Monday, September 19, 2011

Discoveries of Parenthood...

"The ability and willingness to properly rear children, the gift to live, and eagerness... to express it in soul development, make motherhood the noblest office or calling in the world. She who can paint a masterpiece or write a book that will influence millions deserves the admiration and plaudits of mankind; but she who rears successfully a family of healthy, beautiful sons and daughters, whose influence will be felt through generations to come, ...deserves the highest honor that man can give, and the choicest blessings of God."
David O. McKay
When I was a kid, I couldn't wait to grow up and have a family, and I was SURE I would be an AWESOME mom! I would be one like David O. McKay described above. I would never yell (I used to, but I stopped!) and be the BEST MOM EVER!! My kids would be perfect, too! ;O

Then I got married and started a family, I was SHOCKED to find out how hard it was! Psychologically, it was like someone had taken a frying pan and hit me in the face with it! I WAS CLUELESS!
Maybe some of that was because I never dreamed of what kind of wife I would be. It never occurred to me that I would be a wife,  first (speaking of roles), and then a mom. It never occurred to me that my husband and I would have struggles that would HUGELY affect our child rearing. There were things I simply failed to take into consideration, and was too young and way too inexperienced to even imagine...
Now, I have been married for 22 years, and a mom for nearly 20 years. And I'm STILL trying to get good at it. But, I think I have figured it out (finally!). Now that I can see more clearly,  I hope to actually get good at it before the grand kids come. :o

Here is a small list of what I consider vital components in raising a happy family (heard from the pupet, but learned by trial and error). These are a few things which I ONLY WISH I had committed to, YEARS AGO!!!

1.) Fill my children's time with good things. (Kids that get into trouble, get into trouble because they are BORED. They have too much time on their hands! The more time they spend doing good things, the less time they will have to spend on less worthy activities).

2.) Fill my children's lives with light - CONSISTENTLY. I believe that darkness, or a dark life, may well simply be the result of the absence of light. (Light: Family gospel/scripture study, family prayers, FHE (family time), good pictures, good movies, good music - find uplifting music that they like, and play it so often that it becomes more appealing to them than music which is less worthy of their time.)

3.) Establish a few fair rules, with consequences - and consistently enforce them. Let kids see and know there are consequences to actions, and order will prevail!

4.) (And perhaps this should be #1 - it is the most important) Take time, daily, consistently, always... to LOVE the kids in a way that is recognizable to them. Spend 1-on-1 time with each of them weekly or more. Hug and tell them you love them daily. Smile at them. Let them know you love them in so many ways. Meet their needs. Talk WITH them. Be there FOR them. Talk to them about THEIR hopes, dreams, goals, etc. Love them so much and so well, that when they see the light of Christ in your countenance, they will desire to seek Him, too.

5.) Eat meals together as a family... Make home and family life wonderful! :D

6.) Lead by example.

Parenting is about LEADING. It is the most far reaching and influential position a person can ever hope to have; no other group of people will ever observe and mimic you like your children will... And of all the leading I desire to do for my children (to be smart, to go to college, make the most of themselves... to be responsible and hardworking, honest and true etc), it all boils down to leading them to Christ; for everything I desire for them encompasses a Christ-like attribute.

How is leading done?

If we want to lead our children to Christ, we have to go to Christ ourselves, in all we say and do. We have to preach the gospel to our children.

I used to think this meant I needed to talk a lot. Consequently - I HAVE TALKED WAY TOO MUCH! That was a really big mistake, because my family learned to just tune me OUT.

I love the quiet confidence that I see in some women, women who, like Valerie Johnson, speak through actions so eloquently you hang on to the edge of your seat just waiting to see what she will "say" next. She understands well, how, to preach the gospel. :)

 "Preach the gospel all your life, and when necessary, use words."
Gordon B. Hinckley
I am trying to become like that. I have a long way to go... but I think it would be really cool, if the day actually comes, when my friends and family will be able to say of me...

"she speaks through actions so eloquently you hang on to the edge of your seat just waiting to see what she will 'say' next. She understands, so well, how, to preach the gospel."

That would be really cool... I think I'll just keep hoping and trying. :)

Corine :D

Since this is a very "meditative" post (;o) and since I love the host, my dear friend, Laura. I'm linking up with her for Meditation Mondays. I hope you feel free to join in on the fun! :D


  1. Thank you so much for this today my friend! I really needed to hear this today. It is very wise parenting counsel and I hope I can apply these same things into my life. I have dropped the ball greatly in many of my parenting departments lately and I need to pick them back up and get back on track. You have given me some good advice and I plan on using it.

    Great parents raise great kids... you are one of those parents. :)

  2. My ball is bouncing around quite regularly!!! ;O Somehow... I wrote this to reimind MYSELF to pick it up! I do KNOW this is good advice, though. hehe... glad you like it. And I'm pretty sure you are a great parent, with great kids, too. ;) Somehow things work out despite our shortcomings.

    Corine :D

  3. Thank you for this post, Corine. It's a great reminder to me of some important things. :-) I'm glad I FINALLY came to visit and will be coming back.


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