Judeo-Christian worldview: Christian Word on Parents, Marriage, and the Nuclear Family

Judeo-Christian worldview:

Christian Word on Parents, Marriage, and the Nuclear Family

 

Defining Moment

keyoldToday there are many who are changing the definition of the traditional family. Here Christian leaders clearly define the real family, and warn of the consequences of abandoning Biblical values and moral absolutes.

The Family


A Proclamation to the World

The First Presidency and Council of the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints

marriageWe, the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, solemnly proclaim that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children.

All human beings—male and female—are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny. Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose.

In the premortal realm, spirit sons and daughters knew and worshipped God as their Eternal family-ties-grave-perryFather and accepted His plan by which His children could obtain a physical body and gain earthly experience to progress toward perfection and ultimately realize their divine destiny as heirs of eternal life. The divine plan of happiness enables family relationships to be perpetuated beyond the grave. Sacred ordinances and covenants available in holy temples make it possible for individuals to return to the presence of God and for families to be united eternally.

The first commandment that God gave to Adam and Eve pertained to their potential for parenthood as husband and wife. We declare that God’s commandment for His children to multiply and replenish the earth remains in force. We further declare that God has commanded that the sacred powers of procreation are to be employed only between man and woman, lawfully wedded as husband and wife.

We declare the means by which mortal life is created to be divinely appointed. We affirm the sanctity of life and of its importance in God’s eternal plan.

Husband and wife have a solemn responsibility to love and care for each other and for their children. “Children are an heritage of the Lord” (Psalm 127:3). Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs, and to teach them to love and serve one another, observe the commandments of God, and be law-abiding citizens wherever they live. Husbands and wives—mothers and fathers—will be held accountable before God for the discharge of these obligations.

family3-silhouetteThe family is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan. Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity. Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities. By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners. Disability, death, or other circumstances may necessitate individual adaptation. Extended families should lend support when needed.

We warn that individuals who violate covenants of chastity, who abuse spouse or offspring, or who fail to fulfill family responsibilities will one day stand accountable before God. Further, we warn that the disintegration of the family will bring upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets.

We call upon responsible citizens and officers of government everywhere to promote those measures designed to maintain and strengthen the family as the fundamental unit of society.

This proclamation was read by President Gordon B. Hinckley as part of his message at the General Relief Society Meeting held September 23, 1995, in Salt Lake City, Utah.
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Parents Teaching Children Character: Respect vs. Ego

Dinner Topics for Tuesday

Parenting Value: Respect, Part 1.  General Guidelines. Don’t miss these helpful points on character education.

Richard and Linda Eyre

key Children born between 1980 and 1995, called “millennials,” now saturate the job market …They are typically demanding, impertinent, and narcissistic. They need constant affirmation and expect to be catered to. ~Reb Bradley

childhelpingotherMore respect for others, less egocentric. Becoming more extra-centered and less self-centered. Learning empathy. ~ Richard and Linda Eyre

Some children have a natural and seemingly inherent sense of caring and sensitivity. Such cases are rather rare, however, and the self-centered “surrounded by mirrors” perspective of life is typical of most children, particularly adolescents. In fact most of the problems teenagers face (whether taking the form of rebellion or of extreme shyness and withdrawal) stem from their rather intense preoccupation with self.

Sample Method for Preschool Age: “Put Yourself in the Picture” Game

This game lets children practice at empathizing with someone they have never met or spoken to. Watch for pictures in magazine that show people in situations that are unusual to you and your children. These could range from a man on a horse in the mountains to a girl in a magazine clothing ad. Almost any magazine has several pictures or advertisements that will work for this exercise.

The game consists of looking at the picture and attempting to describe how the person in the picture feels. This can start on a physical level as you try to imagine what he sees and hears, whether she is cold or warm, and so forth. Then try to go beyond the physical and speculate how he or she might feel emotionally. Have a discussion about it. Let each person imagine how the subject feels and express his or her own observations.

A variation of the game is to give each player a different picture to study, then have them give a short speech or write a brief theme on what the subject feels.

Sample Method for Elementary Age: The Noticing Game

boytieshoeThis game trains children to see more that is outside themselves and thus to be less self-aware. Form a habit of playing “the noticing game” when you are traveling or going to any unfamiliar place with children. Ask them, without notice or warning, to close and cover their eyes. Then ask them to describe, as best they can, the room or scene they are in (the walls, the lighting, the carpet, the trees, the sky, etc.). Let them also play the game on you. The exercise in observing and being aware of where you are and what is around you is good training for empathy and sensitivity.

 

 

Sample Method for Adolescents: The Mirror-Window Lesson

Make an effort to tell your children how the things they do make you feel. This will help children be more aware of your feelings and be more sensitive toward them. If a teenager tells you that you are weird, tell him that that hurts your feelings. Sometimes children think of parents as people on whom they can vent their feelings without making a dent.

