This is part two in an ongoing series about the war that is being waged against families and family values---and what we can do to strengthen and protect ours.
I teach a Sunday School class on strengthening the family and parenting skills. The lesson manual is terrific, the points "right on" and the suggestions doable. I am including, in my blog, some of the information from that class.
The class manual, Strengthening the Family, outlines
Nine Principles for Successful Parenting
and recommends you consider how well you follow these principles in your personal and family life.
The manual suggests you select a principle, identify how you can follow it better, and concentrate on improving in that area. When you have begun to implement that principle successfully, it asks that you choose another principle that will help you, your marriage and your family—continuing with this process as long as it seems appropriate.*
FAITH - Parents should teach children to have faith in Jesus Christ and use their growing faith in gospel principles to govern their personal lives (see Matthew 17:20, Hebrews 11:6, 3 Nephi 18:20, D&C 68:25).
PRAYER - Children should learn to pray individually and as a family. Children can learn early about the power of prayer (see Enos 1:1-5, Mosiah 27:8-14, Alma 34:17-27, 3 Nephi 18:21).
REPENTANCE - Parents should acknowledge, confess, and forsake sins so that they can enjoy the guiding influence of the Holy Ghost. They can help their children understand and apply these principles in their lives (see Alma 34:33, 3 Nephi 9:22, Moroni 10:32-33, D&C 6:9 and 58:42-43).
FORGIVENESS - Parents can be an example of forgiveness by forgiving themselves, their spouses, and their children for shortcomings (see Matthew 6:14-15, Ephesians 4:32, Mosiah 26:29-31; D&C 64:8-10).
RESPECT - Family members are to learn to respect one another. Parents and children can learn to treat each other with courtesy and tenderness, holding each other in highest esteem (see Mark 9:42; D&C 121:41-46). Parents should try to eliminate critical thoughts and words about each other and their children.
LOVE - Parents are to love their children in the manner described by Paul, Alma, and Mormon — with patience, kindness, gentleness, unselfishness, and humility (See 1 Corinthians 13; Alma 7:23-24, Moroni 7:45-48).
COMPASSION - Parents can show compassion for each other and for their children. They should feel sorrow for the adversities experienced by family members and seek to understand and support family members during their difficult times (see Ruth 1:11-17; Zechariah 7:8-10, Luke 15:11-32).
WORK - Family work gives children opportunities to learn to appreciate work and to feel the satisfaction of accomplishment (see D&C 42:42, 58: 27-28), especially as parents and children work together. Work should be tailored to the age and abilities of children to foster feelings of success and confidence.
WHOLESOME RECREATION - Families are strengthened and revitalized when family members join in wholesome, enjoyable activities.
* I was fascinated when I read that Benjamin Franklin, one of the Fathers of America, sought to constantly improve himself by using a plan of 13 virtues, which he developed in 1726 at the age 20. He followed this plan for the attainment of moral perfection, mainly by writing each on a card and working on one virtue at a time, repeatedly for all of his life.
When is it too late to start?
Life is hard. Time can easily slip away. Don’t we all ask “where does the time go?” Yet, realistically, don't we manage to find the time/make the time for the things that matter most? For the things we really want to do?
We are all human and have probably made many mistakes along the way. Maybe for years we have done the wrong thing but this information is to help us change that. I find the following quote very simple, very profound, and very encouraging.
“The very next breath you take, the very next word you say, the very next step you take can be in a different direction.”
Family Answers (for a more loving family) DVD
Watch for Part 3: Teaching Children Responsible Behavior--- Choices and Consequences