I'm posting the outline I have of the table of contents, even though I know that since this draft things have been changed a little (my sisters and I edited it all together while my parents took care of all our kids one day up at Bear Lake).
It'll still give you a good idea of what it's all about.
They would love any feedback they can get as they try to put on the finishing touches this week.
So, here you go:
Are there spiritual solutions for parenting problems?
Should "believing" parents rely on a different level of insight and behavior than those who base their parenting models entirely on secular principles?
Should Mormon parents, with their unique perspectives of a family-centric premortal life and a family centered afterlife approach parenting differently than other parents?
These are just some of the questions that will leap to the mind of readers when they pick up Richard and Linda Eyre's new book next Spring, entitled "5 SPIRITUAL SOLUTIONS FOR EVERYDAY PARENTING CHALLENGES"
Introduction: Insights, Worries, Perspective, Solutions, and Remembering
Solution 1: Remember Your Children’s True Identity
Applying what we know about where our children came from and discovering their unique, eternal personalities
Understanding that our children are actually our spiritual siblings causes us to respect them as well as love them. And we can apply this advantage to issues of self esteem, peer pressure, bullying, development of talents and potential, sibling rivalry, safety, insecurity, and more.
· Practical ways to extend and receive respect
· Knowing kids individually, accurately recognizing unique gifts and challenges
· Getting rid of guilt and understanding that you are not “starting from scratch”
· “Remember who you are” and helping kids make decisions in advance
· Pre-emptive strikes to put gospel perspective in as the foundation
· A book to give your kids on their wedding day (about them)
Solution 2 Remember God’s Parenting Patterns:
Following the supreme example of how God parents us
The best model for parenthood is the one that God himself has set, and we know so well that eternal story of teaching us all He could in our pre-mortal home and then giving us our agency. Following God’s parenting pattern comes into play as we help our kids with learning to work, being responsible, handling money, being motivated and disciplined and more.
· Learning and teaching unconditional love
· Holding them close and then letting them go
· Agency and choices
· Trusting our kids, and being trustworthy
· Giving Stewardship for clothes, toys, goals, grades, conflicts, choices, values
· Enjoying each other and living for “moments”
· Teaching values
· Clear laws, complete with rewards and punishments
Solution 3: Remember the Access that comes with Stewardship Understanding that we are mere mortal babysitters who can appeal directly to the real Parent
What prayer could be more appropriate and more effective than the one that essentially says, “Please help me to understand and raise these, your children.”
There are many opportunities and applications for this special prayer connection regarding rebellion, values, inactivity or apathy, individual discipline and more.
· A powerful and unique kind of prayer
· No links in the chain between us and God
· Listening and taking notes during prayer
· Family prayers and variations, Couples prayers and variations
· Receiving council from leaders and help from friends
· Prayer with small children
· Fasting (rejoicing) and Prayer
Solution 4: Remember the Church’s “Scaffolding”
Taking full advantage of all the help, support and guidance the Church and its programs offer
Church programs, teachers, advisors and “the ward family” can stand around us like an entourage, loving and serving our kids, and backing up every value and principle we teach; and Prophets sound a sure voice in an uncertain world. President Lee called the Church “the scaffolding that helps us build Eternal Families. Here are ways of applying this back-up and support to challenges of selfishness and sensitivity, growing up too fast, resolving past mistakes, learning the joy of service and more.
· The ‘general contractor’ approach, uses and cautions
· Maximizing resources, from teachers to programs
· Family oriented every-day perspective
· Priesthood leaders as surrogate parents
· Dinner time classes
· Upgraded family home meetings and scripture study
· Coordinating with the staff—debriefing after lessons, camps, etc.
Solution 5: Remember the Savior’s Power
His Spirit to guide, His Atonement to save, and His Priesthood to Bless our Children
The Holy Ghost can help us see what our eyes can’t, Christ’s example and atonement can guide our every move, and using the Priesthood to bless our children and magnify our families brings the actual and literal power of God into our very households and into our children’s lives. There are specific ways in which we can apply these unspeakable advantages more often to challenges with decisions and choices, with values, with insecurities and depression, and more
· Priesthood Blessings
· Seeking and following promptings
· Creating a spiritual atmosphere in your home
· Scripture and Testimonies as gauges and measures
· The motivation of the Atonement
· The Model of Christ
· Rejoicing and appreciating “moments”