This lesson can help adolescents conceptualize and appreciate the difference between self-centeredness and extra-centeredness. Try to get a piece of one-way glass (mirror windowfrom one side, window from other). If you can’t find one, a plain piece of glass will do. Point out that when it is dark behind the glass, it is a mirror — all you see in it is yourself. When it is light behind it, you see through it — you see other people and not your own reflection. Point out to your children that life is much the same. When our minds are dark and self-centered, we only see ourselves (“What’s best for me?” “How will that affect me?” “What can this person do for me?”) In this mode we are always unhappy and self-conscious.

 

youthservingBut when we light up and look at other people — trying to listen, trying to see their needs, and so on — we “lose ourselves” and quit worrying about ourselves and feeling self-conscious.

Remember that unselfishness does not come naturally. Try to maintain your patience as you implement this “month.” Everyone, although in varying degrees, is born with a certain amount of selfishness. There is no quick fix for learning to be unselfish. It is a process that takes thinking and practicing and a certain amount of maturity to develop.

Parents: Teaching Chastity and Fidelity

Dinner Topics for Tuesday

Richard and Linda Eyre

Parenting Value for December: Chastity and Fidelity, Part 1

General Methods for teaching chastity and fidelity

momdaughterwillowMake your own example of fidelity as obvious and noticeable as possible. You can help your children see the importance that you place on this value as well as the happiness and security it gives you. Talk about commitment in personal terms. If you are a two-parent family, point out how the two of you belong to each other so that you don’t need any other man or woman. Try to let children see the basic physical signs of love and commitment, such as holding hands or a kiss as you leave for work.

Make sex and sexual maturity an open topic in your family. Maximize the number of opportunities you have to comment on the logic and benefits of chastity and fidelity and to permit concerns and problems to surface early rather than late. With children over eight (assuming that you have had your initial talk with them as suggested), do all you can to make sex an open and agreeable subject rather than something that is secret or off-limits or silly or embarrassing. It may seem difficult and unnatural at first, but these feelings are a sign that the subject needs opening up. Things you observe on television, movies, and music – or in article or books – or in styles of dress – all present potential opportunities to make comments about what you think is appropriate or not appropriate, what things are moral in the sense that they help and what things are immoral (or amoral) in the sense they may hurt someone physically, mentally, or emotionally.

Look for chances to discuss the behavior of young adolescents (your children’s acquaintances) and bring up the possible connections of that behavior to hormones and the effects of puberty.

Strive to convey the following two impressions whenever possible: (a) sex, the feelings and changes of puberty, and the attractions and feelings they cause us to feel are natural and good, even wonderful and miraculous; and (b) because sex is natural and good, and because its urges are powerful and have to do with the creation of life, its use should be connected to love and commitment – it is too beautiful to be made common or to squander.

Sample Method for Elementary Age:

Focusing on Age Eight

When our children have their eighth birthday, they undergo something of a rite of passage, going from a kid to a semi-grown-up, from a tutee to a tutor, from someone who knew almost nothing about sex and reproduction to someone who could probably teach a course on the subject.

We begin several weeks before the child’s eighth birthday, “priming” him by indicating that when he turns eight, he will be given some new privileges, some new responsibilities, and will learn about “the most beautiful and wonderful thing on earth.”

When the big day arrives, we take the new eight-year-old on a private daddy-mommy date to a nice restaurant, making every effort to treat him with a new maturity and respect. As mentioned earlier, we give him some added responsibility in areas such as choosing his own clothes and earning more money by doing family chores. We express our pride in him and our appreciation of him.

Then we go home for the much-anticipated highlight of the evening: our private talk about the “most wonderful and beautiful thing on earth.” In upbeat, positive terms we explain the facts of life using diagrams and pictures to explain reproduction. (We particularly like using the child’s book Where Did I Come From?) We encourage questions; we ask him often if he understands; and we watch his expressions to be sure he’s not only comprehending but appreciating what we are telling him.

Then we make a very strong point of how smart and how right it is to be careful how we use something as important and as miraculous as sex. We point out that something that special should be saved for one person – for the commitment of marriage, where it can be a wedding gift that has never been given before.

Children accept this idea very easily. It seems natural to them that something so private and so beautiful (and something so magic and powerful that it starts new babies) should be saved and used carefully rather than spent indiscriminately.

It is also natural to them to understand that after two people are married, sex is a bond and a special, private way of expression love between them that should not be used outside of marriage.

We also talk about AIDS and of the dangers of misusing sex. And we use the standard “values formula” by discussing how and who is helped by being careful about sex and how and who is hurt when people are not careful about sex.

– Richard

Eight may seem like a young age for some of the discussion represented above, but it is the right age for two very important reasons: (a) to wait longer runs the risk (if not the likely possibility) that your child will learn of reproduction and sex in the negative and silly perspective of the other children who will tell them about things before you do; (b) eight years old is a natural and curious age when children can understand in a sweet, uncynical way.

One evening and one discussion, of course, is not enough. An evening such as we have suggested can establish the basics and open wide the door of trust that permits the subject to be one of ongoing openness and discussion.

