Thursday, November 17, 2011

with all the feeling of a tender parent

(1 Nephi 8:37)

Parenting is a sensitive topic, and because of the individuality of each child, there are different ways parenting has to be applied in different situations. A friend of mine often said that she didn’t really like parenting books, because she didn’t think anyone could really tell her how to raise her kids, because they were her kids, and they were unique. While I agree (somewhat) with this attitude – children are unique and indeed have unique needs – I believe that there are some universal principles that govern good parenting, and they happen to be gospel principles.

My very favorite institute teacher (someone you’ll hear me talk about a lot on this blog), Uncle Wally, talks about following Heavenly Father’s example for parenting in an article in the book, My Soul Delighteth in the Scriptures. He expounds on more gospel-related parenting skills in his book The Soft-Spoken Parent. The parenting skills and principles I have learned by listening to Brother Goddard’s advice and knowledge (and experiences) have really enriched my life as a parent.

Last night my husband and I watched the overview of a parenting program developed by Brigham Young University’s school of education. It is a program they have developed after years and years of research and study of families, children, and parenting. It’s called You Can Do This: an Approach to Raising Wonderful Children. I love that they don’t call it the approach to raising wonderful children. Obviously that leaves room for other approaches. However – I believe that this program is founded on gospel principles.

After watching the overview video, my husband and I decided that it would be a good idea for us to go through the program together. Then we had an idea. What if we could get some of our friends to participate with us, in a type of book-club? Then I had an idea – what if I could get some online friends to participate with us in a type of online book club?

I think that maybe we will wait to start until the beginning of the year, due to the holidays and the busy schedules that people will have, but I hope that this can be an enlightening experience for all of those who choose to participate, and that we can learn a lot from this program and from the parents who will participate with us.

Each week the assignment will be to read one of the “lessons” in the program, and then during the week try to implement those strategies in our families. When we get back together at the end of the week, we will discuss what went well for us, where we have room for improvement, how the principle worked in our family, and then move on to the next principle.

There are more than 50 lessons, but we will try to pare it down and maybe combine a few lessons to shorten the course. Or maybe we will do it in 3 month intervals, and repeat? If you have any ideas how to go through this program in a group setting, let me know. As I said, this will be a kind of “book club” feel – not us teaching you (we have so much to learn ourselves!)

If you would like to participate (either online or in person – in person would be in the Salt Lake Valley, since that is where we live) let me know. We will probably do the online participants in a Google+ hangout video conference.

You Can Do This - English from McKay School of Education on Vimeo.

I will post more information on the blog as we get this thing organized. In the meantime, I invite you to go check out the website, You Can Do This and watch the overview video, or I have embedded the video here on the blog. We will probably ask each couple to watch the overview video prior to the first meeting. It is about 26 minutes long, but well worth it. My husband and I really enjoyed watching it, and we are looking forward to working through this program with a group.

What parenting programs have you participated in that have been meaningful to you and have created a difference in your parenting skills? Would you be interested in participating in this program with us – whether in person or online?


  1. Neat! I think it would be really cool to participate. I'm going to share this with my husband and see what he thinks. We only have one 17 month old little girl right now, but maybe it will apply.

  2. It would definitely be useful! Our children are only 4 and 2, and the best part about that is we're starting young! It means we won't have to "fix" as much later, hopefully ;)

    Parents with all ages of children are welcome (and encouraged) to participate!

    I am looking forward to getting this together. I think it's going to turn out really well!


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