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Sunday, December 30, 2012

On parenting

Let's take a break from the impending economic doom of the fiscal cliff and all the taxes and unemployment and rising costs of living the cliff implies.

Let's instead talk about the future. Our children!

I had forgotten how unique a perspective Mormons have about children. Yes, we believe everyone is a child of God, but more importantly for our parenting experiences on earth, we believe that each child existed with God before coming to Earth, and each child is born with individual strengths and weaknesses which no amount of "molding" will change. The more children one has, the more one recognizes the truth of this statement. They come different! Each of my children is extremely different from his or her siblings. I parent them differently from each other as a result, because they need different kinds of care from their parents.

I found this LDS writer's analogy helpful.
A much better analogy would be seedlings in a nursery. You know how all the little plants look the same when they are just little green shoots? But until you stop to read the little label on each one, you don’t know if it is an oak tree, a fir tree or a lilac bush.
The fact is that we will never turn a pine into an oak, but the more we know about what each little seedling is, the better we can apply the right amount of water, the right kind of nutrients and make it the best pine it can be.
If you are looking for a New Year’s resolution as a parent, this might be a good one: “Treat each child as the unique and eternal being that he or she is!” Now that is a resolution that will make you watch and pray about each child and perhaps appreciate a little bit more how our Heavenly Father knows and deals with each of us — his own unique children.

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