Certainly the underlying philosophy involved in teaching children the value of fidelity and chastity is that sex is too beautiful and too good to be given or used or thought of loosely or without commitment. The opposite view of sex as a dirty or evil thing should be avoided and countered at every opportunity.

Sample Method for Adolescent Age:

The Mortar Metaphor

This comparison can help adolescents understand the importance of fidelity in marriage. Look for a quiet private time (perhaps while traveling in a car or during a peaceful moment at bedtime) and relate the following comparison:

It takes many elements to build a house – the bricks, the boards, the shingles, the windows, the doors, and so on. One key element is the mortar, which holds the walls together and keeps everything in place. Similarly it takes many qualities to build a happy, unified family. It takes caring and helping and patience along with financial and emotional support. In a way the thing that “sticks” a family together and gives security and confidence to the parents and the children is the sexual fidelity of the mother and father. If either parent “cheats” on the other, it causes tremendous emotional strain. One parents feels guilty and secretive. The other feels disgraced and discarded. Even if the parents don’t separate or divorce, much of the feeling and commitment is gone, and the family, like a house without mortar, can begin to break apart.

Faith, Family, Forever and Always

Finding Lasting Peace and Building Eternal Families

By L. Tom Perry

keyIt is the gospel of Jesus Christ that provides the foundation upon which we can find lasting peace and build eternal family units.

A Sure Foundation

buildingonrockOur journey through life has periods of both good times and bad. Each presents different challenges. How we learn to adjust to the changes which come along depends on the foundation on which we build. The gospel of our Lord and Savior provides a sure and solid foundation. It is constructed piece by piece as we gain knowledge of the Lord’s eternal plan for His children. The Savior is the Master Teacher. We follow Him.

The scriptures testify of Him and provide an example of perfect righteousness for us to follow. I have shared with the body of the Church at a previous conference that I have a number of notebooks in which my mother had recorded material she was using to prepare her Relief Society lessons. The notes are as timely today as they were then. One of these was a quote written in 1908 by Charles Edward Jefferson on the character of Jesus Christ. It reads:

“To be a Christian is to admire Jesus so sincerely and so fervently that the whole life goes out to him in an aspiration to be like him.

“… We may come to know him through the words he spoke, through the deeds he did, and also through his silences. We may know him also by the impression which he made first upon his friends and secondly upon his foes, and thirdly upon the general body of his contemporaries. …

“One of the notes of twentieth century life is discontent [and trouble]. …

Search for Peace

gavarret-follow-christ“… The world is crying out for something, it scarce knows what. Wealth has come, … [and] the world is filled with … inventions of human skill and genius, but … we are [still] restless, unsatisfied, [and] bewildered. … [If we open] the New Testament [we are greeted by these words], ‘Come unto me and I will give you rest, I am the bread of life, I am the Light of the world, If any man thirst let him come unto me and drink, My peace I give unto you, You shall receive power, You shall rejoice’” (The Character of Jesus [1908], 7, 11, 15–16).

Men and women are shaped partly by those among whom they choose to live. Those to whom they look up and try to emulate also shape them. Jesus is the great Exemplar. The only way to find lasting peace is to look to Him and live.

What about Jesus is worthy of our study?

“The New Testament writers … cared nothing for [Jesus’s] stature, the clothes he wore or the houses he lived in. … He was born in a stable, worked in a carpenter’s shop, taught for three years, and then died on a cross. … The New Testament was written by men who were determined that we … fix our eyes on [Him]” (The Character of Jesus, 21–22) with an assurance that He truly was and is the Son of God, the Savior and Redeemer of the world.

One of the Savior’s parables, I believe, especially applies to our current day.

Parable: Wheat and Tares

It is contained in Matthew chapter 13, where we read:

wheattares“But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way.

“But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also.

“So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares?

“He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up?

“But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them.

“Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn” (verses 25–30).

That old enemy of all mankind has found as many devices as he can think of to scatter tares far and wide. He has found ways to have them penetrate even the sanctity of our own homes. The wicked and worldly ways have become so widespread there seems to be no real way of weeding them out. They come by wire and through the air into the very devices we have developed to educate and entertain us. The wheat and the tares have grown close together. A steward managing the field must, with all his or her power, nourish that which is good and make it so strong and beautiful the tares will have no appeal either to the eye or the ear. How blessed are we as members of the Lord’s Church to have the precious gospel of our Lord and Savior as a foundation on which we can build our lives.

From the Book of Mormon in 2 Nephi we read: “For behold, again I say unto you that if ye will enter in by the way, and receive the Holy Ghost, it will show unto you all things what ye should do” (2 Nephi 32:5).

perry-small-voice-192x192We must never let the noise of the world overpower and overwhelm that still, small voice.

We certainly have been warned of events that we will be facing in our day. Our challenge will be how we prepare for the events the Lord has said are surely still to come.

Many in our worried society understand that the disintegration of the family will bring only sorrow and hopelessness into a troubled world. As members of the Church, we have the responsibility to preserve and protect the family as the basic unit of society and eternity. The prophets have warned and forewarned about the inevitable and destructive consequence of a deterioration of family values.

