Principles of parenting i the nature of children and role of parents
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Principles of Parenting I: The Nature of Children and Role of Parents. “Children are an heritage of the Lord” (Psalms 127:3) Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness. . .” Proclamation, ¶ 6. Nature of Children Created in image of God Beloved

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Principles of Parenting I: The Nature of Children and Role of Parents

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Principles of Parenting I:The Nature of Children and Role of Parents

“Children are an heritage of the Lord” (Psalms 127:3) Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness. . .”

Proclamation, ¶ 6

Nature of Children

Created in image of God


Divine nature and destiny

Eternal individual identity

Knew God

Accepted His plan

A “heritage of the Lord”

Entitled to birth with bonds of matrimony

Entitled to be reared by mother and father who honor marital vows

Role of Parents

Commanded to “multiply”

Solemn responsibility to care for each other and children

Sacred duty to:

rear children in love and righteousness

provide for physical and spiritual needs

teach, love, service, obedience to God’s commands, and law-abiding citizenry

Accountable to God

Proclamation Truths

Comparative Views



Restored Gospel View

Nature of Child

Role of Parent

Innately Evil

“Beat the Devil Out”

Blank Slate

Wholly responsible for fate

Innately Good

Let alone, don’t corrupt

Born Innocent Agent

Accountable at age 8

Teach right & wrong

Provide example and environment for right choices


and Spiritual


and Environmental




“Of course our genes, circumstances, and environments matter very much, and they shape us significantly. Yet there remains an inner zone in which we are sovereign unless we abdicate. In this zone lies the essence of our individuality and our personal accountability.” Elder Neal A. Maxwell

Understanding the Relationship of Nature and Nurture

  • Academic Debate: Do Parents Really Matter?

    • Judith Harris. (1998). The Nurture Assumption: It’s genes and peers, not parents.

    • David Reiss. (2000). The Relationship Code: “Many genetic factors, powerful as they may be in psychological development, exert their influence only through the good offices of the family.”

  • Restored Gospel Enlightenment

Understanding the Uniqueness of Every Nature/Nurture Relationship

  • Elements of Variation

    • Nature (child’s and parent’s)

    • Structure (of Parent-Child Relationship)

      age, experience, legal status (i.e. biological, foster, step, adopted)

    • Context (family and environmental conditions)

  • Significance

    • Equal is not identical

    • Requires study and flexibility!

      “Study their disposition’s and temperaments and deal with them accordingly.” Brigham Young

Rearing Children in Righteousness

“[O]ur children take their flight into the future with our thrust and with our aim. And even as we anxiously watch that arrow in flight and know all the evils that can deflect its course after it has left our hand, nevertheless we take courage in remembering that the most important mortal factor in determining that arrow’s destination will be the stability, strength, and unwavering certainty of the holder of the bow.”“Live the gospel as conspicuously as you can. Keep the covenants your children know you have made.”Jeffrey R. Holland

“A Prayer for the Children,” Ensign, May 2003

“Parents should never drive their children, but lead them along…[and] govern their children by faith, rather than by the rod, leading them kindly by good example into all truth and righteousness.”

Brigham Young

“Children are more influenced by the sermons you act than by the sermons you preach.”

David O. McKay

The Greatest Righteous Example: Marriage/Parenting Correlation

“One of the greatest things a man can do for his children is to love his wife and let them know he loves her.” Ezra Taft Benson

  • Research points to the correlation between the quality of the parents’ marriage and the quality of their parenting.

  • Researchers recognizing marriage as the ideal context for best parenting practices.

Help in the Hard Work of Parenting

  • Perfect example of our Heavenly Father

    • We are here to become like Him—both an end goal and the practicing process

  • Divine Assistance

    • They’re His and He’ll help; He gave them the gift of resiliency

  • Atonement and Teachings of Jesus Christ

    • Power of repentance and forgiveness

    • Two sets of virtues—love and firmness

  • Fair Judgment of our Stewardship Success

    • True understanding of all circumstances and how hard we’ve tried

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