Helping Your Children Stay Morally Clean

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Almost without an exception, they are completely devoid of any discussions of the ethics of parenting, beyond the virtues of raising an empathic, nonviolent child which does poor kids, socially segregated from your peaceful, compassionate kid a whole hell of a lot of good, it seems to me. There are books on anti-racist parenting, most of which are painful to read. What does each mean to me? Which ones have most affected me at different points in my life? This barrage of broad and overwhelming questions appears to be a hallmark of books aimed at white people fumbling to think and talk about race.

But that scraping, it seems to me, is never going to be inspired or internalized by a bulleted list. I discussed some of the questions that were rattling around in my brain to my elder neighbor Louise recently over lunch. I wondered aloud if the answer was to collectivize with other families to pledge to send our kids there and try to make it better.


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Louise, a white woman with nearly six decades under her belt of wrestling with her own racial conditioning, always has a way of kindly reminding me that I have much more wrestling to do. When I bring this issue up in various forms with parents I know that have older kids, a sort of resigned malaise takes over their faces and they almost always sigh audibly. These parents of pimply, emotionally-manipulative teenagers appear to see me, the parent of ratty-haired, emotionally-raw toddlers, as well-intentioned but in need of humbling.

Just keep your own kids off drugs, they seem to be saying with their eyes. I suspect whiteness is costing me, as Baldwin would say, my moral life. I crave that elusive, white moral life.

Teaching Morality to Your Children

For myself, but even more, for my kids. I want my kids to be happy and healthy, but I also want them to grow up with a sense that their mother is an unrelenting badass who fights inequity, not just with bumper stickers and sentiment, but with real, sometimes uncomfortable action. Every person has to come to terms with — even if just to themselves — the gap between what they believe and how they live their lives. If you happen to be a parent, though, the gap can feel particularly wide and meaningful, the explanation even more garbled and urgent.

They will want to know, they might already want to know, why you did what you did. Why send them to this school? Why make the sometimes Herculean effort to get them into clean clothes and in these particular pews on a Sunday morning? Why live in this neighborhood? Why befriend these people and not those? Why care so deeply about certain rules and let other things go? Kids ultimately care, not just about how you shape them, but how your shaping of them shapes the world.

But knowing this and acting on it are two very different things. How do I avoid turning my kids into a political experiment? And how do I explore all of this — out loud or in writing — without making other parents feel judged? Email to friends Share on Facebook - opens in a new window or tab Share on Twitter - opens in a new window or tab Share on Pinterest - opens in a new window or tab.

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After puberty this period occurs approximately every twenty-eight days; however, irregularity in duration and timing can occur, especially in the first few months.

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A boy should be taught about the power of creation within his body and that the Lord intended that this power should be used exclusively in marriage. He should be cautioned against sexual self-stimulation masturbation. This pamphlet is a reprint of an address given by Elder Boyd K. Packer in the priesthood session of the October general conference and can help fathers counsel their sons regarding their growth and physical maturation. Parents should teach youth that although it is normal to feel attracted to the opposite sex, they must keep these feelings under restraint.

It is not part of my life now, but will be later. There is a proper time marriage for this spark of divinity to find expression with a proper person my wife or husband. Self-mastery now will help me be capable of a celestial love and a celestial marriage. This is the future I want, and I must strive for it. Parent-Child Discussion. Parents need to be patient with teenagers and let them know that they are trusted.

They should discuss questions about morality in an open and relaxed manner. Parents can be understanding and loving and hold fast to high principles. Parents can build rapport with each child as they have private conversations with the child. Every person has felt these physical desires, so perhaps if we talk and share … feelings we can understand each other and I can be of help. Such an introduction to a conversation can create an atmosphere of honesty, trust, and openness. The words of Elder Boyd K. Packer to the youth of the Church can be helpful as parents and children talk together:.

You have felt them already in the changing of your attitudes and your interests. You will notice the changing of form and feature in your own body and in others. You will experience the early whispering of physical desire. Except for the compelling persuasion of these feelings, men would be reluctant to accept the responsibility of sustaining a home and a family.


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This power must be constant, too, for it becomes a binding tie in family life. But she was so sincere that I wanted to listen. These feelings are beautiful. These feelings make us respect and care for each other. We convey these feelings in words, in things we do for each other, and in physical expressions of our love. It is so important to reserve the physical expression of these feelings for marriage so you can have the great blessings of this eternal plan. I knew then that the feelings I had felt for boys were normal but had to be controlled.

In addition to parent-child talks, parents can help children in other ways to accept and fulfill appropriate male and female roles. For instance, parents should establish and discuss proper dating guidelines with teenagers so they will have decided issues before they actually start dating. The following counsel from President Kimball will be helpful. Any dating or pairing off in social contacts should be postponed until at least the age of 16 or older, and even then there should still be much judgment used in selections and in the seriousness.

Young people should still limit their close contacts for several years, since the boy will be going on his mission when he is 19 years old. Encourage teenagers to participate in group activities and not to date steady until they are ready to consider marriage. Early dating is best done in groups, where teenagers can establish many friendships. Parents can explain that dating is for getting to know each other and to enjoy being together. Dates are not occasions for displays of affection, which should be saved for marriage.

Parents can further help youth control these new emotions by helping them develop feelings of self-worth. Young people who know that they are children of God and who understand their divine purpose will seek activities that are consistent with the eternal plan. The Eternal Purpose of Sex. It is important to teach children that Heavenly Father did not intend sex to be something evil and corrupt. When a husband and a wife use sex properly in their marriage, the Lord will bless them.

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However, when people abuse this divine gift, they please only Satan and his followers. President Spencer W. We urge: stay clean, uncontaminated, undefiled. We should teach our children that self-gratification inside or outside of marriage will not fulfill the eternal purpose of sex. Sex is to establish eternal families and to unify a husband and wife. When viewed in this way, sex is an uplifting influence. If a young man really admires, respects, and cares for a young lady, he would never do anything that is debasing or selfish, or that would bring sorrow and guilt.

Rather, he would defend her virtue at all costs. A young woman would respond with the same respect and concern for a young man she cares for. The Lord has made it clear that immorality involves more than extramarital sexual intercourse.



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