Love, Latitude and Limits

The Family a Proclamation to the World says, “Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs, and to teach them to love and serve one another, observe the commandments of God, and be law-abiding citizens wherever they live. ”

I have always felt that Heavenly Father was so smart to want to send us into families because we have support, love, and when you become a parent you have a desire to learn and become better for your children.  I think I would have become stagnate if it weren’t for my children, I don’t think I would have grown as much if it wasn’t for them.  Elder Perry says, “As parents we partner, even join, with God in bringing to pass His work and glory among His children.” (Becoming Goodly Parents)

Parenting doesn’t have to be difficult there are many resources to help parents raise their children in love and righteousness.  “Parents should never drive their children, but lead them along, giving them knowledge as the minds are prepared to receive it.” (Successful Marriages and Families)  In Successful Marriages and Families, it teaches how to parent with love, limits, and latitude.  Even though children need individual approaches Here are some suggestions from you can implement from the book:

  • Love, warmth, and support
  • Clear and reasonable expectations fro competent behavior
  • Limits and boundaries with some room for negotiation and compromise
  • Reasoning and developmentally appropriate consequences and punishments for breaching established limits
  • Opportunities to perform competently and make choices
  • Absence of coercive, hostile forms of discipline, such as harsh physical punishment, love withdrawal, shaming, and inflict guilt
  • Models of appropriate behavior consistent with self-control, positive values, and positive attitudes

Now that that we have set some limits and boundaries to parenting here are three different parenting styles typically used by parents. 

“Coercive parenting or authoritarian style are parents who are coerced, deride, demean, diminish, put down, mock, and/or hold power over their children or try to psychologically control. Hostility is shown in the home by spanking, yelling, criticizing, name calling, and forcing and is linked to anti-social behavior, withdrawn children, and delinquent behaviors.”  (Successful Marriage and Families) 

“Permissive parenting is characterized by parents who overindulge their children, or who just leave them to do their own thing. This is shirking our sacred parental duties and leads to children who don’t or can’t follow orders. Social science shows that children raised by permissive parents may have greater difficulty respecting others, coping with frustration, delaying gratification for a great goal, and following through with plans.” Permissive parenting does not go along with Proclamation because parents have a responsibility to guide their children.   (Successful Marriages and Families).

“Authoritative parenting provides a positive emotional connects, provides regulation that is fair and consistent, and allows for reasonable decision making for the child allowing autonomy. ” This parenting style consists of three characteristics: connection (love), regulation (limits), and latitude (autonomy). (Successful Marriages and Families)

Using the Authoritative parenting style helps family relations develop, allows the child to grow and developing using their decision making but still allow the parent to offer guidance and direction along the way.   This parenting style helps children to self-regulate and become the responsilbe citizen in society.    When you guide behavior it does more than corrects the behavior.  We have noticed with our children that when 

We have noticed with our children that when keep the rules simple and don’t have to many it is easier for them to achieve.  We have also found that when we speak logically to them the are less likely to repeat the behavior.  

The other day my son found some metal pipes.  These pipes had broken off our old trampoline.  The kids thought it would be fun to play with the metal pipes.  I observed from the window to see how the pipes were being used and indeed, as most 11-year-olds would, the pipe soon become swords and other cool weapons.  

I went outside and allowed the children to tell me what fun they were having with these metal pipes and all the places their imagination had taken them.  After they had finished I told them how fun that all sounded and then asked if they had noticed the sharp edges on the pipes.  For the first time they really looked the pipes then the looked at me, I then asked if they thought that the pipes could cut someone.  They stated that they believed they would.  I then simply said next time you play with the pipes could you please remember how sharp they are. Then my son sat there for a minute honestly thinking and taking everything.   Then he smiled real big and said mom you sure do take the fun out of everything! Yet, they didn’t play with the pipes anymore.  I didn’t have to say or do much, they understood the danger, they felt the love, they understood the limits for their safety and made the choice for themselves.  He knew logically it wasn’t safe.  Now if I had simply opened the window and yelled, “hey put the pipes down and don’t play with them;  or said hey that’s dangerous put that down.” I know I would have had to say that at least 3 more times, probably tended to a minor injury, and possibly of had some disagreement go on.  Authoritative parenting allows to truly love, limit and have latitude.  Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities.

Authoritative parenting allows to truly love, limit and have latitude.  “Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities.”  Remember to have these attributes when raising your children.  We all make mistakes we all need forgiveness from time to time. We all need compassion and love.  Keep your parenting influences positive and strong.  

Image: Child Dedication 

Sources: Successful Marriages and Families, The Proclamation to the World 


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