Teaching children has always been an important part of a parent’s responsibility. The Lord tells parents of the great need to teach children and “bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4)

Read the scriptures to your children.This becomes a lifetime opportunity for parents, especially those with large families because as soon as the youngest is grown and out on their own, grandchildren usually come along. Grandparents can help teach their grandchildren as well.

A good rule of thumb for parents to remember is to never give up on daily scripture reading. Depending on the best time to schedule this for families, reading scriptures together has many added blessings attached. The quiet time during reading, discussing the section read or addressing other concerns your children have will arise during the reading time. Parents won’t always discuss the verses read but it’s a great way to get to talk with teens especially when schedules are so busy.

I can’t tell you how many times we have sat after scripture reading and just talked without disruption over the course of my twenty years raising children. This is a great intro into deeper seeded concerns. Even if parents miss a day or two here or there, keep the reading going and use a scripture book just for the family reading time so you never lose your place.

Discussion of topics unknown to parents is a great blessing in disguise and will show up unexpectedly from teens. Sometimes, we never would have known what was bothering them until we sat down to read each night. Talking through misunderstandings and resentments helped us understand our teens and as parents we were able to talk them through their hurt feelings.

Families knit together in love

Building Strong Families
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With young children, reading scriptures can be challenging especially with several children under 8 years old. But like everything else, take this in baby steps and only a few verses can sometimes be enough just so the habit can be established and some positive thoughts can come from what is read. Reminding children the “words read are God’s words” can instill a reverence of scripture. Even with chatter noise and disruption, small children will learn so don’t give up as they will come to appreciate the time taken each day. Small children respond to special messages from God and if reminders are given for a quiet time during reading, success will come faster.

Praying together is another good habit to keep. It’s beneficial in teaching children to be thankful and a good reminder of where their blessings come from. There are many families who don’t teach their children to pray as the story of Todd Sylvester is told in The Hope of God’s Light.

The Hope of God’s Light

Todd never knew God existed because he parents didn’t believe it themselves nor did they teach their children to find God. Parents should always teach their children that they should pray at any time and God will listen. I have a younger friend with young children who asked me what I did to help my children sit still through prayers and scripture reading. I told her that we started as soon as they understood how to sit on their own (at a year to 18 months) and instilled the reverence of God in them early. It wasn’t always peaceful but we kept going. With her 5 children all feeding each other with distractions she was about to give up on keeping family prayer and scripture reading because it became a battle for both her and her husband. But patience and perseverance will win out with continuing these two good habits and children will develop their own ideals about God and what is important.

These two activities will contribute to the spiritual education of families and will set precedence for children’s lives. With all the destructive commotion of the world, children and parents need the support of spiritual education.

About Valerie Steimle
Valerie Steimle has been writing as a family advocate for over 25 years. As a convert to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, she promotes Christian living in her writings and is the mother of nine children and grandmother to twelve. Mrs. Steimle authored six books and is a contributing writer to several online websites. To her, time is the most precious commodity we have and knows we should spend it wisely. To read more of Valerie's work, visit her at her website, The Blessings of Family Life.

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