Thursday, July 21, 2011

Leave it to Beaver- Parenting like the Cleavers


by Shiloah Baker

In my line of work as an energy therapist (link:, I find that is very common for parents to fear what other people think of them in their roles as parents. When {not if} our children make mistakes we worry what others may think of us based on the mistake the child made and we rarely stop to think that it’s how we handle it that matters most.

Many times parents feel that they need to control everything in a child’s life so that the child will only make good choices. What we forget is that everyone is given their free agency from a loving Father in Heaven and that we have no right to take that away either. Lest there being any mistake, I’m not advocating the parents let the child run amok or do what he feels like doing.

Nephi was taught righteousness by his parents and led by example the way to go. He wrote, “I, Nephi, having been born of goodly parents, therefore I was taught somewhat in all the learning of my father; and having seen many afflictions in the course of my days, nevertheless, having been highly favored of the Lord in all my days; yea, having had a great knowledge of the goodness and the mysteries of God, therefore I make a record of my proceedings in my days.” (1 Ne. 1:1.) Lehi was a prophet of God. He spent many days and hours teaching his sons the Lord’s ways, but two of his sons still chose the wicked path. When we read these scripture passages what are you as a parent asking yourself? Is it, where did Lehi go wrong, or is it what can I do to teach my children righteousness like Lehi of old?

On the other hand, the scriptures condemn fathers and mothers when they fail to do their duty. “Now, I, the Lord, am not well pleased with the inhabitants of Zion, for there are idlers among them; and their children are also growing up in wickedness.” (D&C 68:31.)
One thing I like to teach is that we, as parents are given the charge to create a home environment that is conducive to the spirit of God and that is also safe for mistakes to be made. If it is expected that everyone will make mistakes, then we can prepare to teach the consequences of those mistakes in our safe and loving environment; an environment where the spirit is the teacher.

The Cleaver family on Leave it to Beaver, an old television show that aired in the late 1950s and early 1960s, showed an example to us as parents. On every episode, the children got into some trouble ranging from telling a lie to smoking a cigar. America was watching. What were they watching? They were watching to see how the parents taught their children the consequences of their mistakes and how to apply the lessons learned so they could avoid future mistakes. They were not sitting there judging the parents because the kids made mistakes.

Do yourself a favor, and free yourself from fear of judgment as a parent from those who do not matter. Ask our Heavenly Father for help. They are His children first and He has a vested interest in them. He will lead you to the help you need, whether it is a scripture, mentor, friend, professional, clergyman, or a book that can help you in teaching your child what he needs to know.

Don’t forget our charge to “… teach them to walk in the ways of truth and soberness; ye will teach them to love one another, and to serve one another.” (Mosiah 4:14–15.)
You are the best person for the job and Heavenly Father has entrusted His children to you with perfect confidence. You can “train up your child in the way he should go” in confidence and peace.


Shiloah Baker is a mom of eight, married to the man she’s madly in love with. Exercise is her vice. She runs the Homemaking Cottage & Co. and homeschools. Lover of religion classic books, children, and beautiful home decor. Writer of homemaking articles and Relief Society activities.

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