Thursday, June 24, 2010

Teaching children as the Lord teaches us

"Another scripture which has proved helpful many times is Abraham 4:18. I found this scripture while wondering how I could give instructions to my children and have them obey me. Just asking my 5-year-old and 3-year-old to go tidy up their room wasn’t working. “And the Gods watched those things which they had ordered until they obeyed.” I realized that for children that young, I actually had to watch them obey, and encourage them along the way. That was a very helpful insight which led to one of my parenting hints (I keep a list for myself inside the cupboard): “Never make a request unless you are willing to help them follow through.” Sometimes children just cannot obey without a little help from a parent. Happily, this gets better as time goes on. I don’t need to watch my older girls clean up their room, but I do follow up with them, always." Rebecca Hendrickson

A valuable lesson for me as a parent. How much frustration is there when I tell my child to do something, expect to get it done and then ignore the process they go through to either do, or try to do it just to find that it didn't work?

It shows you care and you are supportive and available to grant assistance when it can be useful. It relates to how God when we do all we can do and then he steps in to make up our lack or give us the inspiration and spiritual teaching that we would not have gained if not for divine intervention (2 Nephi 25: 23).

I'm pretty good at it but this lesson helps me not doubt my intuition as a parent. Not only will learning this insight help me remember my duty to supervise and be available for assistance more than I am, it gives me a sense of confidence in what I've been doing--that I'm actually getting something right.

This lesson has also helped me in feeling better about how I've been relating to my mother recently. She has been struggling in learning to care for herself after a stroke that required her to relearn to walk. I have been helping and having me close by knowing that I'm aware of her challenges is accomplishing a task and nearby to provide assistance if needed is very comforting. I'm glad I can provide that comfort because I know how much I value having that assurance coming from the Spirit.

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