a "been-there" mom of six offers encouragement
to wives, young mothers, and those not so young,
and simple common-sense approaches to
the "ings" of life:
child-rearing (hints and helps), homemaking (all areas),
cooking (simple, cheap, and do-it-yourself)
making (toys and gifts), preparing (for the unexpected),
maintaining (sanity and peace in this increasingly crazy world) and more---
all aspects of making the most of making do on little---
and having fun in the process.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Combating the War Against the Family. . . Part 2

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

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Combating the War Against the Family . . . Part 1

Parenting is, without question, the most important responsibility/activity in the world. 

Parenting should be our most expensive commitment—in time, effort, and expended energy. The money part comes in last. 


        The greatest work we will ever do will be 
          within the walls of our own home.
                                                                     David O. McKay

Most aspects of our culture and society in general are increasingly trying to downplay and to diminish the importance of parenting. Happy and harmonious homes are a blessing to parents and to children. A good family is the foundation of all of life and Satan is raging --- trying by all possible means to destroy it.

The Bible  warns us that the time would come that good would be made to seem evil and evil would be made to seem good. Isaiah 5:20.  

That time is here!!! 

A very loud minority are in our faces everywhere we turn, trying to convince us — the majority of honest, moral, law-abiding citizens—that we are the ones that have it all wrong. 

Our children are faced every day with horrible things that most of us never experienced, not even once, in our growing-up years. 

We must open our eyes to what is going on around us!

From years ago. . . a warning of society’s decline:

1. First we abhor
2. Next we endure
3. Finally we embrace

Where are we now?

1. First think of the things that were unthinkable not many years ago.

2. Next consider the things that, while we still may not approve, we have come to               accept after seeing them and hearing them at every turn and on every front as 
“that’s just the way it is these days.”

3. Finally, realize the things that have gradually worked themselves in to be a part of our lives – the television programs and movies we watch, the books we read, the language we use, the clothing we accept as acceptable.

Most of the clergy from most of the religions are trying desperately to help us see what is happening to the family — to help us recognize the moral enemies that bombard us — especially our impressionable children. 

I have just been assigned to teach a Sunday School class on Strengthening the Family and parenting skills. It is a huge responsibility. The lesson manual is terrific, the points “right on” and the suggestions doable.  The subjects include:

Understand child development and have realistic expectations of your children
Learn to communicate more effectively with your spouse and children
Know how to nurture children through emotional and troubling times
Know how to instill confidence in children
Resolve anger issues that may impede effective parenting
Resolve parent-child conflict
Understand how to teach children responsible behavior
Use consequences in disciplining children
Provide a better home environment in which the Spirit of the Lord can dwell

While I share this important information with a few each week in class,  I will be including parts from  the manual in my blog to share with you.  

Good parenting is not a matter of chance or circumstances.  Good parenting has nothing to do with where you live, how much education you have, what your occupation and/or social status is, how big your house is, how much money you make or how much “stuff” you have, Happy, harmonious homes are a blessing to parents and to children. 

Good parenting IS a matter of choice— the choice to expend your time and energy in what matters most.  And, if your family is not currently what matters most, you need to reorder your priorities. 

To paraphrase a credit card commercial:   Children are Priceless and. . . for the rest there is MasterCard. Children cannot be bought!

How do children spell love?   T-I-M-E

Next:  Combating the War Against the Family Part 2 -- Nine Principles for Successful Parenting