Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Parenting 101

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.

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