I call upon parents throughout Zion to do what you can to induce your sons and daughters to walk in the paths of righteousness and truth and to improve the opportunities before them.” (Teachings of the Presidents of The Church: Wilford Woodruff, Ch. 16)
-“In our zeal to preach the Gospel to the people of all nations, we should not forget the duties devolving upon us in regard to the proper bringing up of our own children, instilling in them, when young, a love for truth and virtue, and reverence for sacred things, and affording them a knowledge of the principles of the Gospel.” (Teachings of the Presidents of The Church: Wilford Woodruff, Ch. 16; https://www.lds.org/manual/teachings-wilford-woodruff/chapter-16?lang=eng&_r=1)
-“By bringing these choice spirits to earth, each father and each mother assume towards the tabernacled spirit and towards the Lord Himself by having taken advantage of the opportunity He offered, an obligation of the most sacred kind, because the fate of that spirit in the eternities to come, the blessings or punishments which shall await it in the hereafter, depend, in great part, upon the care, the teachings, the training which the parents shall give to that spirit. No parent can escape that obligation and that responsibility, and for the proper meeting thereof, the Lord will hold us to a strict accountability. No loftier duty than this can be assumed by mortals.” (Teachings of the Presidents of The Church: Heber J Grant, Ch. 22; https://www.lds.org/manual/teachings-heber-j-grant/chapter-22?lang=eng&_r=1)
– “To have successful homes, values must be taught, and there must be rules, there must be standards, and there must be absolutes. Many societies give parents very little support in teaching and honoring moral values. A number of cultures are becoming essentially valueless, and many of the younger people in those societies are becoming moral cynics. … Child rearing is so individualistic. Every child is different and unique. What works with one may not work with another. I do not know who is wise enough to say what discipline is too harsh or what is too lenient except the parents of the children themselves, who love them most. It is a matter of prayerful discernment for the parents. Certainly the overarching and undergirding principle is that the discipline of children must be motivated more by love than by punishment. …Direction and discipline are, however, certainly an indispensable part of child rearing. If parents do not discipline their children, then the public will discipline them in a way the parents do not like. Without discipline, children will not respect either the rules of the home or of society” (Elder James E Faust, in Conference Report, Oct. 1990, 40–41; or Ensign, Nov. 1990, 32–34; cited in Eternal Marriage manual, see https://www.lds.org/manual/eternal-marriage-student-manual/parenthood-creating-a-gospel-centered-home?lang=eng).
-“No man can ever become a ruler in the Kingdom of God, until he can perfectly rule himself; then is he capable of raising a family of children who will rise up and call him blessed” (Discourses of Brigham Young, 265; cited in Eternal Marriage manual, see https://www.lds.org/manual/eternal-marriage-student-manual/parenthood-creating-a-gospel-centered-home?lang=eng).
– “Parents, can we first consider the most painful part of your problem? If you want to reclaim your son or daughter, why don’t you leave off trying to alter your child just for a little while and concentrate on yourself. The changes must begin with you, not with your children. You can’t continue to do what you have been doing (even though you thought it was right) and expect to unproduce some behavior in your child, when your conduct was one of the things that produced it. There! It’s been said! After all the evading, all the concern for wayward children. After all the blaming of others, the care to be gentle with parents. It’s out! It’s you, not the child, that needs immediate attention. Now parents, there is substantial help for you if you will accept it. I add with emphasis that the help we propose is not easy, for the measures are equal to the seriousness of your problem. There is no patent medicine to effect an immediate cure. And parents, if you seek for a cure that ignores faith and religious doctrine, you look for a cure where it never will be found. When we talk of religious principles and doctrines and quote scripture, interesting, isn’t it, how many don’t feel comfortable with talk like that. But when we talk about your problems with your family and offer a solution, then your interest is intense. Know that you can’t talk about one without talking about the other, and expect to solve your problems. Once parents know that there is a God and that we are his children, they can face problems like this and win. If you are helpless, he is not. If you are lost, he is not. If you don’t know what to do next, he knows. It would take a miracle, you say? Well, if it takes a miracle, why not” (Boyd K. Packer, in Conference Report, Oct. 1970, 119–20; cited in Eternal Marriage manual, see https://www.lds.org/manual/eternal-marriage-student-manual/parenthood-creating-a-gospel-centered-home?lang=eng).
-“It is simply absurd to imagine that if a child has the seed of falsehood and evil sown in its mind through life, you will all at once be able to sow in that mind one crop of truth and have it bring forth a harvest of truth. … We would look upon a farmer as a natural born idiot who would call upon everybody who passed his farm to throw in a few seeds of weeds, to do this for a period of twenty-one years, and then expect he could sow a crop of grain and expect to get a good harvest. I may know the multiplication table, and my wife may also, but I cannot on that account expect my children to be born with a knowledge of the multiplication table in their heads. I may know that the Gospel is true, and my wife may know it; but I do not imagine for one moment that my children will be born with this knowledge. We receive a testimony of the Gospel by obeying the laws and ordinances thereof; and our children will receive that knowledge exactly the same way; and if we do not teach them, and they do not walk in the straight and narrow path that leads to eternal life, they will never receive this knowledge. I have heard people say that their children were born heirs to all the promises of the new and everlasting covenant, and that they would grow up in spite of themselves, with a knowledge of the Gospel. I want to say to you that this is not a true doctrine, and it is in direct opposition to the commandment of our Heavenly Father. We find that it is laid down to the Latter-day Saints, not as an entreaty, but as a law, that they should teach their children” (Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Heber J Grant, Ch. 22; see https://www.lds.org/manual/teachings-heber-j-grant/chapter-22?lang=eng&_r=1)
-“I have heard men and women say that they were going to let their sons and daughters grow to maturity before they sought to teach them the principles of the gospel, that they were not going to cram the gospel down them in their childhood, before they were able to comprehend it. When I hear men and women say this, I think they are lacking faith in the principles of the gospel and do not comprehend it as they should. The Lord has said it is our duty to teach our children in their youth, and I prefer to take His word for it rather than the words of those who are not obeying His commandments. It is folly to imagine that our children will grow up with a knowledge of the gospel without teaching.” (Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Heber J Grant, Ch. 22; see https://www.lds.org/manual/teachings-heber-j-grant/chapter-22?lang=eng&_r=1)
-“I pray that the Lord will give to the parents of the youth an understanding and appreciation of the dangers and temptations to which their children are subjected, that they may be led and guided to encourage their children, to direct them, to teach them how to live as the Lord would have them live.” (Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Heber J Grant, Ch. 22; see https://www.lds.org/manual/teachings-heber-j-grant/chapter-22?lang=eng&_r=1)
-“If we as parents will so order our lives that our children will know and realize in their hearts that we are in very deed Latter-day Saints, that we actually know what we are talking about, they, by seeking after the Lord, will get that same testimony.” (Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Heber J Grant, Ch. 22; see https://www.lds.org/manual/teachings-heber-j-grant/chapter-22?lang=eng&_r=1)
-“I would rather die in poverty knowing that my family could testify that, to the best of my ability with which God had endowed me, I had observed His laws and kept His commandments, and by my example, had proclaimed the gospel, than to have all the wealth of the world.” (Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Heber J Grant, Ch. 22; see https://www.lds.org/manual/teachings-heber-j-grant/chapter-22?lang=eng&_r=1)
-“The little things are the big things sewn into the family tapestry by a thousand threads of love, faith, discipline, sacrifice, patience, and work” (James E Faust in Conference Report, Oct. 1990, 43; or Ensign, Nov. 1990, 35; cited in Eternal Marriage manual, see https://www.lds.org/manual/eternal-marriage-student-manual/parenthood-creating-a-gospel-centered-home?lang=eng).
