7 Mistakes LDS Parents Make by Mark Ogletree PhD, LDS Living Magazine



  1. Not teaching your children how to work effectively.


Solution: Parents should spend time working beside their children. Make work fun. Wonderful family discussions and memories can be made as families weed flower beds together, paint rooms, and clean their homes. Children should have chores to do each day, and when they become older, they should secure summer and part-time jobs.

  1. Teaching children that obedience is optional. (allowing disobedience contributes to disobedience)


Solution: Have your children help create some family rules. You don’t need too many rules—just 3-5 really good ones. When rules are obeyed, children should be praised or rewarded in some fashion. When rules are broken, children should be disciplined. Help children understand that obedience to rules helps to keep order and peace.

  1. Protecting children from anything they don’t want to do, or anything that is hard, uncomfortable, or inconvenient. (Homework, participation, etc.)


Solution: Encourage your children to do hard and difficult things. Help them understand that real self-worth and confidence comes from engaging in things that are difficult—not easy. Children can take challenging classes and come up with their own solutions. Parents should do hard and difficult things with their children, such as running races, hiking, swimming, and other physically demanding activities. Teach your children not to quit.

  1. Teaching your children that agency means freedom.


Solutions: Teach your children the doctrine of agency as taught in 2 Nephi 2:27. Help them understand that wise choices lead to more freedom, while poor choices result in captivity. Parents should follow this teaching model to help prepare their children for real life experiences.

  1. Teaching your children that you will be there to solve every problem.


Solution: Instead of telling your child what they are going to do, ask them, “What do you think about this?” Or “How will you solve that problem?” Instead of giving your children all of the answers, teach them how to find the answers on their own. Don’t do anything for your children that they can do on their own!

  1. Sheltering children from rejection and disappointment. (“Trophies all around”)


Solution: Don’t cushion your children from every challenge and trial. Instead, help them face obstacles head on. Help your children understand the purpose of opposition and challenges, as well as how to learn and grow from failures.

  1. Teaching your children that they don’t need a testimony right now—it can wait until they are older.


Solution: Teach your children to always be where they are supposed to be, when they are supposed to be there, doing what they are supposed to be doing. Don’t let your children waste so much time in idle pursuits, such as with video games and social media. Help immerse them in activities and practices where they can feel the Spirit and strengthen their faith.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *