At MLH, we believe helping our children form a personal testimony is one of the greatest responsibilities (and blessings) of being a parent. In this episode of Mormon Matters, Dan, Caleb, Jennifer, and Jordan talk about rearing children within a context of faith and values.
Every person is different, and this is completely true with children, as well. Often we as parents will assume our children are picking up ideas, teachings, and various behavioral cues from us, our families, and our church in the way we hope they are, but this certainly isn’t always true. And certain children will be very sensitive to the times when there is a mismatch between their own experience and what they believe is going on all around them. For instance—and this is an example from one of the stories shared in this podcast—a child might feel he or she is not receiving answers to his or her prayers the way everyone else does, causing this child to wonder what’s wrong with them, if they are still worthy of love, and so forth. So how do we parent and grandparent and aunt and uncle and mentor in ways that teach values and solid ethics and faith, and at the same time communicate that these are not one-size-fits-all things? And that this is not only okay, but it is wonderful! How do we empower them with a sense of trust in themselves, and help them find their own best way to access God/Spirit?
In this two-part episode, Caleb Jones, Jennifer Finlayson-Fife, and Jordan Harmon join Mormon Matters host Dan Wotherspoon to talk about child raising within a context of faith and values. In this case, one of the contexts for this parenting is Mormonism, which is wonderful in so many ways, but how might we assist them in still finding their own unique faith connections within this sometimes overwhelming church and culture? Guided by Caleb’s story with his oldest son, and ending with a thorough discussion of his and his wife Irene’s ten one-liners that often guide their parenting and work their way into conversations with their children, the panelists and host draw from their backgrounds (two are therapists, all are parents with children at various ages) to share insights, personal stories, and ideas for conscious parenting that seeks as a primary goal to always assist children in feeling completely loved, heard, and cared for by them as well as God.