Tuesday, September 23, 2008
I've been frequenting parenting message boards as of late. There has been some discussion about how you know if you're doing the right thing with your children and raising them right. Some of the commentators have said things like, "I try to respect my kids the way I want them to respect me" or "I just do whatever I feel is right for my children".
To me, that sounds like a very hopeless way to approach parenting.
It got me thinking how fortunate I am to have the gospel of Jesus Christ as my guide. I may not have all the answers, or solutions to some more trivial aspects of parenting, like how to get my baby to sleep through the night (though I have some definite ideas I've developed since this is my fourth baby), but I do have a sound and solid guide for the big stuff, like teaching my children about why abstinence is best and answer questions about where we go when we die.
I have the scriptures, the four standard works as a guide. I have the monthly issues of the Ensign that I can obtain online if I've already recycled my copy. I have General Conference twice a year, filled with discussion about teaching your children to walk uprightly. I have church on Sunday and Enrichment throughout the year.
I subscribe to one parenting magazine, which I still subscribe to because several years ago, I paid for about 5 years worth of subscription. When I compare the advice I get from that to what I read in the Ensign, it seems so materialistic and fake-sounding. Sure, some of it is okay, like tips on toddler-friendly snacks or how to get a baby on a sleep schedule, which is important too. But the real stuff, the good stuff, on how to have quality family time and how to work together to build a home and how to be a family, that stuff I can only get from the gospel. The way the world teaches it is too amoral. The way the world teaches it leaves out important principles and reasons for doing certain things.
I am grateful I have the gospel as my guide.
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Have you ever wondered why the education system in America is so widespread? Why some schools have all sorts of extra-curricular programs while others can't even allow their students to have a copy of the class textbook for their own use during the school year? There are good and bad schools in all socioeconomic settings, I realize, but I firmly believe that the education level of the parents, and the income level, play a big role in the quality of education that the children receive.
It seems that the more education the parents have, which often contributes to how large their income is, the better the schools are in that area. Take a college town, for example, where many of the parents are professors and work for the university. Often, the schools in the neighborhoods where these parents live are some of the better schools in the city and sometimes even state.
Parents with higher education are more apt to realize the value of education and place a high emphasize on it than parents whose education doesn't exceed high school or even less. I don't know that the less education a parent has necessarily means they don't value a sound elementary, junior high and high school education for their children. I think many of these parents are overworked and tired and have very little energy to contribute to trying to better the schools their children attend.
However, the biggest contribution a parent can make, besides becoming active in their child's school, is probably to support their students from home. They can look over homework, make sure the child is behaving in school and support the school's discipline plan, get their children to school on time and make sure they don't miss very many days. They can talk about what their kids are learning and use local public libraries to possibly support interests the children have--like checking out extra books about space when that child is learning a space unit and fascinated by it. Even if they feel they don't have a high enough education to help with homework, say a high school student's trigonometry assignment, they can still encourage and support by making sure the homework gets done and talking to teachers on behalf of their student if that student is struggling.
Parents can determine how good the education of their child is simply by being supportive and doing as much as they can, whether it be joining the PTA and becoming president or just checking that homework was done and put in the backpack to turn in.
Monday, September 15, 2008
I admit that I frequent a website known as Yahoo! Answers. If you are unfamiliar with this site, as I'm sure you all have WAY better things to do with your time than to ask and answer questions to total strangers, many of whom have a huge chip on their shoulders, basically, people ask questions and you can answer and then they pick the best answer. You get points for answering questions and for getting picked as the best, kind of a game. It's just kind of fun, but sometimes controversial issues are stirred up and also issues that are close to my heart and my beliefs are often criticized. Here is one that came up today that still has my blood boiling:
The Question (grammar and mechanics edited--you know I can't stand those types of mistakes!):
What do you think about families having over a dozen children?
I think it's crazy and irresponsible. I mean, one family has 18 kids...the Duggars...they might have had one more. I think it's irresponsible. How can a parent be attentive to each kid...it shouldn't be the responsibility of the older kids. Also, what would happen if one of the parents died? Then it's going to be really hard, at least for awhile.
I understand her not believing in birth control...but there is such a thing as getting the tubes tied.
And with the money crisis in our country and how it's ALREADY effecting average families, things are probably triple worse for those types of families.
So my question is what do YOU think about families that are over a dozen? You have heard my opinion.
And those of you who say it's none of my or anyone else's business, don't answer...cause in all honesty, anyone and everyone CAN be effected by it."
Can you believe this? I mean, seriously, how exactly does someone else having 18 kids affect the economy all that much? Really, get serious. And the whole thing about what if one of the parents dies? What if I have one child and I die? That child still is without a mother too. It will just be a hardship that family has to face if that happens.
The nerve of some people, really. I can't believe how anyone can be so selfish and stupid and blame the economic problems in this country on families with more than 12 kids! How ridiculous!
You should have seen the answers. People agreeing and blaming all of the nation's problems on this type of family. Talking about how selfish and irresponsible those parents are. The last time I checked, having children, especially a lot, is the furthest thing from selfish. Those people should win an award! I have trouble handling my 4, I can't imagine how difficult 18 must be! And to be pregnant that many times! Ouch! Pregnancy is miserable. I still plan on doing it as many times as I can handle, but I'm pretty sure that's not going to be 18. I say, kudos to those parents. They are probably raising those kids with some good, old-fashioned values of hard work and integrity and having fun without all the worldliness. What a bunch of morons on the Yahoo! Answers to criticize them!
Saturday, September 6, 2008
I feel like I'm drowning. I feel like I'm out in the ocean, perhaps caught in a riptide, and I'm screaming for help between the gulps of cold, mucky seawater. I can see people on the shore, and I'm screaming to them, throwing my arms around whenever I can between the waves, and all they do is smile and wave back while they continue to socialize and have fun on the beach.
That is my life right now. One. Big. Nightmare.