This article is the fourth in a series of five on Spiritual Solutions for the Family. The preceding three articles can be read here. The last articles will appear next Monday.
Common Parenting Problems—list number 4
In the first three articles of this series, we focused on groupings of parenting challenges that are solved best by the spiritual solutions available through the Restoration (Click here to read those articles.)
For this fourth article in the series, lets take a look at yet another list of common problems: (we will all, as parents, recognize and be all too familiar with them.)
- Growing up too fast:
- ADHD and other mental and emotional disorders:
- Too much time spent texting and on line:
- Worldly mind sets:
Raising a Child does take a village—but the best village is the Church
The fourth Spiritual Solution is to really USE the Church and its resources! The old Nigerian proverb “It takes a village to raise a child” can be applied here, but our “village” is the ward!
“Children are a product of their cultures and their communities.” Our children grow up in a peer-pressure culture, in a media and video game culture, in a culture of entitlement and bail outs and something for nothing. Their communities are on line. Their influencers are advertisers, face book friends, Hollywood and various purveyors of violence and pornography.
But let’s shift back to the positive. Change one word, and the Nigerian proverb works perfectly for the LDS culture today: “It takes a whole ward to raise a child.”
Can you imagine trying to raise a child in today’s world without the ward or branch? Without the bishop and the young men’s and young women’s program and the home teachers and the visiting teachers and the scout leader and the coaches and the advisors and the Sunday school teachers? Can you imagine trying to raise a child without the Aaronic Priesthood Quorums and the Duty to God awards and the young women of excellence program and the treks and the youth conferences and the camps and the outings and the commemorations? Can you imagine trying to raise a child without the ward family? Or without your children’s friends in the ward or your friends in who know your kids and care about them and say and do little encouraging things that you don’t even know about?
It takes a ward to raise a family!
What we need to do is to remember that our children are our stewardship, our responsibility, that the buck stops here and that we can’t count on the ward or the Church to do our job for us. But, having said (and remembered) that, we should avail ourselves to all of the support and back-up that the Church offers us.
Don’t take the “general contractor” approach to parenting where we say “Hey, the plumber and electrician and carpenter and other sub contractors (bishop, priesthood leader, scoutmaster, teacher) will do all the actual work, I just have to be sure my kids are there.”
But do take the “scaffolding” approach. Fully use and fully appreciate and fully coordinate with all that the Church does (and can do) to support your family.
The Powerful “Scaffolding” of the Church
It was President Lee who used to say “The Church is the scaffolding with which we build eternal families.”
Tall, straight, beautiful buildings cannot be built without scaffolding. The scaffolding eventually comes down, but not until the structure is complete. The Church is God’s organization here on earth, during the construction period of our families, and it will not be needed in the hereafter only because it has done its job here on this world and families have progressed enough to return to God’s presence.
Make full use of primary, of home teachers, of youth programs and leaders, and of every resource that the Church gives us as parents!
Problem List Revisited
Let’s take another look now at the list of problems we started with, and appreciate how much the structure and organization and regular instruction of the Church can help on each of them:
- Growing up too fast: The rules, standards, and “norms” of the Church essentially retard social growth and keep kids from things they are not ready for yet.
- ADHD and other mental and emotional disorders: While not a cure-all, the Church gives a structure and a focus that often helps.
- Guilt: Church and Priesthood interviews resolve past mistakes clear the air and nip problems in the bud.
- Selfishness: The occupied, serving mind of a child in the Church leaves less room to think and worry about self.
- Too much time texting and on line: Church activity is a great take-over from “cyberactivity”.
- Worldly mind sets: Spiritual and family oriented thinking, so common in Church settings and activity can push aside worldly perspectives.
- Aimlessness: The structure and timetables of missions, temple marriage, and other Chruch goals can provide a framework for progress and purpose.
Join us next Monday for the last article in this series.
The Eyres recently released new book is 5 Spiritual Solutions for Everyday Parenting Challenges*. They are the founders of Joy Schools and of valuesparenting.com and the authors of numerous best-selling books on marriage, parenting and family. Their mission statement, developed while presiding over the England London South Mission, is FORTIFY FAMILIES by celebrating commitment, popularizing parenting, bolstering balance, and validating values.
*FREE COPIES OF THE EYRES NEW BOOK: To win a free copy of the Eyres new book 5 Spiritual Solutions for Everyday Parenting Challenges, simply click “comments” at the top of this article and leave a brief comment. A drawing will be held in three weeks when this current Meridian series concludes. 10 winners will be chosen at random from all comments received between now and then, so you will have 10 separate chances to win. Winners will be announced here on Meridian. 5 Spiritual Solutions can be ordered on line