As the world continues to watch us, let us be certain that our example will sustain and support the plan the Lord has designed for His children here in mortality. The greatest teaching of all must be done by righteous example. Our homes must be holy places in order to stand against the pressures of the world. Remember that the greatest of all the blessings of the Lord come through and are given to righteous families.

Role of Mothers

teachingfamiaboutchristWe must carefully continue to evaluate our performance as parents. The most powerful teaching a child will ever receive will come from concerned and righteous fathers and mothers. Let us first look at the role of the mother. Listen to this quote from President Gordon B. Hinckley:

“Women who make a house a home make a far greater contribution to society than those who command large armies or stand at the head of impressive corporations. Who can put a price tag on the influence a mother has on her children, a grandmother on her posterity, or aunts and sisters on their extended family?

“We cannot begin to measure or calculate the influence of women who, in their own ways, build stable family life and nurture for everlasting good the generations of the future. The decisions made by the women of this generation will be eternal in their consequences. May I suggest that the mothers of today have no greater opportunity and no more serious challenge than to do all they can to strengthen the [home]” (Standing for Something: 10 Neglected Virtues That Will Heal Our Hearts and Homes [2000], 152).

Role of Fathers

Fathersblessing lupoadolfolasinphillippinesNow let’s look at the role a father plays in our lives:

Fathers give blessings and perform sacred ordinances for their children. These will become spiritual highlights in their lives.

Fathers are personally involved in leading family prayers, daily scripture reading, and weekly family home evenings.

Fathers build family traditions by being involved in helping plan vacation trips and outings that will involve all of the family members. Memories of these special times together will never be forgotten by their children.

Fathers hold one-on-one visits with their children and teach them gospel principles.

Fathers teach sons and daughters the value of work and help them establish worthy goals in their own lives.

Fathers set an example of faithful gospel service.

Please remember, brethren, your sacred calling as a father in Israel—your most important calling in time and eternity—a calling from which you are never released.

Faithful Parents Needed Now More than Ever

callister-teach-home-192x192Sometimes we find ourselves in situations when we have the opportunity to teach children a lesson which will have a lasting effect on their young lives. A successful parent should never be too busy to capture a moment in a child’s life when an important lesson can be taught.

It is my firm conviction that there has never been a period in my many years of life when our Father in Heaven’s children have needed the guiding hand of faithful, devoted parents more. We have a great and noble heritage of parents giving up almost everything they possess to find a place where they could rear their families with faith and courage so the next generation would have greater opportunities than had been theirs. We must find within ourselves that same determined spirit and overcome the challenges we face with the same spirit of sacrifice. We must instill in future generations an ever stronger reliance on the teachings of our Lord and Savior.

“And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall” (Helaman 5:12).

It is the gospel of Jesus Christ that provides this foundation upon which we can find lasting peace and build eternal family units.

Teaching Children: Character, Decision and Results

Everyday Dinner Topics

Teaching Choices and Consequences, Decision and Results

keyoldAnd thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them [the words of God] when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. ~Deuteronomy 6:7

stickShow the children a stick that has the word choice written on one end and the word consequences written on the other end. Explain that a consequence is what naturally happens because of a choice we make; for example, if we choose to practice playing a musical instrument, we will get better at it, and if we choose to touch fire, we will be burned. Pick up the stick and show the children that every time you pick up the stick, you get both the choice and the consequence of that choice. Ask an older child to read 2 Nephi 2:27. Invite the other children to listen for what the consequences are for making the right choice (liberty and eternal life) and what the consequences are for making the wrong choice (captivity and misery). Draw a simple diagram on the board like the one shown here.

agency-diagram

Help the children understand that when we make good choices, it leads to freedom and happiness, and when we make wrong choices, it leads to captivity and unhappiness.

consequencesInvite two children to come to the front of the room, and let each child hold one end of the stick. Ask the child holding the “choice” end to give an example of a good choice (for example, speaking kindly to others). Ask the other child to share possible consequences of that choice (for example, making lasting friendships).

Leadership Styles: Procrustes Definition, Liberal Egalitarianism, and Inequality for All

 

Procrustes Definition, Liberal Egalitarianism, and Inequality for All

Leadership Styles

Month-Defining Moment

Definition of Procrustean Leadership Styles

Procrustes—a legendary robber of ancient Greece noted for stretching or cutting off the legs of his victims to adapt them to the length of his bed.

Procrustean—marked by arbitrary often ruthless disregard of individual differences or special circumstances

Liberals do not lift others to a better life; They pull everyone down to the lowest common denominator. ~Rush Limbaugh

Rush Limbaugh

Liberal Egalitarianism=Inequality for All

procrustesbedSome kids get more goods than other kids, and that makes it unfair.  Of course as liberals, the answer is not to help the kids who are not in good familiesThey become the lowest common denominator.  They become the baseline.  Everybody must be made to be like them in order for everything to be fair and equal.  The natural tendency of the left is to punish success, to punish achievement, to punish anything that they believe gives an unfair advantage.

