Monday, April 12, 2010

What are the roles of a Mother?

According to "The Family: A Proclamation to the World", "Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children."
So, what does this entail? says:

–verb (used with object)
1. to feed and protect: to nurture one's offspring.
2. to support and encourage, as during the period of training or development; foster: to nurture promising musicians.
3. to bring up; train; educate.

Listening to conference last week end, there is something I need to focus on more. This is to educate. We need to teach them so much. Thankfully we have several years. But at times this is overwhelming.

Elder Ballard's talk "Mothers and Daughters" mentioned many things we need to teach them. We need to teach them to avoid gossip and judging others, to find joy in nurturing children, to be chaste in this society (including dressing modestly), "
to recognize the presence and the voice of the Spirit", and "that keeping covenants is the safest road to eternal happiness".

How do we teach them these things? The first, of course, is by talking to them. Then, more importantly, by example. If we gossip, then our children will also. If we complain about having to be home and take care of the kids all day long, then it will be viewed as a horrible thing to endure. And when they are young and they feel the spirit, tell them. Then as they are older, share spiritual experiences with them. I love to go to the General Young Women meeting. I love the spirit there, and I am able to hear what Heavenly Father wants our daughters to know.

We must teach them of Jesus Christ. In the talk "Tell Me the Stories of Jesus" by Elder Neil L. Andersen he says, "The stories of Jesus can be like a rushing wind across the embers of faith in the hearts of our children." I tell them the Book of Mormon stories, and we read it together as a family. But I don't always tell them about Christ's ministry and miracles. How else can they know Him, and about Him, than if we tell them? Which means that we need to get to know Him and what He did while on the Earth. We need to teach them that He is there for them when they have a need, whether it is for comfort or for help. "Do our children know about His perfect life, His selfless ministry, His betrayal and cruel Crucifixion? Have we testified to them of the certainty of His Resurrection, of His visit to the Nephites in the Americas, of His appearance to the Prophet Joseph Smith in the Sacred Grove?" If not, then we must teach them.

Elder L. Tom Perry, in "Mothers Teaching Children in the Home", says that we need to teach our children secular lessons. How often do we help with school work? How much do we make sure they know how we feel about their schooling? Communicate with their teachers. Let them know that you want them to get a good education. That it is important to you. One way of doing this is to go to parent/teacher conference. Our schools have the grades on line so that we can check them daily and know if our children need some extra help in a subject. Also, help them if they need it. One thing I did a few years ago, when we had a "work station" in the kitchen, I would balance the checkbook, or clip coupons, or do other desk work while they were doing their homework. I was able to help with anything and also keep them moving forward. Having a central location was very helpful. Right now it isn't very helpful, as the little ones are running around disturbing the older ones. Not a very good place to study. They now do homework in their rooms.
We also have several books in our house and encourage reading everyday. We read a lot ourselves, and we have them read for at least 20 minutes a day. We read to them, in fact we love to read large books out loud to the family. For example: the Harry Potter series. We love science and will talk about, or do science experiments, so they will be interested in such things. We encourage our children to explore the world and to observe what is happening around them.

The best way to teach our children, is to love them. In this way, we will have a more vested interest in their education. In the talk "Our Duty to God: The Mission of Parents and Leaders to the Rising Generation" Elder Robert D. Hales says, "When we have a family home evening, a family council, or a meaningful gospel conversation with our children, we have the opportunity to look into their eyes and tell them that we love them and that Heavenly Father loves them." One of our children has decided to not go to church. She has been taught and had a testimony, but her choice right now is to not be apart of the church right now. This was very hard for me. I want to make her go. I want to drag her kicking and screaming. But I love her and will keep loving her, so that by my love for her, she will feel the love that Heavenly Father and Jesus have for her. Then she will want to return. It will be her decision. By my not forcing her to go, hopefully later she will choose to go on her own, because she wants to feel of this love again. (fingers crossed)

Here's to Mothers! Our job is a big one, but also the most rewarding. And the greatest reward is to live eternally with our families. Pin It


Patty Ann said...

Thank you so much for this post. It is a relief to know that others sometimes struggle like I do. Out of my eleven children, three have chosen to go a different path. I have had to realize that they are all adults, and old enough to choose and my prayers are that they will, someday, come home. They can be good people even if they don't go to church. Thank you for the conference talks and for your testimony on motherhood.

Valerie said...

Great information with wonderful resources. Being a mom is not easy, but it is definitely a holy calling.

Emmy said...

What a wonderful post. And so so good for you for letting it be your daughter's choice. I think I would have a very hard time with this; I would so want to force, but that is definitely not Heavenly Father's plan.


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