-“There are two areas I would determine to improve if that privilege were granted to me to have young children in our home once again. The first would be to spend more time as husband and wife in a family executive committee meeting learning, communicating, planning, and organizing to better fulfill our roles as parents. The second wish I would like, if I could have those years over, would be to spend more family time” (L Tom Perry, in Conference Report, Apr. 1994, 49; or Ensign, May 1994, 37; cited in Eternal Marriage manual, see https://www.lds.org/manual/eternal-marriage-student-manual/parenthood-creating-a-gospel-centered-home?lang=eng).
-“the invitation to repent is an expression of love. … If we do not invite others to change or if we do not demand repentance of ourselves, we fail in a fundamental duty we owe to one another and to ourselves. A permissive parent, an indulgent friend, a fearful Church leader are in reality more concerned about themselves than the welfare and happiness of those they could help.” (D. Todd Christofferson, “The Divine Gift of Repentance,” Ensign, Nov. 2011, 39.)
-“Children share with their parents the responsibilities of building a happy home. They should obey the commandments and cooperate with other family members. The Lord is not pleased when children quarrel (see Mosiah 4:14). The Lord has commanded children to honor their parents. He said, “Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land” (Exodus 20:12). To honor parents means to love and respect them. It also means to obey them. The scriptures tell children to “obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right” (Ephesians 6:1). President Spencer W. Kimball said that children should learn to work and to share responsibilities in the home and yard. They should be given assignments to keep the house neat and clean. (See Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Spencer W. Kimball , 120.)” (Gospel Principles Ch 37 “Family Responsibilities”; see https://www.lds.org/manual/gospel-principles/chapter-37-family-responsibilities?lang=eng&_r=1)
-“He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chastenth him betimes.” (Proverbs 13:24)
-“The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame.” (Proverbs 29:15)
-“Withhold not correction from a child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die. Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell.” (Proverbs 23:13-14)
-“That President Young lived the principles he taught is evidenced by his daughter Susa’s description of him as “an ideal father. Kind to a fault, tender, thoughtful, just and firm. … None of us feared him; all of us adored him” (LSBY, 356)” (Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young, Ch 46 “Parental Responsibility”; see https://www.lds.org/manual/teachings-brigham-young/chapter-46?lang=eng)
-“Nurture your children with love and the admonitions of the Lord. Rearing happy, peaceful children is no easy challenge in today’s world, but it can be done, and it is being done. Responsible parenthood is the key” (Ezra Taft Benson, Eternal Marriage manual, “Parenthood: Creating a Gospel Centered Home”; see https://www.lds.org/manual/eternal-marriage-student-manual/parenthood-creating-a-gospel-centered-home?lang=eng)
-“Children must be taught right from wrong. They can and must learn the commandments of God. They must be taught that it is wrong to steal, lie, cheat, or covet what others have. Children must be taught to work at home. They should learn there that honest labor develops dignity and self-respect. They should learn the pleasure of work, of doing a job well. The leisure time of children must be constructively directed to wholesome, positive pursuits. Too much time viewing television can be destructive, and pornography in this medium should not be tolerated. It is estimated that growing children today watch television over twenty-five hours per week. Communities have a responsibility to assist the family in promoting wholesome entertainment. What a community tolerates will become tomorrow’s standard for today’s youth. Families must spend more time together in work and recreation. Family home evenings should be scheduled once a week as a time for recreation, work projects, skits, songs around the piano, games, special refreshments, and family prayers. Like iron links in a chain, this practice will bind a family together, in love, pride, tradition, strength, and loyalty. Family study of the scriptures should be the practice in our homes each Sabbath day. Daily devotionals are also a commendable practice, where scripture reading, singing of hymns, and family prayer are a part of our daily routine.… Parents must prepare their children for the ordinances of the gospel. …” (Ezra Taft Benson, Eternal Marriage manual, “Parenthood: Creating a Gospel Centered Home”; see https://www.lds.org/manual/eternal-marriage-student-manual/parenthood-creating-a-gospel-centered-home?lang=eng)
-“The home is what needs reforming. Try today, and tomorrow, to make a change in your home by praying twice a day with your family. … Ask a blessing upon every meal you eat. Spend ten minutes … reading a chapter from the words of the Lord in the [scriptures]. … Let love, peace, and the Spirit of the Lord, kindness, charity, sacrifice for others, abound in your families. Banish harsh words, … and let the Spirit of God take possession of your hearts. Teach to your children these things, in spirit and power. … Not one child in a hundred would go astray, if the home environment, example and training, were in harmony with … the gospel of Christ.’ (Joseph F. Smith, Gospel Doctrine,5th ed., Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1939, p. 302.)” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1982, 86–87; or Ensign, Nov. 1982, 60–61; see also “Salvation—A Family Affair,” Ensign, July 1992, 4–5).
