Sunday, November 14, 2010

Parenting Tip #58 Conversations 5 years in Advance?

I was listening to a speaker at a Church conference last month and she said something that caught my attention. The speaker was Rosemary Wixom, Primary General President for the LDS Church (Primary is for children age 18 months – 11 years of age). She said, “The world will teach our children if we do not, and children are capable of learning all the world will teach them at a very young age. What we want them to know five years from now needs to be part of our conversation with them today.”,5232,23-1-1298-3,00.html

What an interesting thought. What things do we need to be talking to our children about?
We can’t expect our 13 year old daughter to understand our saying NO when she wants to wear a halter top if we haven't been teaching her what modesty and immodesty means. We can’t expect our son to play on a ball team or play during recess and not come home and swear if we haven’t taught him that there are some words we do not say. We can’t expect our daughter to not cheat in school if we haven’t taught her it is dishonest to look on another person’s test paper and copy the answers. We can’t expect our son to not want to get a tattoo or smoke or drink if we haven’t taught him that his body is a gift from God and should be treated with respect.

The world will teach our children if we do not…” Now that’s a scary thought! What should we be teaching? We need to be teaching our children about God, about how to be a good friend (starting with their siblings), about honesty, about listening and respecting their teachers, about the importance of voting, about dating and what age they should group date and single date. We need to teach them The Golden Rule, the 10 Commandments, the importance of serving others, and why they shouldn’t judge others.

Our conversations should be about how to find true happiness, how to follow Jesus, why we obey our parents and leaders. If we talk about these kinds of things, our children will be prepared for the future and can meet it with less difficulty. They’ll sail through their teen age years with a strong foundation of true principles.

My daughter was in the middle of making cookies with her 3 year old son. She asked, “what do we do now?” He matter of factly replied, “look in the scriptures.” I guess my daughter has been having good conversations with him. He knows where to look for answers.


  1. First of all, we need to live what we expect them to do! And those conversations don't always have to be formal, sit down, lengthy talks. We can talk in the car, on a short walk, while doing a daughter's hair, while playing a board game, eating dinner, etc. A friend of mine reminded me to play "What if" games with kids: What if you didn't study very well for your test, and you could see your neighbor's paper? What if you were at a friend's house on the computer and a bad image popped up? What if...? The conversations can actually be enjoyable!

  2. I love the "what if" game idea! I'm going to play that with my Primary class as a review of our lesson sometime.




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