Monday, April 4, 2011

Christ-like Parenting... Christ-like Living

Hi. I'm back. I've been out of the blogging world during Spring Break. And it just ended with a fabulous Conference!

I listened to and took notes from my current favorite talk from this past weekend conference, again... I'll post the audio of it for you here, in case you want to listen to it. :D

I LOVE IT! There is so much in it; I wanted to take notes on everything! So I did. :o This is one which I will be printing (as soon as the print comes available) and adding to my home-made Parenting Manuel / 3-Ring binder. :D

In a nutshell (which does the talk no justice, if you haven't studied it yourself first... but I did, so it is good for me; :o)  I learned or was reminded of the following points:

There are things we "DO" and there are things we "Be" (are). The "to do's" we can check off our "to do" lists. But the "to be's" we can never check off our lists. These are characteristics and attributes that we must develop, and always continue developing and refining - making them a part of our very natures, or characters. These are the "to BE's" that help us to have more Christ-like behaviors.

Elder Robbins suggests that the "BE'S" begat the "DO'S." Therefore, it is his suggestion, that when a child misbehaves, it is helpful to ask ourselves what Christ-like attributes our child needs to BE... in order to be able to be able to do, the desired behavior; then teach these attributes as part of discipline.

A few Christ-like attributes were listed:

-being patient and forgiving when annoyed
-loving and being a peacemaker
-taking responsibility for one's actions, and not blaming

Of course, the list can go on and on...

How to teach these Christ-like attributes...

Remember that Discipline, comes from the word "Disciple" - Discipline = Discipleship
Doctrine and Covenants 121: 41-42 tells us what we need to BE, and how we should teach, so that we can influence/discipline (discipleship):
"by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned; 42 By kindness, and pure knowledge, which shall greatly enlarge the soul without hypocrisy, and without guile"
Elder Robbins reminds us that it is through discipline that our children learn of consequence; he advises us to "ask them what they learned from the mistake or misdeed."

He also suggests that we do this with the spirit. This is important to note, because it isn't the question or the preaching that really makes the impact - it is the spirit. - Brother Robbins notes that the sword changes what people DO, but the word changes what people are (BE ~ which ultimately changes what they do in the future as well as at the moment).

I also greatly appreciate the reminder that having "more challenging children" who "test me to the etth degree"  (which he so humorously refers to as "being enrolled in Parenting 505, rather than the Parenting 101 course which accompanies "sweet and obedient children"), is a blessing, because it tests, develops, and refines my own Christ-like attributes. :) (This is a very good thing. I really need this course!) :o

All I could do was nod my head in a solid YES when he asked the question, "Could it be that you need this child, as much as this child needs you?" Sigh... :O ~ LOL :D

Dealing with children who challenge our Christ-like attributes...

I have many times thought of how often children live up to, (or in sad cases, down to) our expectations of them. The way we speak to them and think of them greatly affects the way they think about themselves. In a way, then, we greatly influence a child's self identity. The word "identity" was often stated in this talk, reminding me once again of the importance of striving to see my children the way my Father in Heaven wants me to see them, so they will be encouraged to think good of themselves, thus developing healthy self identities. I wish I could properly relay my testimony and feelings about this.

Here are some important tips given for disciplining children who may challenge us...

*Condemn the sin, not the sinner.
*Never say anything (name calling... "stupid," "lazy," etc) which would label a child after a wrong doing, thus giving an identity which would lead to failure.
*Remember that the true identity of a child is based on two things; the fact that he or she is a child of God, and his or her potential to become Christ-like.
*Remember that identity has nothing to do with mistakes made, what we do for a living, or what we possess.
*Mistakes and disappointing behaviors should be viewed as temporary - not as part of identity... as "acts" not as "identity."
*To help our children to discover their true identities, and strengthen their self worth, we can compliment our children based on what their character and beliefs are... complimenting the BE'S and the DO'S together. For example, tell your child what he/she did, then state the characteristics or attributes which he IS, which preceded the action, and let him know you are proud of him for those attributes. (He gave specific examples of how to give this kind of praise in his talk.)
*Look for attributes that you study in the scriptures, and occasionally talk about them at the dinner table... "In what way were you dependable (honest?, a good friend?) today?
*Pray for the attributes/gifts that you desire to be/have.
*Heavenly Father is the perfect parent. BE THAT KIND OF PARENT.This is the best way that you can teach your children to BE the Christ-like person, having Christ-like attributes, which you desire for them.

I am encouraged to emotion by this. I feel it was written for me. There is much that I must do to be a better parent and a better person, but the way is simple, the answers are clear. I need to keep focused on these goals to develop Christ-like attributes, and keep moving forward despite the challenges along the way. It is easy to get discouraged if I am not patient, fail to keep a positive outlook, or stop focus on being loving; but if I DO these things... if I focus on BEing patient, positive, kind, and loving - With Heavenly Fathers help, I must succeed in disciplining even those who put me through Parenting 505... no matter how steep the grade! :D

Elder Lynn G. Robbins closed his talk with the most perfect encouraging hope and prayer for us all. He noted that though he primarily spoke to parents, the principles apply to everyone. Then he stated the following hopes for each and every one of us:

That our efforts to develop Christ-like attributes will be successful...

That we will have His image in our countenance...

That His attributes will be manifest in our behaviors...

"then when your children or others feel of your love, and see your behavior, it will remind them of the Savior and draw them to Him... is my prayer and testimony, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen."

This is what discipline is. This is true discipleship; and I hope and pray these blessings and gifts for us all!

PS. I'm SO thankful for General Conferences!!!!

Corine :D

PS I added a few lines to my old blog post titled "The Concept of Self Government," only a few days ago... just prior to hearing this article." I may have to go back and refine my definition of "discipline" to include "discipleship" after reading this. :) I'm sure this will continue to be a work in progress...


  1. You know Corine,
    I have always tried my best to parent with such patience and love because I wasn't parented that way and I said I was going to do it differently...there is no one more important than my son and his upbringing...thanks for sharing this information; I really enjoyed the information and picked up some tips and ffod for thought.

  2. You just amaze me with your stamina in regards to knowledge. Welcome back :)
    Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

  3. I loved this talk too. I thought it was wonderfully uplifting. God article today and a great job of sharing.

  4. Tracy, I can tell from reading your blog that you are a very wonderful and kind mother. Good job for going against the grain to do what comes naturally - parent as you were parented. :)

    Jules, you are so sweet; thanks. :) I simply have awesome access to awesome knoweldge which I am so happy to share. Thanks so much for the welcome back! :D

    Patty Ann, I'm so glad they are placed on archive right away because I can't wait to hear more of them agian. Thanks so much for the compliment. :D

  5. I too loved this talk ... I think I've listened to this talk 3 or 4x's already... maybe I need to listen to it again?

    It is so difficult to be the mom I want my children to have -- this talk gave such encouragement to begin again..


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