|Camporazo, the School Principal|
I would like to share to you the message which I delivered to the preschoolers of Living Heritage Kinder School, La Carlota City when I was invited as their inspirational guest speaker in March 20, 2009 in their moving up program like this one.
Bata, paano ka "ginawa"? (Kid, how you've been reared up?) [is not actually intended for the kids, but for their respective parents.]
I was inspired by the 6 practical principles delineated by James D. MacArthur in his article, "The Functional Family" in Liahona (the official international magazine of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints), February 2009 issue.
First, parents focus your energy on teaching your children correct principles and allowing them to exercise their agency. Making choices have consequences - both good and bad. When you take the role of a manager for you want to control your children and you want desired results, problems arise. Your children resist coercion or compulsion, especially they get older. Rather you should act as coaches, consultants, and guides. You continue granting them greater latitude to make choices and reap consequences. You children have the rights. Remember that!
Second, parents intentionally strengthen your families. Dr. MacArthur said one of the best ways parents can strengthen their families is to establish specific item each week to discuss how the family is doing. And that could be considered as "family discussion time." In so doing, you and your spouse commit to regularly reflect on your family needs. He said if you are too busy to spend time with your son or daughter, you might be sending a message, "You are not very important to me."
Third, relationships are of supreme importance. By listening carefully and being sensitive to the Spirit, you will be more likely to discern how your children are doing and what their needs are. Try to invest time in the relationship in the obvious way like talk together, play together, spend one-on-one time together, and send letters, cards, notes sharing with your affections, give compliments, do something unexpectedly and say: "I love you."
Fourth, parents are active teachers. Adam and Eve were excellent examples of parents being good teachers. They taught their children gospel principles of plan of salvation and the importance of keeping the commandments. You have same responsibility to teach your children not only life skills but also the gospel. You should consider what you teach, and how you teach, when and where. MacArthur observed that effective teaching happens outside a formal or direct teaching setting.
Fifth, parents lead by example. Your children are always watching and observing your behavior, whether you know it or not. Dorothy Law Nolte has written about children live what they learn. The children when they grow up is influenced by the environment in which they are always exposed to. If you want your children to do what you want them to be, you should set as an example. MacArthur advised if you want your children to care about family relationships, you kiss and hug them, smile at them, listen to them, play with them, and share personal experiences with them.
And sixth, parents teach your children by faith in Heavenly Father and in the Lord Jesus Christ. Faith will establish a sure and solid foundation for a family living that is unequaled in any other way. The scripture says, "Ye will teach them to walk in the ways of truth and soberness; ye will teach them to love one another, and to serve one another."
Thus the most important thing you will do in your life will be to teach your family members to have faith in Jesus Christ and His teachings and to keep the commandments. You must remember if you could make your family functional you are just like providing your family the best opportunity you can to grow closer together and to face challenges with a greater sense of harmony and happiness. And I know education will also secure the future of your children.
Thank you and good morning.
(This is my message given on April 1, 2011 during the 6th Moving Up Program of Preschool of Cubay Elementary School under my administration and supervision as a school principal)
Reference: The Functional Family by James D. MacArthur, PhD