-“Obviously, family values mirror our personal priorities. Given the gravity of current conditions, would parents be willing to give up just one outside thing, giving that time and talent instead to the family? Parents and grandparents, please scrutinize your schedules and priorities in order to ensure that life’s prime relationships get more prime time! Even consecrated and devoted Brigham Young was once told by the Lord, ‘Take especial care of your family’ (D&C 126:3). Sometimes it is the most conscientious who need this message the most!” (Neil Maxwell, in Conference Report, Apr. 1994, 121; or Ensign, May 1994, 90). (Cited in Eternal Marriage manual, “Parenthood: Creating a Gospel Centered Home”; see https://www.lds.org/manual/eternal-marriage-student-manual/parenthood-creating-a-gospel-centered-home?lang=eng)
-“As parents, we are sometimes too intimidated to teach or testify to our children. I have been guilty of that in my own life. Our children need to have us share spiritual feelings with them and to teach and bear testimony to them.” (Robert D Hales in Conference Report, Apr. 1999, 41–44; or Ensign, May 1999, 33–34; Cited in Eternal Marriage manual, “Parenthood: Creating a Gospel Centered Home”; see https://www.lds.org/manual/eternal-marriage-student-manual/parenthood-creating-a-gospel-centered-home?lang=eng)
-“Even that beloved and wonderfully successful parent President Joseph F. Smith pled, ‘Oh! God, let me not lose my own.’ That is every parent’s cry, and in it is something of every parent’s fear. But no one has failed who keeps trying and keeps praying. You have every right to receive encouragement and to know in the end your children will call your name blessed” (Jeffrey R Holland, in Conference Report, Apr. 1997, 48; or Ensign, May 1997, 36). (Cited in Eternal Marriage manual, “Parenthood: Creating a Gospel Centered Home”; see https://www.lds.org/manual/eternal-marriage-student-manual/parenthood-creating-a-gospel-centered-home?lang=eng)
– “To this end we advise and urge the inauguration of a ‘Home Evening’ throughout the Church, at which time fathers and mothers may gather their boys and girls about them in the home and teach them the word of the Lord. … If the Saints obey this counsel, we promise that great blessings will result. Love at home and obedience to parents will increase. Faith will be developed in the hearts of the youth of Israel, and they will gain power to combat the evil influences and temptations which beset them” (First Presidency (Joseph F. Smith, Anthon H. Lund, Charles W. Penrose), “Home Evening,” Improvement Era, June 1915, 733–34). (Cited in Eternal Marriage manual, “Parenthood: Creating a Gospel Centered Home”; see https://www.lds.org/manual/eternal-marriage-student-manual/parenthood-creating-a-gospel-centered-home?lang=eng)
– “Hold family home evenings every week without fail. This is a wonderful time to share your testimony with your children. Give them an opportunity to share their feelings about the gospel. Help them learn to recognize when they feel the presence of the Spirit. Family home evenings will help create an island of refuge and security within your own home” (Elder Joe J Christensen, in Conference Report, Oct. 1993, 14; or Ensign, Nov. 1993, 12). (Cited in Eternal Marriage manual, “Parenthood: Creating a Gospel Centered Home”; see https://www.lds.org/manual/eternal-marriage-student-manual/parenthood-creating-a-gospel-centered-home?lang=eng)
– Surveys show that about 50% of parents today support spanking, which is down from 90% in the 1950s. (From https://education.byu.edu/youcandothis/spanking.html)
-“The world has been groomed to think of spanking is abuse. The United Nations signed a document in 1989 declaring that children all over the world have the same 45 rights. These rights include things like the right to play and the right to freedom from punishment. The document also says that every child has the right not to be abused, but abuse isn’t really spelled out which leaves the determination about abuse vague dangerous to interpret. I could go into great detail about the social dangers of a country following this CRC document, but will stick to the topic of punishment for now. Luckily the United States has not ratified this document as law, so many of the absurd rights that would destroy the role of parents and make the government the parent are not really enforceable. However, these false rights are being taught to teachers and in schools as well as to government agencies as real rights even though they are not really law. So, now days if a parent spanks a child it is likely that the child will have been taught by their school that this is abuse. This teaching encourages children to tell on their parents or to report their parents to authorities even when the spanking was going to be done with love and calmness.” (Meridian Magazine (not an official church publication), Nicholeen Peck (author of
A House United: Changing Children’s Hearts and Behaviors by Teaching Self Government ) 2014 “Can Spanking be ok Sometimes?” https://ldsmag.com/can-spanking-be-okay-sometimes/) (*Some try to “spank with love” but I don’t think it’s a good idea based on what prophets have taught about child discipline.)
-“Successful parents have found that it is not easy to rear children in an environment polluted with evil. Therefore, they take deliberate steps to provide the best of wholesome influences. Moral principles are taught. Good books are made available and read. Television watching is controlled. Good and uplifting music is provided. But most importantly, the scriptures are read and discussed as a means to help develop spiritual-mindedness” (Spencer W Kimball, in Conference Report, Apr. 1984, 6–7; or Ensign, May 1984, 6; also in Eternal Marriage manual https://www.lds.org/manual/eternal-marriage-student-manual/parenthood-creating-a-gospel-centered-home?lang=eng).
– “I would make the family home evening times on Monday night a family council meeting where children were taught by parents how to prepare for their roles as family members and prospective parents. Family home evening would begin with a family dinner together, followed by a council meeting, where such topics as the following would be discussed and training would be given: temple preparation, missionary preparation, home management, family finances, career development, education, community involvement, cultural improvement, acquisition and care of real and personal property, family planning calendars, use of leisure time, and work assignments. The evening could then be climaxed with a special dessert and time for parents to have individual meetings with each child” (L Tom Perry, in Conference Report, Oct. 1980, 8–9; or Ensign, Nov. 1980, 9; also in Eternal Marriage manual https://www.lds.org/manual/eternal-marriage-student-manual/parenthood-creating-a-gospel-centered-home?lang=eng).
