In the General Conference of April 2004, Elder Robert D. Hales shared a message entitled “With All the Feeling of a Tender Parent: A Message of Hope to Families”. In that talk he shared five important elements of parenting that he believed will assist us in strengthening our families. Today I am sharing the first element.
“Hold family councils. Sometimes we are afraid of our children—afraid to counsel with them for fear of offending them. There are priceless blessings to be obtained from counseling together with our families, showing a genuine interest in the lives of our family members. Occasionally, family councils may involve all family members as part of a family home evening or other special gatherings. But we should regularly counsel with each of our children individually.
“Without this one-on-one counseling together with our children, they are prone to believe that Dad and Mom, or Grandpa and Grandma, don’t understand or care about the challenges they are facing. As we listen with love and refrain from interrupting, the Spirit will help us learn how we can be of help to our children and teach them.
“For example, we may teach them that they can choose their actions but not the consequences of those actions. We can also gently help them understand what the consequences of their actions may be in their own lives.”