Parents’ Teaching Partnership

I have been slowly reading through Teaching, No Greater Call. I am to the part where it is specifically talking about intentional teaching in our homes. There were two chapters dedicated to parents – one as a father and one as a mother. I also enjoyed the chapter on parents having a teaching partnership. There were some great ideas in there for intentional parenting as well as ways to build a marriage up. Take a look:

“In “The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve explain that fathers and mothers “are obligated to help one another as equal partners” (Ensign, Nov. 1995, 102). This partnership is especially necessary in parents’ sacred responsibility to teach their children.

In a general conference address, President Boyd K. Packer read Doctrine and Covenants 27:15, 17: “Lift up your hearts and rejoice, and gird up your loins, and take upon you my whole armor, that ye may be able to withstand the evil day, … taking the shield of faith wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.” After reading this passage, President Packer explained the importance of mothers and fathers working together to help their children take the “shield of faith”:

“That shield of faith is not produced in a factory but at home in a cottage industry. …

“… Our Father’s plan requires that, like the generation of life itself, the shield of faith is to be made and fitted in the family. No two can be exactly alike. Each must be handcrafted to individual specifications.

“The plan designed by the Father contemplates that man and woman, husband and wife, working together, fit each child individually with a shield of faith made to buckle on so firmly that it can neither be pulled off nor penetrated by those fiery darts.

“It takes the steady strength of a father to hammer out the metal of it and the tender hands of a mother to polish and fit it on. Sometimes one parent is left to do it alone. It is difficult, but it can be done.

“In the Church we can teach about the materials from which a shield of faith is made: reverence, courage, chastity, repentance, forgiveness, compassion. In church we can learn how to assemble and fit them together. But the actual making of and fitting on of the shield of faith belongs in the family circle. Otherwise it may loosen and come off in a crisis” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1995, 8; or Ensign, May 1995, 8).

The following suggestions can help parents develop a more effective teaching partnership.

Taking Time to Plan Together

As parents, you should set aside specific times to discuss your children’s needs and plan how to meet those needs. One busy couple discovered that holding weekly planning sessions together became one of the most valuable things they did as parents. They said:

“Although it took us almost a year to make our weekly planning session a habit, we now wonder how we ever got along without it. It helps us have more interest in what the other is doing. It helps us realize how important we are to each other and to our children. It gives us time to look at ourselves and at the children and decide on a course of action to meet our problems. We also plan our dates, special times with the children, details for family home evenings, and Sunday activities. It usually takes about 30 minutes, occasionally longer if big events or unusual problems need more talking over.”

As you plan ways to teach your children, prayerfully consider the following questions:

  • What should happen in the lives of our children as a result of our teaching?
  • Which specific gospel principles should we teach in order to accomplish this?
  • How should we teach these principles?

Suggestions for using these questions are found in “Preparing Lessons,” pages 98–99, and “Creating Lessons from Conference Talks and Other Resources,” pages 100–101.”

As usual, I can see the benefits of this not only for our intentional parenting and gospel teaching, but also in tweaking it for our homeschool situation. =)

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