It is who they are, and you’re seeing evidence of it all over the country, if you have the courage to stop and recognize it.  Here’s a pull quote from the story: “In contrast, reading stories at bedtime, argues Swift, gives rise to acceptable familial relationship goods, even though this also bestows advantage.  ‘The evidence shows that the difference between those who get bedtime stories and those who don’t — the difference in their life chances — is bigger than the difference between those who get elite private schooling and those that don’t,’ he says.

“This devilish twist of evidence surely leads to a further conclusion — that perhaps in the interests of leveling the playing field, bedtime stories should also be restricted.”  There really are expert academicians and philosophers who are pushing the idea that being a good parent and reading to your kids and being loving gives your kids an unfair advantage in life.  You know, in the old days — and it wasn’t that long ago — families like that were what you emulated! Families like that were what you wanted to be.

Liberals: Reading to Your Kids Gives Them an Unfair Advantage

fatherreadingfireplaceThere’s a theme for today’s program, and that is: Everything I’ve told you about liberalism is being demonstrated. It’s on parade in the Drive-By Media today.  All you have to do is notice it and take note…  Never make people better, but always take the people at the top and bring them down so that everybody is equally disadvantaged, equally miserable.

Having a loving family is an unfair advantage, is a social justice problem, and there are people in this article who literally make the claim that abolishing the family and letting the state and government raise kids may be the only answer.  This is in the UK.  I erred when I said Australia first.  In the UK.  Makes it even closer to home.  But liberals here and liberals in the UK, liberals are liberals in Australia. They’re liberals everywhere and the same, no matter where you go.  And they’re dead serious about this.

Admittedly, there are some of them who think it’s a bad idea to ban or abolish the family as an educational institution.  There are some people here who will say it’s a bad idea to abolish the family and let the state or the government raise kids for the purposes of education, but even those people still think that good families give kids an unfair advantage, and they measure that by “familial relationship goods.”

Only 18% of 8th-graders are ‘proficient’ or above in US history, and only 23% are proficient in civics.”

Anti-American Book

Anti-American Book

RUSH: From Breitbart: “Results of the ‘Nation’s Report Card’ released this week by the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) show that only 18% of 8th-graders are ‘proficient’ or above in US history, and only 23% are proficient in civics.”

Now, it should be noted that you have to be able to read in order to learn history.  Just listening won’t get it done because you never know if who’s telling you about it is being truthful.  But the saddest thing is that many of those who are rated “proficient” in history have probably been taught a bunch of psychobabble, probably a brand of Howard Zinn’s hate-America-first history.

 

slavery-democrat-thing“Despite hundreds of billions of dollars poured into education programs in the United States via the US Department of Education, the ‘Nation’s Report Card’ states that 8th-graders’ average NAEP scores in US History, Geography, and Civics demonstrated no significant change since 2010 when students were last assessed.” Just think of all the money that Obama and the Democrat Party have poured into the teachers… (Ahem!) I was gonna say teachers union; I mean education.

corruption2The stimulus bill alone sent the teachers unions untold billions of dollars.  It was disguised money.  They were telling us it was going to education, to rebuild schools and roads and bridges.  But we now know, looking back, that the vast majority of the money went to teachers unions, part of the Democrat Party’s very well-constructed money-laundering scheme using the unions to do so. 

Culture Wars: Helicopter Parents make Wusses, Wimpy Kids

Culture Wars: Helicopter Parents make Wusses, Wimpy Kids

Education

PROOF: Helicopter Parenting Has Created A Generation Of Traumatized, Risk-Averse WUSSES

Eric Owens, Daily Caller

Education Editor

Gray blames a generation of helicopter parenting for the national pantywaist crisis currently besetting America’s college campuses.

Parenting-Generation-WussAmerica’s college students are delicate, immature wusses who become traumatized, get the vapors and seek professional counseling any time they face adversity or — God forbid — earn a grade lower than a “B.”

The insight comes from Boston College research professor Peter Gray, writing last week at Psychology Today.

Gray explains that he has participated in discussions at Boston College with the head of counseling services and other faculty members about how to deal with a notable decrease in resilience among students.

The problem of weak-willed, fragile, gutless students at the $63,302-per-year Jesuit school has been severe, Gray learned.

In the last five years, for example, emergency calls to the counseling center have doubled. The reasons for the urgent calls are sometimes frivolous and stupid. One woman sought counseling, Gray said, because her roommate called her a “b***h.”

Not one but two students wanted professional therapy because they spotted a mouse in their off-campus apartment. The same pair of students also actually called the cops about the rodent. The cops responded and installed a mousetrap.

The Daily Caller is not making this up.

Professors at Boston College say they receive a constant stream of email from students about trivial issues. The students expect prompt, quality customer service in response. Professors have also seen huge uptick in students who freak out when they earn low grades. Students equate grades of “C” or lower — and sometimes even any “B” — with failure. And “failure” means total failure, Gray explains. Like an apocalypse. Students don’t think to study harder. Instead, they beg for higher grades or paper do-overs. They yell at their professors for not making the grading criteria clear enough.

