Thursday, June 28, 2007

Parenting . . . with a little help from the scriptures

"And now, as the preaching of the word had a great tendency to lead the people to do that which was just--yea, it had had more powerful effect upon the minds of the people than the sword, or anything else, which had happened unto them--therefore Alma thought it was expedient that they should try the virtue of the word of God."

-Alma 31:5

This scripture talks about when Alma prepared to teach the Zoramites the gospel, but the other day during my scripture study, it hit me that so much more can be taken from this well-known scripture in regards to my life at the moment. So following are a few thoughts I had about parenting upon pondering this scripture.

Preaching of the Word = FHE, attending church (Primary for the kids), our example to our children (they’re always watching), and just everyday conversations where we bring the gospel to our children’s attention and thoughts.

A couple months ago Nate spoke with someone at work who had Elder Bednar at his stake conference. Elder Bednar asked him if he read his scriptures with his family to which he replied that he and his wife did, but they had only toddlers so they didn’t read as a family.

What do you think E. Bednar replied????

He said – you need to start reading with them even at that young age – read the scriptures with your children or you will lose them!

Sword = spanking, physical punishment.

Anything else = any other punishments parents think of and use.

I firmly believe that if we have/continue regular family scripture study, prayer and FHE, then we will be blessed. Our children will know their Savior better and want to be like Him as the spirit resides in our homes.

And that, my friends = good behavior

(for the most part - I mean they can't be perfect, can they?)

I then remembered an article I read in the Ensign when Savannah was a toddler and London a new baby and I was overwhelmed with juggling the two on very little sleep. (I swear London did not sleep at all in her first six months of life!) It seemed that Savy took a bad behavior turn and soon afterwards I read this article about a mom who was frustrated about the bad behavior of her toddler. In a dream, she sat on a park bench with her deceased Grandmother and asked advice. The Grandmother simply said "play with her." Taking the advice to heart, the mother decided to spend more one-on-one time and it immediately changed her daughter’s behavior.

That article helped me realize that even just 10-15 minutes of sitting on the floor playing with Savy helped her behavior improve so that I could tend to the baby. Sometimes I forget that lesson and get busy cleaning, cooking, studying, painting, etc. And then I realize that I need to go back to the advice in that article and it always helps – my girls LOVE it when I play Barbie’s or eat their pretend food and it’s also FUN for me.

And let me assure you that there is nothing better in this world than little arms wrapping around your neck, a kiss and a little voice proclaiming, "mom, you're my best buddy!"

So, between the word and one-on-one time,

I am ready to go forward and be a better mom today.


Megan said...

Powerful, thank you for sharing your thoughts on that. I have been learning many things in the scriptures and other studies about how powerful a persuasion the word of God is over any other worldly device in raising your children.

Susan said...

This was wonderful Mandi. Definately what I needed today.

Amy said...

This is something I need to post up somewhere where I can remember it more often. I remember making the discovery after you read the Ensign article so long ago, long do my "be a better mom" convictions last before my "fend for yourself" kicks in. Holy cow. We only have our chance with these little people for such a short time. I need to give them more. I know that...this is something I think about often, but it's far more difficult to translate it into action. Thanks for the reminder!