Monday, June 10, 2013

[there is an instruction manual]

I'm really enjoying rereading S. Michael Wilcox's book "What the Scriptures Teach Us about Raising a Child". So many great insights in the book about using the gospel to be a better parent. I've often joked that babies should come with an instruction manual. Well, they do: the scriptures. 

I just read a part in the book that talks about how Heavenly Father told Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden "Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it." So there were many trees to eat from (many choices of things to do) and only one tree was off-limits. Then Lucifer enters the garden and says "Yea, hath God said - Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?" Satan wants us to focus on the one thing we shouldn't do and forget about the many things we can do. So often we warn our children of the "do nots" instead of talk about the many "dos" that will bring them much happiness and joy. Yes, the warning needs to be there but there should be much talk about things that really bring us joy. "If one movie is not up to our standards, can we not point out ten that are?", Wilcox says. It's just a great reminder to show the positiveness of the gospel instead of focusing on the "thou shalt nots". Such a good book!

Here's a quote from Brigham Young (love him!) which I found in the book too:

"You may, figuratively speaking, pound one Elder over the head with a club, and he does not know but what you have handed him a straw dipped in molasses to suck. There are others, if you speak a word to them, or take a straw and chasten them, whose hearts are broken; they are as tender in their feelings as an infant, and will melt like wax before the flame. You must not chasten them severely; you must chasten according to the spirit that is in the person... There is a great variety. Treat people as they are."

Each child is unique. What works for one child, might not work for the other one. We must know our children and nourish and admonish them according to their personality.

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