– “Each family organization should include a family council comprised of all members of the family unit. Here the basic responsibilities of the family organization can be taught to the children. They can learn how to make decisions and act upon those decisions. Too many are growing to marriageable age unprepared for this responsibility. Work ethics and self-preparedness can be taught in a most effective way in a family council. President J. Reuben Clark, Jr., has paraphrased an old statement. ‘“All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy,”’ he would say. ‘But all play and no work makes Jack a useless boy.’ (As quoted by Harold B. Lee, ‘Administering True Charity,’ address delivered at the welfare agricultural meeting, 5 Oct. 1968)” (L Tom Perry, in Conference Report, Apr. 1981, 119; or Ensign, May 1981, 88; also in Eternal Marriage manual https://www.lds.org/manual/eternal-marriage-student-manual/parenthood-creating-a-gospel-centered-home?lang=eng).
-“While few human challenges are greater than that of being good parents, few opportunities offer greater potential for joy. Surely no more important work is to be done in this world than preparing our children to be God-fearing, happy, honorable, and productive. Parents will find no more fulfilling happiness than to have their children honor them and their teachings. It is the glory of parenthood. John testified, ‘I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth’ (3 John 1:4)” (James E Faust, in Conference Report, Oct. 1990, 40; or Ensign, Nov. 1990, 32–33; also in Eternal Marriage manual https://www.lds.org/manual/eternal-marriage-student-manual/parenthood-creating-a-gospel-centered-home?lang=eng).
-“We are to teach and train our children in the ways of the Lord. Children should not be left to their own devices in learning character and family values, or in listening to and watching unsupervised music or television or movies as a means of gaining knowledge and understanding as to how to live their lives!” (Elder David B Haight, in Conference Report, Oct. 1992, 105; or Ensign, Nov. 1992, 75–76; also in Eternal Marriage manual https://www.lds.org/manual/eternal-marriage-student-manual/parenthood-creating-a-gospel-centered-home?lang=eng)
-“Although the Lord chastised the leading brethren, and indeed all parents in Zion, for parental delinquency, he indicated that repentance is possible. But he also said that if we did not repent, we would be removed out of our place. (see D&C 93:41–50.) Not only do the scriptures instruct us on when teaching is best done (see D&C 68:25–32; Deuteronomy 8:5–9) but also on what should and should not be taught (see Moroni 7:14–19; 2 Nephi 9:28–29) and who should and should not do the teaching (see 2 Nephi 28:14, 31; Mosiah 23:14)” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1991, 112; or Ensign, Nov. 1991, 81). (Elder H Verlan Andersen in Conference Report, Oct. 1991, 112; or Ensign, Nov. 1991, 81; also in Eternal Marriage manual https://www.lds.org/manual/eternal-marriage-student-manual/parenthood-creating-a-gospel-centered-home?lang=eng)
– “Now, I, the Lord, am not well pleased with the inhabitants of Zion, for there are idlers among them; and their children are also growing up in wickedness; they also seek not earnestly the riches of eternity, but their eyes are full of greediness. These things ought not to be, and must be done away from among them; wherefore, let my servant Oliver Cowdery carry these sayings unto the land of Zion.” (D&C 68:31-32)
– “Work together. I do not know how many generations or centuries ago someone first said, ‘An idle mind is the devil’s workshop.’ Children need to work with their parents, to wash dishes with them, to mop floors with them, to mow lawns, to prune trees” (Gordon B Hinckley, “Four Simple Things to Help Our Families and Our Nations,” Ensign, Sept. 1996, 7; also in Eternal Marriage manual https://www.lds.org/manual/eternal-marriage-student-manual/parenthood-creating-a-gospel-centered-home?lang=eng).
– “‘In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread’ is not outdated counsel. It is basic to personal welfare. One of the greatest favors parents can do for their children is to teach them to work. Much has been said over the years about children and monthly allowances, and opinions and recommendations vary greatly. I’m from the ‘old school.’ I believe children should earn their money needs through service and appropriate chores. Some financial rewards to children may also be tied to educational effort and the accomplishment of other worthwhile goals. I think it is unfortunate for a child to grow up in a home where the seed is planted in the child’s mind that there is a family money tree that automatically drops ‘green stuff’ once a week or once a month” (Elder Marvin J Ashton, One for the Money, 8; also in Eternal Marriage manual https://www.lds.org/manual/eternal-marriage-student-manual/parenthood-creating-a-gospel-centered-home?lang=eng).
-“ the best teachers of the principle of work are the parents themselves… Children need to learn responsibility and independence. Are the parents personally taking the time to show and demonstrate and explain so that children can, as Lehi taught, ‘act for themselves and not … be acted upon’? (2 Nephi 2:26)” (James E Faust in Conference Report, Oct. 1990, 42; or Ensign, Nov. 1990, 34).” ; also in Eternal Marriage manual https://www.lds.org/manual/eternal-marriage-student-manual/parenthood-creating-a-gospel-centered-home?lang=eng)
– “The remarks of President J. Reuben Clark, Jr., given fifty-six years ago, are instructive today. He said: ‘It is the eternal, inescapable law that growth comes only from work and preparation, whether the growth be material, mental, or spiritual. Work has no substitute’ (in Conference Report, Apr. 1933, p. 103). More recently, Elder Howard W. Hunter counseled: ‘The first recorded instruction given to Adam after the Fall dealt with the eternal principle of work. The Lord said: “In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread.” (Gen. 3:19.) Our Heavenly Father loves us so completely that he has given us a commandment to work. This is one of the keys to eternal life. He knows that we will learn more, grow more, achieve more, serve more, and benefit more from a life of industry than from a life of ease’ (Ensign, Nov. 1975, p. 122)” (Joseph B Worthlin in Conference Report, Apr. 1989, 9; or Ensign, May 1989, 8; also in Eternal Marriage manual https://www.lds.org/manual/eternal-marriage-student-manual/parenthood-creating-a-gospel-centered-home?lang=eng).
