Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Let them govern themselves? Really?

Today started off a bit frustrating. Both of our Tuesday co-ops were cancelled due to sickness. With the unscheduled time, I thought we'd do some fun, easy school things. But 15 minutes out of my room was enough to frustrate the plans. I quickly felt very overwhelmed and questioned my "career" choice.

Long story short, I decided to "run away" for the day. (Thanks, Dwight and Jessica, for making my day off possible.) At first, I felt a lot of guilt about taking the day off. But, 20 minutes of uninterrupted time talking to a good lady helped me to put things back into perspective.

While attending Time Out for Women, one of the speakers spoke of Joseph Smith's statement of "We teach them correct principles and let them govern themselves." I knew/know it is a correct principle, but every time I hear that statement I think "but it just doesn't seem to work out so well for me." Pause ... let me acknowledge that I know I have good kids and I know that they really do a lot of good things. I recognize that in comparisons to a lot of homes I have very peaceful, extremely well-behaved kids. I don't mean to discount that in any way. Yet, we do have the spirit of contention and disobedience at times. And, lately, it seems that it is much more prevalent than it ought to be.

So... back to my thoughts ... "We teach them correct principles and let them govern themselves." How do I apply this correct principle?

As I talked about this with my friend, I realized that I always hear the "let them govern themselves" and sort of just gloss over the first, perhaps the most important part: "We teach them correct principles." Notice that Joseph didn't say: "We teach them correct principles for the first 8 years or their lives." He didn't say: "We teach them correct principles on Sundays and during Family Home Evening." Nor did he say: "We teach them correct principles on Sundays, during FHE, mutual, scripture study, and any other time it is self-serving or convenient." He said, "We teach them correct principles."

Some parenting experts recommend that we should give our kids at least 10 positive comments for each negative comment in order to ensure success. Perhaps we really out to TEACH 10 righteous principles for each unrighteous thing they encounter. (If we were to teach at that ratio, we'd be so exhausted that we'd have no choice but let them govern themselves! :))

PS Thanks Tami for reminding me of correct principles!

1 comment:

DixieJo said...

loved this post and love the thought/idea there at the end.