It’s gotten so bad, Gray says, that many professors — particularly young ones — are hesitant to give students the bad grades they deserve out of fear that students will give them a scathing rating or have some emotional meltdown during office hours. Professors seriously worry that a bad grade could even lead to a student suicide.

“Our students are no different from what is being reported across the country on the state of late adolescence/early adulthood,” the head of counseling at Boston College wrote in an email to the group of faculty members discussing resilience. “There has been an increase in diagnosable mental health problems, but there has also been a decrease in the ability of many young people to manage the everyday bumps in the road of life.”

“Students are afraid to fail; they do not take risks,” the counseling chief also wrote. External measures of success are more important than learning and autonomous development.”

Gray blames a generation of helicopter parenting for the national pantywaist crisis currently besetting America’s college campuses.

Parenting-helicopter-Daily-Caller-gettyimages“Families often expect campuses to provide immediate, sophisticated, and sustained mental-health care,” Gray quotes an August article in The Chronicle of Higher Education as saying. “After all, most parents are still adjusting to the idea that their children no longer come home every night, and many want colleges to keep an eye on their kids, just as they did. Students, too, want colleges to give them the help they need, when they need it. And they need a lot. Rates of anxiety and depression among American college students have soared in the last decade, and many more students than in the past come to campus already on medication for such illnesses.”

Some students do, in fact, suffer from serious mental problems. However, the overwhelming majority are just dealing with “the usual stresses of college life: bad grades, breakups, being on their own for the first time.”

According to Gray, students can’t cope with these experiences because their helicopter parents prevented them from developing any coping ability. As children, these now-college-aged adults had little chance “to play, explore, and pursue their own interests away from adults.” They have never had responsibility. Their parents solved their problems for them. They have never had to dig deep and persevere. They can’t solve any of their own problems because they have no experience at solving their own problems.

“They have not been given the opportunity to get into trouble and find their own way out, to experience failure and realize they can survive it, to be called bad names by others and learn how to respond without adult intervention.”

Gray is not the first professor to observe the damage which over-controlling “helicopter” parents have wrought in American society. In 2013, a researcher at the University of Mary Washington in Virginia released a study demonstrating that parents negatively affect college students. (RELATED: Over-Controlling Parents Make College-Aged Children Depressed, Study Shows)

In a nutshell, the study reached the same conclusion Gray at Boston College has reached. Students can’t be autonomous — and never learned to be autonomous — with control-minded parents contacting tutors, making schedules and generally hovering at every turn. These students cannot learn from their own mistakes and are more likely to be depressed and less satisfied with their lives, the study found.

Related Post: Is Christ-like Love the same as Indulgence?

 

Gospel Today: Parents as Teachers of Moral Standards

Gospel Today: Parents as Teachers of Moral Standards

Teaching Moral Standards: One Family’s Experience

By Jocelyn Christensen

Here are some ways our family has been able to apply the principles from “My Gospel Standards.”

Clean Language

right-wrongsignWhen our oldest child started school, we struggled to figure out how to prepare him for the inappropriate language he might hear from other children. In the end, we came up with this guideline: “If you hear someone using a word that you have never heard Mom or Dad use at home, then ask us what it means before using it yourself.” We have also taught our children to pay attention to how certain words make them feel.

We also taught a family home evening lesson about using C.L.E.A.N. language:

C – Choose your words carefully.

L – Learn the meanings of words before using them.

E – Encourage others with the words you say.

A – Avoid slang or replacement words.

N – Never use hurtful or vulgar language.

Although we tried to make these guidelines easy to remember and reviewed them often, we wondered how much our children would retain. One day when our children were playing outside, I overheard one of my daughters say to the other, “You shouldn’t say that! Remember, you should ‘encourage others with the words you say’!” They had been listening, after all.

Music

musicnotesOne day in the car a song came on the radio that was popular in my youth but which didn’t reflect the music standards I had committed to living. After a moment, I turned the song off. With a big sigh of relief, my son said, “Thanks for turning that off, Mom!” I explained to my son that sometimes it’s hard even as adults to make good choices but that we all must work hard every day to keep the standards.

That experience reminded me just how much my children depend on me to make correct choices. It also showed me that involving my children in my efforts to choose virtue can strengthen our entire family in our resolve to live the standards.

Modesty

girlmodesty_largeWhen our children were still young, I realized that teaching them to value modesty over the fashion of the day would be harder to do later, so I’d better start now.

First I examined my own wardrobe. “My Gospel Standards” says, “I will dress modestly to show respect for Heavenly Father and myself.” I wanted to make sure I was dressing myself out of respect for Heavenly Father, not out of respect for the standards of the world.

Next I looked at my children’s clothing. Some of the outfits that we had received secondhand were not modest enough to meet the standards in For the Strength of Youth. So we took them out of our clothing rotation and replaced them with more modest clothing as our budget allowed. We try to remind our children that their beauty comes from inside of them, not from their clothes.