– “Teach your children to work and to take responsibility. Especially in urban settings, too many children are growing up in an environment where they do not have enough to do. They are like the young thirteen-year-old boy who was asked what he did all day in the summer. He said, ‘Well, I get up in the morning about ten or eleven. Then my mom gets me something to eat. Then maybe I’ll go with some of the guys and play a little basketball, maybe watch TV, and then go down to the mall and “hang out” for a while—sorta watch the girls and stuff.’ …I like what President Spencer W. Kimball has said on this topic: ‘We want you parents to create work for your children’” (Elder Joe J Christensen, in Conference Report, Oct. 1993, 13; or Ensign, Nov. 1993, 12; also in Eternal Marriage manual https://www.lds.org/manual/eternal-marriage-student-manual/parenthood-creating-a-gospel-centered-home?lang=eng).
-“‘All children have claim upon their parents for their maintenance until they are of age’ (D&C 83:4). In addition, their spiritual welfare should be ‘brought to pass by the faith and covenant of their fathers’ (D&C 84:99). As regards little children, the Lord has promised that ‘great things may be required at the hands of their fathers’ (D&C 29:48).” (James E Faust, in Conference Report, Apr. 1993, 44–45, 47; or Ensign, May 1993, 35, 37; also in Eternal Marriage manual https://www.lds.org/manual/eternal-marriage-student-manual/parenthood-creating-a-gospel-centered-home?lang=eng).
-“Mothers seem to take a dominant role in preparing children to live within their families, present and future. Fathers seem best equipped to prepare children to function in the environment outside the family.” (James E Faust, in Conference Report, Apr. 1993, 44–45, 47; or Ensign, May 1993, 35, 37; also in Eternal Marriage manual https://www.lds.org/manual/eternal-marriage-student-manual/parenthood-creating-a-gospel-centered-home?lang=eng).
-“One authority states: ‘Studies show that fathers have a special role to play in building a child’s self-respect. They are important, too, in ways we really don’t understand, in developing internal limits and controls in children.’ He continues: ‘Research also shows that fathers are critical in establishment of gender in children. Interestingly, fatherly involvement produces stronger sexual identity and character in both boys and girls. It is well established that the masculinity of sons and the femininity of daughters are each greater when fathers are active in family life’ (Karl Zinsmeister, “Do Children Need Fathers?” Crisis, Oct. 1992). (James E Faust, in Conference Report, Apr. 1993, 44–45, 47; or Ensign, May 1993, 35, 37; also in Eternal Marriage manual https://www.lds.org/manual/eternal-marriage-student-manual/parenthood-creating-a-gospel-centered-home?lang=eng).
-“Parents in any marital situation have a duty to set aside personal differences and encourage each other’s righteous influence in the lives of their children. …Perhaps we regard the power bestowed by Elijah as something associated only with formal ordinances performed in sacred places. But these ordinances become dynamic and productive of good only as they reveal themselves in our daily lives. Malachi said that the power of Elijah would turn the hearts of the fathers and the children to each other. The heart is the seat of the emotions and a conduit for revelation (see Malachi 4:5–6). This sealing power thus reveals itself in family relationships, in attributes and virtues developed in a nurturing environment, and in loving service. These are the cords that bind families together, and the priesthood advances their development. In imperceptible but real ways, the ‘doctrine of the priesthood shall distill upon thy soul [and thy home] as the dews from heaven’ (D&C 121:45). (James E Faust, in Conference Report, Apr. 1993, 44–45, 47; or Ensign, May 1993, 35, 37; also in Eternal Marriage manual https://www.lds.org/manual/eternal-marriage-student-manual/parenthood-creating-a-gospel-centered-home?lang=eng).
-“In ancient times a fortress required regular inspections to ensure that no weak spots developed that an enemy could take advantage of, and guards in the watchtowers ensured that no enemy could approach undetected. In other words, once a city was fortified, a constant effort was made to maintain the fortress so that it could serve its purpose. By establishing a security system of our own, we can prevent the enemy from finding and exploiting weaknesses in our family fortress through which he could gain access to, and harm, our most precious treasure, our family.” (Horacia A Toronio, in Conference Report, Oct. 1994, 29–30; or Ensign, Nov. 1994, 23–24; also in Eternal Marriage manual https://www.lds.org/manual/eternal-marriage-student-manual/parenthood-creating-a-gospel-centered-home?lang=eng).
-”One of the watchtowers on our fortress can be the regular habit of a father’s interview with each member of his family” (Horacia A Toronio, in Conference Report, Oct. 1994, 29–30; or Ensign, Nov. 1994, 23–24; also in Eternal Marriage manual https://www.lds.org/manual/eternal-marriage-student-manual/parenthood-creating-a-gospel-centered-home?lang=eng).
-“Our Heavenly Father has given us as parents the stewardship of caring for and protecting our families. It is a responsibility that we cannot and must not delegate.” (Horacia A Toronio, in Conference Report, Oct. 1994, 29–30; or Ensign, Nov. 1994, 23–24; also in Eternal Marriage manual https://www.lds.org/manual/eternal-marriage-student-manual/parenthood-creating-a-gospel-centered-home?lang=eng).
