I remember one day talking with a dear friend about parenting. She told me that for about a month she was doing so good with the Teaching Self-Government principles in her home. She said she really saw results whenever she remembered the principles and used them. Then she said that her family went on a trip for a week. On the way home from the trip, she stopped using the Teaching Self-Government principles. She said that for some reason she just went back to her old, inefficient way of running things at home.
We all go through times when we lose focus and lapse back into the way we always did things. We lose motivation. We know the old way didn't really inspire anyone to master his own behaviors, but it's easier to not deal with behaviors. Truth be told, we really crave "easy." Even though, by nature, I'm a little bit obsessive about following principles, I still sometimes find myself noticing that I've become a selfish, tired parent who doesn't want to teach to one more thing.
What Do We Do When We Lose Focus?
First, make sure you watch out for your health as a parent. Figure out how much sleep you really need and schedule it. Regularly eat healthy and take time to exercise. When I become a tired parent, it's probably because I really haven't been getting enough sleep lately, and I need a nap. Give yourself permission to take one if you can't inspire the feeling of the spirit in your home. Being too sleepy makes us numb to the feelings of the spirit.
Second, if you catch yourself being selfish, you should be congratulated. Many people would never admit that they're selfish, let alone try to fix the problem. Noticing your behavior is part of governing yourself as a parent. Only then can you choose to make a change. Noticing is the hardest part because it takes burying your pride.
Focus On The Vision
To renew your focus, review your 20-year vision (you do have one, right?). Study it. Feel it again. What do you really want for your family? Ask yourself, "What is the one thing that I need to teach my family right now?" Start there. Develop a positive motivation system for the family that will help them get excited about focusing on learning the new skill.
Is the family doing too much? Is everyone focused on themselves more than the feeling in the family? Do they really understand the importance of family? Reduce the less-important tasks and activities, do more family activities, and remember to say your family mission statement together daily.
Is your system of government working? Are you working as a team with your spouse? How can you inspire your spouse to get excited about changing the way the home runs? Are you connected to a power source?
Remember, "when the outlook is bad, try looking up." Our loving Heavenly Father knows what our family needs better than we do, or any other expert.
Check In And Review
Do you have a spouse or friend to check up with and review principles that you want to implement in your home? Reviewing them is important!
Take out those old seminar notes and use them to jog your memory of what else you knew your family needed to improve upon. When we go to classes, we always look for our most immediate need first. Sometimes, after that immediate need is met, we think we can't do anything else to improve our home. Visit the material again and look for new inspiration in what was taught.
Lastly, you're welcome to ask me any questions anytime you need to renew and recommit to improving the relationships and self government teaching in your home.
Renew your commitment to correct parenting principles today!