Loving Others

In my efforts to teach my children gospel standards, I realized they also depend on me to model love and acceptance of other people, regardless of how those people look.

Some time ago, while several other women and I were waiting to pick up our children from preschool, I noticed that some of the moms were dressed provocatively and were pierced and tattooed and that there wasn’t much social interaction between them and the moms who maintained a more modest appearance. So one day I struck up a conversation with one of the moms from the first group, and although I didn’t expect to have much in common with her, we quickly became friends. Since then, this mother’s family has joined us for Church functions and birthday parties, and our daughters have enjoyed frequent play dates together.

As we make efforts to be kind and friendly to those who don’t share our beliefs, all the while holding firmly to our standards, our example may not only encourage our own children to be kind but also influence other families to be charitable toward those they see as “different.” In this and other ways, we can make “My Gospel Standards” not just a list of declarations but a way of life.

Gospel Teachings: Moral Standards for Children and Families

Dinner Topics for Wednesday

Gospel Teachings: Moral Standards for Children and Families

Lighting Our Children’s Path with Gospel Standards

By Jan Pinborough

Church Magazines

keyBy diligently teaching our children gospel standards, we can help them find their way in an ever-darkening world. ~Jan Pinborough

“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.”~Rosemary M. Wixom

 

walking-at-night_lightOur daughter got home from girls’ camp bursting to tell us about her first midnight hike. Dressed in their sweats and PJs, the girls had followed the beam of their leader’s flashlight as it cut through the darkness of the thick Tennessee woods. There were rocks, logs, and ravines—not to mention a pretty large population of raccoons, skunks, and bats—and even a distant coyote’s howl. When they reached a clearing by the lake, they all rested under the starry sky before heading back to their tents. So many things could have tripped them up, but everyone was safe. Their hike was a brilliant success.

Today’s children are taking their earthly journey when every day the world is becoming a little less filtered, a little cruder and more contentious. Morally, it’s a very murky time in the world’s history. And many are losing their way.

So parents need to be armed with a spiritual equivalent of the camp leader’s flashlight—the standards and teachings of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Gospel standards give children safety, security, and direction. They help them find their way to the temple. In the words of the Psalmist, they give them “a lamp unto [their] feet, and a light unto [their] path” (Psalm 119:105).

Here are six ways we can light our children’s paths with gospel standards:

1. Make the Standards Your Own

living-gods-truthWe can only share a light that we already have. Our children watch us with unblinking eyes, and they know when our commitment to gospel standards is genuine.

Studying “My Gospel Standards” and For the Strength of Youth are good ways to begin. Evaluating needed changes can make our flashlight’s beam more powerful and reliable.

2. Be Aware

dangerA revelation to the Church in 1838 urges: “Arise and shine forth, that thy light may be a standard for the nations” (D&C 115:5).

Before we arise in the morning, we must be awake. Being awake implies being aware. We can’t be naive about the temptations our children face. We need to be aware of trends and technologies.

But children must feel safe before they will talk to us about how things really are at school and among their friends. Sometimes it might feel natural to react with alarm. But if we respond instead by listening carefully and asking the child about his or her feelings, we build trust. Then our child will more likely see us as an ally in dealing with challenges.

3. Begin Early 

ShieldresizeGospel standards bless, empower, and protect children, now and throughout their lives, and the best time to begin teaching them is early on, when our children are eager to learn from us and less susceptible to peer pressure.

4. Make Them Part of Family Culture

Talk about gospel standards. Celebrate them. Memorize them. Even sing them!

Cara Kennedy of Indiana, USA, hung a “My Gospel Standards” poster at eye level in her home so her children would see it often and learn the standards from a young age. Eventually she wrote a song about the standards, which includes the words, “When people say, ‘Why do you do this?’ When people say, ‘Why don’t you do that?’ I stand up tall and simply say, ‘These are my gospel standards!’” Some of Sister Kennedy’s nieces and nephews have also learned the song, and when they sing it, they shout that last line and throw their fists in the air!

5. Focus on Meaning and Purpose

Each gospel standard is rooted in eternal principles, such as the sanctity of the body and spirit. Each one leads toward the temple and is protective and empowering. As Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said of covenants, each one “elevates us beyond limits of our own perspective and power. It is like the difference between plodding through a muddy field and soaring through the skies in a supersonic jet.”1

Living gospel standards helps us in our striving to be the kind of person Christ is. Ultimately, they lead us toward “the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ” (Ephesians 4:13).

6. Have a Monthly Standards Family Home Evening

dinnerFamily discussions and role-playing can help children be brave and unashamed in living gospel standards and becoming a light unto the world. Consider these resources for upcoming family home evening lessons: “My Gospel Standards” poster (left); “Stand for the Right” poster (right, also page 20 of this month’s Friend); and “Aim for the Best!” (page 24 of this month’s Friend). Rather than compare clothing, music, and media with what others are doing, we can compare with what is truly virtuous, lovely, and praiseworthy.