-“And that wicked one cometh and taketh away light and truth, through disobedience, from the children of men, and because of the tradition of their fathers. But I have commanded you to bring up your children in light and truth.” (D&C 93:39-40)
-“We are the guardians of our children; their training and education are committed to our care, and if we do not ourselves pursue a course which will save them from the influence of evil, when we are weighed in the balance we shall be found wanting” (LBY, xxiv) (also cited in Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young, Ch 46 https://www.lds.org/manual/teachings-brigham-young/chapter-46?lang=eng)
-“The mothers are the moving instruments in the hands of Providence to guide the destinies of nations. Let the mothers of any nation teach their children not to make war, the children would grow up and never enter into it. Let the mothers teach their children, “War, war upon your enemies, yes, war to the hilt!” and they will be filled with this spirit. Consequently, you see at once what I wish to impress upon your minds is, that the mothers are the machinery that gives zest to the whole man, and guide the destinies and lives of men upon the earth.” (DBY, 199–200) (also cited in Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young, Ch 46 https://www.lds.org/manual/teachings-brigham-young/chapter-46?lang=eng)
-“Bring up your children in the love and fear of the Lord; study their dispositions and their temperaments, and deal with them accordingly, never allowing yourself to correct them in the heat of passion; teach them to love you rather than to fear you.” (DBY, 207) (also cited in Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young, Ch 46 https://www.lds.org/manual/teachings-brigham-young/chapter-46?lang=eng)
-“We cannot chastise a child for doing that which is contrary to our wills, if he knows no better; but when our children are taught better and know what is required of them, if they then rebel, of course, they expect to be chastised, and it is perfectly right that they should be (DNSW, 8 July 1873, 1) (also cited in Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young, Ch 46 https://www.lds.org/manual/teachings-brigham-young/chapter-46?lang=eng)
-“You ought always to take the lead of your children in their minds and affections. Instead of being behind with the whip, always be in advance, then you can say, “Come along,” and you will have no use for the rod. They will delight to follow you, and will like your words and ways, because you are always comforting them and giving them pleasure and enjoyment. If they get a little naughty, stop them when they have gone far enough. … When they transgress, and transcend certain bounds we want them to stop. If you are in the lead they will stop, they cannot run over you; but if you are behind they will run away from you.” (DNSW, 8 Dec. 1868, 2–3) (also cited in Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young, Ch 46 https://www.lds.org/manual/teachings-brigham-young/chapter-46?lang=eng)
-“I tell the mothers not to allow the children to indulge in evils, but at the same time to treat them with mildness. If a child is required to step in a certain direction, and it does not seem willing to do so, gently put it in the desired way, and say, There, my little dear, you must step when I speak to you. Children need directing and teaching what is right in a kind, affectionate manner.” (DBY, 209) (also cited in Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young, Ch 46 https://www.lds.org/manual/teachings-brigham-young/chapter-46?lang=eng)
-“How often we see parents demand obedience, good behavior, kind words, pleasant looks, a sweet voice and a bright eye from a child or children when they themselves are full of bitterness and scolding! How inconsistent and unreasonable this is!” (DBY, 208) (also cited in Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young, Ch 46 https://www.lds.org/manual/teachings-brigham-young/chapter-46?lang=eng)
I’ve often heard and given the council that families should hold regular (as in weekly) council meetings, which makes sense, as we want the business of our families to run smoothly. I’ve never really seen an outline of how to do this. PMG planning meetings are the closest thing I’ve seen. Here is what we do, I would love to hear your ideas.
Ours usually consist of:
-starting and ending with prayer,
-weekly going to a large public whiteboard in the home (or projecting a document electronically where all can see) and laying out the weeks business. Some ideas as follow:
Goals of each family member
Goals of the family as a whole
Ministering efforts of each family member and of the family as a whole
How the children are doing in their friendships
How the children are doing in their school
Family scripture study topics,
Family Home Evening Plans (lesson, activity, concerns, etc.)
Couples date plans
Family Finance, Budgeting
Projects to work on,
Family vacation & activity plans
Any other complaints/comments of family members.
Forgiving each other & asking forgiveness of each other
A form of sacred family time, perhaps you could even call it a prayer, we learn from the Jews is to go around the family saying, “please forgive me of any wrongs I’ve done to you, and I forgive you of any wrongs you’ve done to me”. This brings great family unity, and restores the spirit of God in a home.
Conversation with the child after a poor choice has been made
Weekly Planning Meeting
Ultimately the guide of conscience will be a better governor than setting up tons of rules. But here are some guidelines which may be helpful.
These rules are desired outcomes. Bringing children to these is a matter of patience, persuasion, and non-physical punishments.
Conversation with the child after a poor choice has been made:
-I don’t think that was the correct answer / you look like you need a minute to cool down. I would love to talk to you. Please stand here until you are ready to talk.
“Mom, I’m ready to talk”
-What did you do wrong? Why was that a bad choice? What should your consequence be for that choice?
-a child must learn to say to another child “That wasn’t very respectful, but I forgive you.” Life isn’t fair, and they must learn to respond in a Christlike way without parental intervention each time.
-no touching another person in anger
-the parent will seek to notice and reward incidences of positive behavior
-host (usually mother) takes the first bite at a meal
-ask to pass foods at meals
-no touching food which isn’t meant to be; sit close to table flat
-no interrupting someone else who is speaking, especially an adult
-only one person speaks at a time
-no running in the home
-when a child is spoken to, they look the adult in the eye then respond, indicating that they understand and will obey, or that they do not understand, or that they would like to discuss the requirement and potentially obtain a compromise
-you have assigned chores for each day of the week.
-your bed is to be made each morning
-your room is not to have clothing on the floor
-a clean room is a general expectation, and the parent can halt a child’s play at any time if the room is not clean
-occasionally extra jobs are given per consequence, eventually extra jobs are given from necessity. The parent will attempt to find rewards for the extra chores.
-there are general day chores, and chores which apply after each meal.
-children must clean up toys before being invited to any other activity
-“doing your best” on a chore is not sufficient. If your work is not satisfactory, the parent or an older sibling will teach you how to bring up your best to an acceptable level.
-there is a bed time. Those who get up after the bed time receive a consequence, usually a house cleaning job.
-daily chores must be completed before free time.
Weekly Planning Meeting:
-a goal is set for each person in the 4 quadrants of 1. Spirit 2. Mind 3. Body 4. Society
-a reward is set for each person, usually a measurable monetary reward such as a favorite candy
-hand washing after using the bathroom, taking out a diaper, or playing outside and prior to eating are required.
-Quiet time is to be observed every afternoon. If you are home you will participate. That means in your room doing a quiet activity such as reading or coloring that does not wake others who may be sleeping. If your actions wake anyone else you will receive a consequence.
-Lying and stealing will not be tolerated and consequences will be given for such behavior in accordance with the item or activity the perpetrator was dishonest regarding.
