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JGarcia

Why doesn't the LDS church run any parenting courses ?

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A friend of mine who knows I go to LDS church told me she has been really struggling with her 7 year old, basically she can''t control him and a relative of hers told her to go to some parenting course that is put on by a local church. As she knows I go to church she asked me does my church have one she can go to. I told her that there aren't any courses you show up to, but there are some guides that are printed and I could ask for some members who have kids to give her advice, but she didn't seem keen on this idea. I also have a child, I don't see them but I would like to go to some parenting course too. Pretty much all the baptist churches around us offer free parenting courses and my friend is going to go to one. 

My friend said she was surprised that the LDS church doesn't have any parenting courses as it seems to be a well known thing that families are central to the gospel. I would like to tell her why we don't offer them. Can you help me out please ? 

Also, I think I want to go to a parenting course at a church too, do you think it is okay ? 

 

 

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56 minutes ago, JGarcia said:

A friend of mine who knows I go to LDS church told me she has been really struggling with her 7 year old, basically she can''t control him and a relative of hers told her to go to some parenting course that is put on by a local church. As she knows I go to church she asked me does my church have one she can go to. I told her that there aren't any courses you show up to, but there are some guides that are printed and I could ask for some members who have kids to give her advice, but she didn't seem keen on this idea. I also have a child, I don't see them but I would like to go to some parenting course too. Pretty much all the baptist churches around us offer free parenting courses and my friend is going to go to one. 

My friend said she was surprised that the LDS church doesn't have any parenting courses as it seems to be a well known thing that families are central to the gospel. I would like to tell her why we don't offer them. Can you help me out please ? 

Also, I think I want to go to a parenting course at a church too, do you think it is okay ? 

I don’t think there’s any harm in going to a parenting class sponsored by another religious group.  

As to why the LDS Church doesn’t have dedicated parenting classes of the sort you mention:  first, it’s worth noting that if you’re living the Gospel; that effort is inherently going to make you a pretty decent parent: and the “ministering” program (formerly home/visiting teaching) gives us access to experienced parents whose support we can draw upon freely (I do some work with DCFS, and the gold-standard parenting program in our area is what we call “peer parenting”, where an experienced parent comes by a couple times a week and works with you one-on-one in your home).

As far as programs that address child behaviors specifically—the thing to remember there is that such courses are based in child psychology, the underlying theory and research of which is in a constant state of flux.  That doesn’t mean it has no value—but it does mean that in a church that prides itself on teaching eternal Truth with a capital “T”, we want to be careful about using our influence to promulgate theories that may be “disproved” ten or twenty years hence.  Moreover, as the academic and professional communities focused around child and behavioral health tilts increasingly leftwards and looks benignly at the sexualization of ever-younger children, we need to bear in mind that our definition of “mental health” does not precisely align with that being constructed by our secularist frienemies.

There’s also the danger that a parent may totally misapply something they heard in class and, when it completely backfires, turn around and blame the Church.  Not a big problem for your local community church that’s run by local donations, flirting with insolvency, and has no assets except a building that’s mortgaged to the hilt; but the Church with its deep pockets becomes a pretty obvious target if and when something goes wrong.  

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The Church keeps the number of formal-in-person classes it hosts few in number, preferring to:

1) put out online resources so anyone anywhere at anytime can access them

2) have things be a general part of church  (example, a Relief Society lesson which has a discussion on being a better parent).  You'll also get some special activities focused directly on that (like one Relief Society mid-week activity we had a Child Development Expert came in for an open Q&A talk time).  

3) Offer Ministering, Relief Society, extra to be resources to whomever needs it.  For example on my to-do list for tomorrow is ask my Ministering Sister "hey, my kid is about to start school at the school your kids go to.  What can you tell me about whatever it is they do for lunch?".  

4) Be part of the local community, building with whatever resources/networks are there.

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