My Purpose as a Parent of Older Children

It is easy for every parent to wonder, “What is my purpose?” as I did yesterday for example … and this morning, come to think of it.

I have received a few answers that I would like to share with you because they will help you too.

As a parent, my ultimate role model is my Heavenly Father. He is the only perfect parent, so I can learn from his example as seen in the scriptures and in my own life.

“I am a child of God,
And he has sent me here,
Has given me an earthly home
With parents kind and dear.

“Lead me, guide me, walk beside me,
Help me find the way.
Teach me all that I must do
To live with him someday.”

Text: Naomi W. Randall, 1908-2001. (c) 1957 IRI
Music: Mildred T. Pettit, 1895-1977. (c) 1957 IRI
(From Children’s Songbook, p.2)

“It is never too early and it’s never too late to lead, guide, and walk beside our children, because families are forever”
– Bradley D. Foster

As parents it is our responsibility to focus on the teaching and rearing of our children. The importance of this purpose of parenting is beautifully explained by Sister Joy Jones and Bonnie Cordon during BYU’s Women’s Conference. SEE THE WHOLE keynote speech HERE. “Parents and children should give highest priority to family prayer, family home evening, gospel study and instruction, and other wholesome family activities. However worthy and appropriate other activities and demands may be, they must not be permitted to displace the divinely appointed duties that only parents and families can adequately perform.”

As I have reflected on their counsel I remembered recent examples of how each of my kids, even though they are older and don’t need me the way they did as little children and babies, needed my purposeful parenting.

Kay (24) – After Sunday dinner two days ago, Kay sat across the otherwise deserted table from me and spoke enthusiastically and articulately in happy tones about new friends, decisions, in-laws, and job searching. I am so glad I knew my purpose at that time was not to do the dishes or read a book or check email, but to listen about her very important life as a young wife and individual. I LOVED looking at her, seeing how happy she was, and admiring her many wonderful qualities, which SHE has developed.

J.D. (22) – Last night J.D. came into Duncan and my room talking about a particular beautiful young woman. He shared and watched our interested and happy faces. He didn’t want advice but someone to express his excitement with. Because we have already taught him about chastity, prayer, and the importance of his choice in his future spouse I could relax (this time at least, honestly I have to really work HARD to keep my mouth shut) and just listen.

Clark (19) – His emails often mention Mom this and Dad that. For example, “Don’t worry Mom, I ….” I sign my emails to him, “Love Mom xoxoxooxoxoxoxxoxooxoxxoxooxoxox
xooxoxoxoxoxoxoooxox” On a recent email he said to me, “I love the xoxoxoxooxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxxoxoxooxxoox. Never let them stop.”

Adam (16) – Adam sent me a text while at school, “When is my orthodontist appointment?” Another read, “Where can I get proof of address for registration?” See? he still needs me! He eats a ton and loves my cooking. He even eats up the daily hugs and kisses I give him.

Curt (12) – Curt is my deep thinker: “How do I know what ‘my’ sport is? What is the difference between a debit and a credit card? If you could choose between cheap hair gel or expensive hair gel which would you choose?” The questions go on and on. MAN ALIVE! I love that kid!

“The home is the first and most effective place to learn the lessons of life: truth, honor, virtue, self control, the value of education, honest work, and the purpose and privilege of life. Nothing can take the place of home in rearing and teaching children, and no other success can compensate for failure in the home.”
― David O. McKay

It all boils down to where the lasting joy comes from. It is all about the family. I am so glad I am a mom. I have the most important job in the world. My ideas matter. My talents and skills are being utilized in a demanding and important way that WILL change the world.

1 thought on “My Purpose as a Parent of Older Children”

  1. You have a wide span of ages that you are assisting. I love the snapshot into their lives!!! Thank you for setting a great example. You have beautiful kids. 🙂

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