-You must respect another’s right not to be touched and other personal physical boundaries. If a person tells you to stop you must listen.
-You must respect the property of others. You ask permission to use things that don’t belong to you and you put them away nicely when finished with them.
Themes herein are early autonomy via accountability, home education, empowerment with adult roles / responsibility, attention to family creation, vocation, independence, & respect.
Use revelation from God to you to fine tune your personal developmental family outline. The following ideas may be helpful as you consider goals to set for your own family.
-The children need to know what blessings and expectations we have in store for them.
-This will result in: Patience -> obedience.
-Hope -> obedience
-psychological peace/adjustment/satisfaction -> obedience -> altruism ->exaltation
-joy -> obedience
Herein are duties for both the children and parents.
-The children owe it to the parents to strive for these goals
-The parents owe it to the children to help them strive for these goals
Academic: Reading, Writing, Basic math
Vocational: Proficiency in house chores, Clean room maintained without reminders
-Learn language of the spirit
-Academic Introductions to: dance, instruments, science, literature, writing, language, algebra, PE
PE: sport, health/fitness. Enables kinesthetic learning and social preparation.
-Distance and Sprint Running required
-Fitness Standards to be determined: pushups situs pullups mile time
Theme: Self Discovery & Maturing Altruism
Laptop use: Learn keyboarding, Organize school work, Diary, Collect special items, Write, Internet as parents dictate, Restrictions if abused / zombie
Temple baptisms: Monthly temple baptisms minimal, Weekly temple baptisms where possible. Recall BYU Hebrew professor Dr. Donald Parry spoke of a young woman who weekly went to temple, she shined.
Academic: School focused on topics of interest, Prep for SAT/ACT, 4 years until High School Diploma, translates to beginning 9th grade related studies
Music (vocal, theory, piano + 1 other instrument if interested).
Dance: Ballet, Irish, folk, tap, square, country swing, ballroom.
Language: 1 or more foreign
Math: Advanced algebra, geometry, pre-calc.
Physical Education: goals & tracking progress in pushups pullups situps mile 500-meter 100-meter. BMI goals.
Drama, Theatre, Literature
Chemistry: Elements, Balancing equations
Physics: Astronomy, Basics
Biology: Photosynthesis, Human anatomy, Ecosystems, microbiology
English: Poetry readings and composition, Grammar, elimination of slang, penmanship, spelling, vocabulary
Government, History, Geography: US Presidents politics founding documents founding fathers, memorize preamble, federalism, checks balances, bill of rights, world history ancient & modern, learn all countries and US states, Participation in government, Current events
Art: creation, history, eras
Subjects of choice: I.e.. Aviation, mechanics, cars, zoology, veterinarian, medical, scouting, psychology/therapy, parenting, nutrition, culinary, military, EMT, business, …
Vocational Preparation: gardening, career planning, housekeeping proficiency, studies in chosen fields
Gospel Scholarship: personal scripture study skills & habits, mastery of Preach My Gospel, Proficiency in all gospel principles
Social: team sport or community theatre enrollment
Theme: Preparation for adulthood / quisi-adulthood. Societies used to consider puberty the onset of adulthood, mature “children” are capable of much.
Major increase in trust and responsibility.
Cell phone: Turn in at 10pm. Restrictions if abused / zombie
Academic: High School Diploma Acquired. Begin College Associates studies
Dating: 1 or more / week. Temple recommend required of suiters. Usually in groups, different candidates. Learn strengths and weaknesses of various personalities. Learn to value marriage, to not postpone it. Joy. Time to start leaving home regularly.
Post-date debriefing interviews: complete transparency with parents. Analyze spiritual character of candidates, personal feelings, events of date.
Car: Enables dates & job where applicable. Increases trust & choice making. Supports the family in running errands. Every child may have their own separate car to increase independence & preparation for adulthood, adult roles, & joy. Children pay all expenses. Car ownership is a duty, not optional. Mandatory for development. Living in [a rural area, as is healthy for families] particularly necessitates vehicle to travel for work, courting, education, & exploration.
Job: Job is a duty, not optional. Mandatory for development. Enables the car which enables the date. Also enables making payments on a loan from a bank (not from parents, it’s time for reality). Teaches tithing. Teaches budgeting. Teaches savings: separate accounts for mission, expenses, dates, education, emergencies, & fun. Job can’t be before 16 if away from the local community because I’m not going to drive them to work.
Gospel Scholarship: Studies based in mission preparation. PMG Memorization, role play teaching, community outreach, social media proselyting.
Obtain College Associates Degree at 18.
Missions: Boys mission at 18. Girls optional but encouraged mission at 19. Missions are a unique maturing & serving experience to work out their personal salvation.
Dating: After missions and as adults in general, the time is now for marriage.
During dating era, seek formal higher education primarily for the purpose of maturing your mind, secondarily for the purpose of getting a good job.
Move out. Live at home option is highly discouraged, a written plan must be in place if they select this option. Only for online bachelor’s degree pursuit. Pay average (not advantaged) rent: $300/mo. Buy own food (separate fridge). Mirror apartment living in every way possible. No curfews, etc. Any and all babysitting etc. is paid. If the young adult is in any way delaying progress by living at home, evict them. Never give them free money under any circumstance. Do not rob them of real life’s natural consequences. Loans come from a bank, not parents.
Obtain a bachelor degree ASAP.
You’ll have married and preparing for childbearing, or will be seriously dating toward marriage at this stage. Have serious conversations not just fun on dates.
Have a full time job. If in a highly demanding school program, that can take precedence.
Family is NOT to be postponed due to any school or work related reason whatsoever.
Still living at home by this age is extremely discouraged and rare.
Live at hope option expires. Exception: Show satisfactory progress in university studies with set graduation date & post-graduate plans. Show satisfactory in all other developmental areas.
Age 24 +
Live at home option expires, no exceptions. Come see parents at least once a month. Call mom once a week.
For spiritual and temporal reasons, it is often better to live close to family, and not to constantly seek a bigger better home that what you have, even if you can afford it.
