“It is our responsibility to create a Christlike ‘world’ in our homes, a safe place where children behave well because they enjoy the pleasant consequences of doing so, rather than to avoid the unpleasant consequences of behaving badly. It is a world in which the child thinks, ‘I know my parents will acknowledge and appreciate me’ rather than thinking “I am only doing this because I don’t want to be beat on’ (verbally or physically).” (Glenn I. Latham, “Christlike Parenting”)
“You can’t force your boys, nor your girls into heaven. You may force them to hell, by using harsh means in the efforts to make them good… Our children are like we are; we couldn’t be driven; we can’t be driven now… We won’t be driven. Men are not in the habit of being driven; they are not made that way.”
Joseph F. Smith,
Teachings of the Presidents of the
Church – Joseph F. Smith, p.253
“I will here say to parents, that kind words and loving actions towards children, will subdue their uneducated nature a great deal better than the rod, or, in other words, than physical punishment.” Brigham Young
“Anger should never be permitted to rise in our bosoms, and words suggested by angry feelings should never be permitted to pass our lips. ‘A soft answer turneth away wrath, but grievous words stir up anger.’ [Proverbs 15:1].”
“Sometimes discipline, which means ‘to teach,’ is confused with criticism. Children—as well as people of all ages—improve behavior from love and encouragement more than from fault-finding.”
Susan W. Tanner
Young Women General President
2003 General Conference
“Children need directing and teaching what is right in a kind, affectionate manner… How often we see parents demand obedience, good behavior, kind words, pleasant looks, a sweet voice and a bright eye from a child or children when they themselves are full of bitterness and scolding! How inconsistent and unreasonable this is!” (Brigham Young)
“You can coax them; you can lead them by holding out inducements to them and by speaking kindly to them."
Joseph F. Smith
Improvement Era, Jan. 1910
“To avoid all possibility for error is to avoid all possibility for growth.”
Dallin H. Oaks
1994 BYU Campus Education Week
“No enduring improvement can occur without righteous exercise of agency. Do not attempt to override agency. The Lord himself would not do that. Forced obedience yields no blessings.”
Richard G. Scott
1988 Annual General Conference
“At times our children may not be in possession of a good spirit; but if the parent continues to possess the good Spirit, the children will have the bad spirit but a short time.”
“If they get a little naughty, stop them when they have gone far enough. … When they transgress, and transcend certain bounds, we want them to stop.”
“Children need sunlight. They need happiness. They need love and nurture. They need kindness and refreshment and affection. Every home, regardless of the cost of the house, can provide an environment of love which will be an environment of salvation.”
Gordon B. Hinckley
Fall General Conference, 1994
“Love can make the difference—love generously given in childhood and reaching through the awkward years of youth . . . and encouragement that is quick to compliment and slow to criticize”
Gordon B. Hinckley
“Kind looks, kind actions, kind words, and a lovely, holy deportment towards them will bind our children to us with bands that cannot easily be broken; while abuse and unkindness will drive them from us, and break asunder every holy tie that should bind them to us and to the everlasting covenant in which we are all embraced.”
“You parents of the willful and the wayward! Don’t give them up. Don't cast them off. They are not utterly lost. The Shepherd will find his sheep. They were his before they were yours--long before he entrusted them to your care; and you cannot begin to love them as he loves them. They have but strayed in ignorance from the path of right, and God is merciful to ignorance. Only the fullness of knowledge brings the fullness of accountability. Our Heavenly Feather is far more merciful, infinitely more charitable than even the best of his servants, and the everlasting gospel is mightier in power to save than our narrow finite minds can comprehend.
"The Prophet Joseph Smith declared--and he never taught more comforting doctrine--that the eternal sealings of faithful parents and the divine promises made to them for valiant service in the cause of truth would save not only themselves, but likewise their posterity. Though some of the sheep may wander, the eye of the shepherd is upon them, and sooner or later they will feel the tentacles of divine providence reaching out after them and drawing them back to the fold. Either in this life or the life to come, they will suffer for their sins and may tread a thorny path; but if it leads them at last, like the penitent prodigal, to a loving and forgiving father’s heart and home, the painful experience will not have been in vain. Pray for our careless and disobedient children; hold on to them with you faith. Hope on, trust on, till you see the salvation of God.
"Who are these straying sheep--these wayward sons and daughters? They are children of the covenant, heirs to the promises, and have received, if baptized, the gift of the Holy Ghost, which makes manifest the things of God. Could all that go for naught?” (Orson F. Whitney Conference Report Apr, 1929)
“The measure of our success as parents, however, will not rest solely on how our children turn out. That judgment would be just only if we could raise our families in a perfectly moral environment, and that now is not possible.
“It is not uncommon for responsible parents to lose one of their children, for a time, to influences over which they have no control. They agonize over rebellious sons or daughters. They are puzzled over why they are so helpless when they have tried so hard to do what they should.
“It is my conviction that those wicked influences one day will be overruled.” (Our Moral Environment”)
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