All About Raising Children Vintage Edition
All About Raising Children Vintage Edition
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In one of the most crucial areas of human life—raising children, parents face many problems of varying degrees and far too many failures. The parents themselves may be excellent persons with the best of intentions and love for their children but they may not necessarily be the parents they want to be. This could be because they do not understand children or how to motivate them to good behavior. When parents face these perplexing problems, many feel without adequate guidance. The purpose of this book is to teach parents how to find success with their children. It explains the kind of people parents could be, the home life they must provide, the care and devotion required and the close friendship they must build to reach this success. It teaches clear-cut methods of helping them to be obedient and responsible, of developing their character and intellect to its highest potential and of building a feeling of self-worth.
In raising children, what should our aspirations be? First, we have an important duty to help them find happiness. To help them find this happiness we must help them succeed in important areas of daily living such as in their studies, their work, their personal achievements and their relationships.
To succeed in all areas, we must build the child up. We must do our part to develop his character so that he is responsible and honorable with a code for moral living that is solid and unchanging. We must train him to be sensitive to the needs and feelings of others, refined, well-mannered and self-controlled. We must help develop his mind, so he can reason soundly, concentrate intently, exercise good judgment and make wise decisions. We must inspire him with the confidence to do what he sets out to do and develop his self-reliance so that he can take care of his own needs and stand on his own feet. We should promote his creativity so that he is capable of original thought and original work and fire him with ambition to live a useful life.
What would reaching these objectives do for our children? First, it would help to insure their success and happiness. This does not mean that they would have a life free of problems, but they would have better inner-resources to deal with these problems effectively. Instead of becoming burdens to society, as so many are, they would be the gatekeepers, builders and protectors of society.
Parents would benefit equally. They would be spared some of the anxiety, worry and usual distress parents experience when children have lots of problems. They would feel pride and satisfaction as they see their children mature into honorable, happy adults. They would begin to enjoy the rewards of their many years of dedication and sacrifice.
Their children's success would be their success. The father's kingdom would be his family; mother's glory would be the happiness of her children.
A generation of happier children would have a profound effect upon society. We would do more to eliminate vice, corruption, violence and most of our social problems. Instead, our youth would begin to build our country in a positive way. Our children are our country's greatest wealth. To quote the late religious leader, David O. McKay:
"Our country's most precious possession is not our vast acres of rangeland supporting flocks and herds; not our productive farms; not our forests; not our mines and oil wells producing fabulous wealth. Our country's greatest resource is our children."
What are the possibilities of reaching success with our children? Can we reach much of what we desire for them?
The following theory makes this seem possible:
I took a piece of plastic clay
And idly fashioned it one day,
And as my fingers pressed it, still
It moved and yielded to my will.
I came again when days went past:
The bit of clay was hard at last.
The form I gave it still it bore.
But I could change that form no more!
I took a piece of living clay,
And gently pressed it day by day,
And molded with my power and art
A young child's soft and yielding heart.
I came again when years were gone:
It was a man I looked upon.
He still that early impress bore,
And I could fashion him no more.
Our power to do our part to shape a child can be profound. We can help to mold his character, instill a faith in God, build self-worth and promote his success and happiness.
However, a child is not quite as pliable as a piece of clay. He is born with inherent traits. Our success depends upon our recognizing the uniqueness of his personality and guiding him in that direction. Aside from this we have power to help bring out the best, noblest elements within him.
Success with children should include each one of them. It would be a serious mistake to pass over a particular child because he is a challenge. In raising children, we should not be satisfied with percentages. We must do our very best with all our children.
The role of parents requires diligence, sacrifice and wise priorities but we can reach success without sacrificing our entire lives to them. It is not wise, in fact, to confine ourselves entirely to family life. He must have a well-rounded life, other interests and make contributions outside the home.
It is possible for parents to have such a life of their own, even in a large family. When children are taught properly, they become easier to manage. As they become dependable and responsible they become a valuable asset and actually free their parents to do other things. Parents can enjoy the passing years instead longing for the day their children are raised. Methods of reaching success are outlined in the four parts of this book.
In presenting this material a limited amount of repetition has been necessary. This is because each phase of a child's development requires specific instructions which may overlap. Also, certain fundamentals such as praise are important in all phases of a child's development and must be stressed throughout the book.
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