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland recently taught that young people should stay close to home where it is safe rather than moving around the country to go to far off colleges. If (when) things go south, young people should be close enough to home to return there fore safety. (ref)
President Nelson taught in the 2021 April conference priesthood session that we should stand in holy places and be not moved, that our homes should be sanctuaries of faith.
Elder Stanley G Ellis spoke of this in a conference report not long ago, suggesting that wherever we are, we should grow, rather than be always looking to leave and live somewhere else, living reserving ourselves to give more fully in some more comfortable location or something.
I will suggest why it is good to not be moving from home to home as is so common in our time.
Optimal child development.
Children thrive with consistency.
They can make friends from childhood, and not be so strongly tempted to put on strange masks to find quick friends in new areas.
Moving is one of the great disturbances to child development, and greatly affects adults as well.
Neighbors learn to get along. Squabbles happen between neighbors, and learning to forgive and get along is a
divine thing, instead of resenting and moving away.
You can keep needed boundaries from unsafe behaviors of others, and only in extreme cases would a person need to shut out someone from their life.
Pay off the home and save for missionary service rather than constantly upgrading your home. The song says ‘wake up and do something more than dream of your mansion above.’ Some of us can afford to finance or even cash flow quite a mansion; this isn’t inherently sinful (though excessive debt may be), but it can, and often does, keep us from doing betting things with our resources.
What if instead of buying a mansion at first chance and living house poor, you paid off your house, and saved money toward furthering your education and serving missions? Not to mention helping your children do the same, but you must always take care of yourself too, or your power to fully take care of your children will be diminished, and the children do need to learn to work for things on their own. Of course you will endeavor to teach your children, and cultivate an atmosphere of a love for legitimate education in your home.
85% of cars today are financed rather than owned outright. And I would guess that even less homes are owned outright. Why do we insist on carrying on with the plagues of debt? Like Dave Ramsey, the Christian financial genius suggests, pay cash for a home. Pay cash for everything. Cut credit cards in half, no one gets rich with those things. And sky miles are a
Get to know the people in your neighborhood. How long will we persist in not even knowing the names of our neighbors? How can we build the friendships needed to do missionary work if we are moving from place to place so often?
If your family grows, have a fuller house, or build on a room above the attic or on the side if you have space. In old times it was common to raise a dozen children in what we would call a 2-bedroom apartment. Naturally the kids will need to learn to enjoy spending time outside, and how to get along peaceably.
How will you have influence in local politics if you haven’t lived there very long, or if you don’t plan on staying? Instead, get to know the neighbors, and one by one, persuade them the justice of your political views, and lead the community to thrive thereby.
Jesus was of Galilee, a small place comparatively. Twas there that he grew and worked. He saw no need to
be building himself increasingly large homes every chance he got. He spent his spare time rather in learning the law and the prophets, serving others, and teaching the gospel. What a genius investor, investing in things which bring highest dividends!
What of where I am being desolated in the day of the wrath of the Lord? Pray that your house is passed over like those in Israel of old with the blood of the lamb on their door. Then stand with those good remaining in the community and build whatever you can from the ruins. If it is not passed over, like the temples which were burned by evil men, then say like Brigham Young, “good, the Lord wants it, let him have it.” Then, also like Brigham, go build another one.
Yes, the book of revelation speaks of us (church members / the woman in the analogy) hiding out while the dragon plays around… we would do well to tend to financial preparation; listen to Dave Ramsey to learn how to do that; he shares the opinion of our prophets that we should get and stay out of debt asap. But yes, what a happy thing it will be to go somewhere safe if we are called to do so, or what a happy thing to have the storm pass by our homes and get to stay there. I think Brigham said at some point that just because New Jerusalem will be here on doesn’t mean we need to all leave our houses we’ve worked to establish.
Find a very affordable home and pay it off. If your family grows a lot just build more rooms onto the house. There is likely a little village of saints where you live who could help each other and would likely need to go on horse into town now and then for supplies. I’m hoping when the New Jerusalem is here, we can just teleport there. The Book of Mormon says the 3 Nephites teleport so why not us? That way we can do work in the various areas, including preaching in India Arabia etc., and teleport home, and not have to up our roots.
Metropolitan areas? Might not be able to stake down there too well. However, I think the John Taylor vision, maybe Isaiah too, speaks of empty cities after destructions which the saints have the pleasure of taking over since they’re sort of the last ones standing, however sad that is. The Old Testament promises that the people of the Lord will get to “reap where they have not sown”; the Lord owns everything, and if he wants to give a good bit of it to his saints who serve him day and night, it is his prerogative to do so. Of course, those surviving the plagues will be the saints and whatever other good people are around. But the idea that there’ll likely be plenty of houses you can just stake your claim for remains.
But at present it’s still a good idea to seek a house. Ramsey says pay cash for a house but remember it’s optimal for child development to limit the number of times you move to a reasonable amount.
Glen L Latham – parenting & teaching
TeachingSelfGovernment.com on Parenting
Education.byu.edu/YouCanDoThis on Parenting
FeministsForLife.org – An Anti-Abortion Group
Karyn Purvis – EmpoweredToConnect.org – Texas Christian Institute, helping traumatized children in positive ways
Foster Cline, M.D., and Jim Fay – Parenting With Love and Logic: Teaching Children Responsibility
Gary Chapman, Ph.D. and Ross Campbell, M.D – The Five Love Languages of Children
Randal A. Wright – 25 LDS parenting mistakes book, etc. Former BYU professor
Leonard Oestreicher – screens lead to autism
-Mark D Ogletree, see book on raising missionary kids
-Neil Flinders: Teach the children: an agency approach to education; Joseph Smith: America’s Greatest Educator
-Kevin Hinckley: Parenting the Strong Willed Child
-Cynthia Tobias: You can’t make me but I can be persuaded
-David Sorenson: a biblical guide for Christian parents
Craig H. Hart – parenting, family proclamation
Rebecca Eanes – parenting
Nicholeen Peck – parenting
Susan Stiffelman – parenting
-David Williamson Shaffer: how computer games help children learn