Families, communities, and nations are stronger when parents teach their children how to behave responsibly. According to revelations from God to His prophets, parents have a sacred duty to teach their children to obey the commandments of God as well as the rules of home and society. The Lord also said that He will hold parents accountable for discharging their obligations. (See "The Family – A Proclamation to the World".) Much of this blog post comes from the parent education course taught by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Strengthening Families.
Teaching children to accept
responsibilities in the family is not a one-time task. It takes repetition and
consistency day in and day out for weeks, months, and years of teaching with
vigilance and affection. Children need to be held accountable by loving and
trusting parents. They need to be taught to work responsibility by working
along beside us and by working alone.
The time to begin teaching children
is when they are infants because children are born with a natural desire to
learn. There is a bond that develops gradually between parents and child as
they repeatedly interact with each other. This relationship is an ideal climate
for learning, and children gradually absorb their parents’ way of doing things
by watching and listening.
Childhood and adolescence could be the
most crucial time in an individual’s life. It is during these years that youth
acquire values, attitudes, and habits that will guide their behavior for the rest
of their life. This is a good time for parents to teach proper values and
responsible behavior to their children in ways that invite cooperation rather
There are at least six principles that can help parents to teach correct principles more successfully to their children. The first principle is “Teach by Example.” President David O. McKay described example as “the best and most effective way of teaching.” Elder Delbert L. Stapley said the following about example: “A
(2) Choose a good time to make your request. (3) Be positive and specific. (4) Show what you mean. (5) Give lots of positive feedback.