Lesson Idea: Discuss the different meanings of the word standard: (1) a banner carried at the top of a pole to serve as a rallying point; (2) a structure serving as a base or support; (3) something established as an example or a rule for the measure of quantity, weight, value, or quality; (4) a means of determining what a thing should be; (5) having recognized and permanent value.2

parenting2Walking alongside Our Youth

“I have a grandson who once asked me to go with him to a popular but inappropriate movie. I told him I wasn’t old enough to see that film. He was puzzled until his grandmother explained to him that the rating system by age didn’t apply to Grandpa. He came back to me and said, ‘I get it now, Grandpa. You’re never going to be old enough to see that movie, are you?’ And he was right!

“Besides showing youth the way by example, we lead them by understanding their hearts and walking alongside them on the gospel path.” ~Robert D. Hales

Part of Our Conversation Today

“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.”~Rosemary M. Wixom

Timeless Standards

“Virtue is bold, and goodness never fearful.”

William Shakespeare, Measure for Measure, act 3, scene 1, line 199.

 

Education, Common Core, and Disaster

Education disaster ‘no accident,’ expert warns

‘Common Core is not going to fix this problem’

keyParents frustrated over the poor state of education public schools are providing their children have missed the point, says this education expert. The schools aren’t failing — they’re performing exactly as they were designed to perform …American schools are producing illiterates by the millions and burning through dollars by the billions – and it’s all by design, according to international journalist and educator Alex Newman.

“It’s no accident that we’re getting the kinds of terrible education results that we’re seeing right now,” Newman said in a recent interview on “The Steve Malzberg Show.”

book-crime-of-educators“Common Core is not going to fix this problem, and neither are these federally funded tests,” he said.

In his new book, “Crimes of the Educators: How Utopians are Using Government Schools to Destroy America’s Children,” coauthored with Samuel Blumenfeld, Newman reveals just how bad the situation is.

For example, three-quarters of American students who earn a high-school diploma are unprepared for college coursework. Thirty percent of high-school graduates can’t pass the U.S. military entrance exam, which is focused on basic reading and math skills. More than 600,000 U.S. manufacturing jobs sit vacant because there aren’t enough qualified candidates to fill them.

Across the country this spring, students are scheduled to take federally funded tests that align with the Common Core standards.

Common-Core-MathThe resistance already has been strong. In most areas where the tests are not mandatory, many students have chosen to opt out of the testing.

New York State has emerged as the center of resistance to Common Core. In some school districts, well over half of the students refused to take their Common Core-aligned tests this spring. In one Long Island district, 82 percent of students opted out. One teachers’ union, New York State United Teachers, has actually encouraged parents to opt their kids out of the tests.

Newman is delighted to see so much resistance to Common Core.

“It is extremely encouraging to witness the growing resistance to Common Core and the massive numbers of students and parents that are choosing to opt out of this Orwellian, federally funded testing regime,” he told WND.

“The controversial tests, in addition to serving as one of the primary enforcement mechanisms for the Obama administration-backed Common Core fiasco, are gathering unimaginable amounts of data on children for use by federal education bureaucrats. This is simply unacceptable, and it is great to see parents and teachers defying this outrageous plan.”

Common-core-protestFLCommon Core has faced criticism from both the left and the right.

“It is encouraging to see this growing alliance against Common Core that transcends party lines, ideology, and every other division,” he said. “As we show in our book, the Common Core nightmare is bringing Americans together like never before to take a fundamental look at what is going on in the government education system. This is a very healthy and extremely positive development that should have come decades ago.
“The American people need to stand united against Common Core and the associated tests, and one of the best ways to do that, at this point, is to simply refuse to participate. If policymakers continue to ignore the public outcry, they do so at their own peril.”

Say-No-To-Common-Core-PinsNewman believes lawmakers are not truly interested in what the public thinks of Common Core because the lawmakers want to use it to dumb down American children. In “Crimes of the Educators,” Newman and Blumenfeld write about John Dewey, the progressive education reformer of the late 1800s and early 1900s.

The authors argue that Dewey and his allies developed a new method of teaching children to read, called the whole-word method, that has had disastrous results. Newman laments that the whole-word method is still being taught in many public schools today.

“They literally teach the kids to read English as if it were Chinese rather than the traditional phonics method that has worked since time immemorial, and that’s at the root of so many of the problems we have in our country today,” Newman explained on Malzberg’s show.

Politicians and education bureaucrats often claim that students are doing so poorly in school because governments don’t spend enough money on education, so their proposed solutions are very costly, Newman points out.

corruptionFor example, it was estimated in 2014 that states would have to spend $10 billion up front to implement Common Core and then up to $800 million per year for the first seven years of the program.

Newman thinks federal and state governments are stuck in an endless cycle of spending money on strategies that don’t work. But he believes the cycle will never end on its own because the powers-that-be don’t want American children to get smarter.

“The educational establishment will never put a stop to it on its own,” he declared. “The American people need to find out what’s going on. They don’t need more billions, they need less billions, and they need to be exposed.”
Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2015/04/education-disaster-no-accident-expert-warns/#p7M4fRQzHbfBugC5.99