Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Parenting Class Project

I don't have a baby or I would use a picture of myself.
This one is from

My Parenting Manual
For my parenting class this semester I was asked to read two parenting books by Alfie Kohn and Laurence Steinberg. There is a lot of good information in these books that I would like to refer back to when I am a parent. Here I will be sharing the 7 most important principles that I have learned and how they apply to gospel principles.

1. Keep Your Eye on Your Long Term Goals (Kohn, p. 122)
What do you want for you child's future? Do you want them to to be kind, thoughtful, moral, and happy adults that make wise decisions? Or do you want them to do things because they are afraid of punishments or they are seeking rewards or praise? The way we parent has everything to do with the way our children turn out. If we use love withdrawal (time-outs or physical punishment) when they misbehave, we are teaching them to only act well when we are present.

"Generally speaking, no one is better able to help children recognize their spiritual feelings than parents, and no time is better for doing this than childhood. The Lord endows parents with a deep love for their little ones, a special capacity for discerning their needs and feelings, and the right to receive spiritual guidance in their behalf. Because children feel and respond with great sensitivity to their parents’ love, they are open to parental influence and eager to be taught." (Helping Children Hear the Still, Small Voice-By C. Terry and Susan L. Warner)

D&C 42:14 And the Spirit shall be given unto you by the prayer of faith; and if ye receive not the Spirit ye shall not teach.

2. RESPECT (Kohn, p. 124)
If we treated children like we treat adults, we would be a heck of a lot more respectful. All people deserve respect. Children are more likely to respect you if you show them respect. 

Exodus 2:25 And God looked upon the children of Israel, and God had respect unto them.

Matthew 18:3 And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. 

3. Be Authentic (Kohn, p. 125)
We need to show our children that we are real people too. Show them that we sometimes make mistakes and have bad days. It's okay to be human. It's okay to be honest. We need to apologize when it is appropriate. Our children learn from our example. "The more real we are with them, the more likely it is that they'll feel real respect for us."

D&C 97:8 Verily I say unto you, all among them who know their hearts are honest, and are broken, and their spirits contrite, and are willing to observe their covenants by sacrifice—yea, every sacrifice which I, the Lord, shall command—they are accepted of me. 

4. Attribute to Children the Best Possible Motive Consistent with the Facts (Kohn, p. 130)
Children are inherently good. There are no sinister desires to cause trouble. Get all of the facts before you discipline your child. Maybe you're wrong or frustrated or not seeing the big picture. Maybe what they did was an accident. "Mischief ofter can be explained by a simple lack of skills or guidance, an innocent desire to explore, an inability to foresee what happens when you take that thing and do this to it." Consider the fact that the child might just be curious instead of naughty.

Moroni 8:9-10  And after this manner did the Holy Ghost manifest the word of God unto me; wherefore, my beloved son, I know that it is solemn mockery before God, that ye should baptize little children.
Behold I say unto you that this thing shall ye teach—repentance and baptism unto those who are accountable and capable of committing sin; yea, teach parents that they must repent and be baptized, and humble themselves as their little children, and they shall all be saved with their little children.

5.Keep Their Ages in Mind (Kohn, p. 129)
This one goes hand in hand with number four. If we keep in mind the ages of children we will not expect more of them than they can offer. do not hold your children to unrealistically high expectations. Find out what is developmentally "appropriate" for your child and do not try to push them further than they can handle. Remember that it is normal for small children to fidget, be loud and forgetful.

"You’ll understand people better if you assume that people’s behavior is rational, at least from their point of view. Try to see what they see.” (Choose to Be Good-By Henry B. Eyring)

6.You Cannot be Too Loving (Steinberg, p. 27-46)
It is impossible to spoil a child with love. Tell your child every single day that you love them. Show affection. Give hugs and kisses. Children do not need toughening up, especially from their parents. They will get enough of that from the world. Children need to know that there are at least two people in the world that will always love them no matter what.

“Husband and wife have a solemn responsibility to love and care for each other and for their children. … Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs, to teach them to love and serve one another, to observe the commandments of God and to be law-abiding citizens wherever they live. Husbands and wives—mothers and fathers—will be held accountable before God for the discharge of these obligations” (The Family a Proclamation to the World-The First Presidency and Council of the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints)

"[We must] make our homes a safe place where each family member feels love and a sense of belonging. Realize that each child has varying gifts and abilities; each is an individual requiring special love and care." (Strengthening Families: Our Sacred Duty- By Robert D. Hales)

7. Don't Be in a Hurry (Kohn, p. 138)
This one is pretty literal. Do not rush children. Plan extra time in your schedule. Children are slow moving. They take their sweet time. The more frantic we are, the slower they are likely to be. Plan accordingly and everyone will be much happier.

"My dear brothers and sisters, we would do well to slow down a little, proceed at the optimum speed for our circumstances, focus on the significant, lift up our eyes, and truly see the things that matter most. Let us be mindful of the foundational precepts our Heavenly Father has given to His children that will establish the basis of a rich and fruitful mortal life with promises of eternal happiness. They will teach us to do “all these things … in wisdom and order; for it is not requisite that [we] should run faster than [we have] strength. [But] it is expedient that [we] should be diligent, [and] thereby … win the prize.” (Of Things That Matter Most- By Dieter F. Uchtdorf)

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