I was raised in a Latter Day Saint Home and I was home schooled. My family lived in Montana and New York. I remember many times as a youth feeling rejected by those who were LDS because I was home schooled and feeling rejected by those who were home schooled because I was LDS. I was lucky though to have a mother who had the incredible ability of instilling in me the knowledge of who my Creator is and what my worth is. My self-worth was never measured by the number of parties I went to. It was measured by the service I gave to others. My mother firmly impressed upon me that what others think of you has no importance compared to what you think of yourself. My self-worth continued to grow as I participated in service activities.
I believe in the theory that life is not about finding our self, it’s about creating ourselves. Our great responsibility as parents is to help our children see who they were and who they are; to arm them with the knowledge of their divine worth. Knowing firmly at a young age that I am a child of a Heavenly Father gave me the confidence to work outside of my comfort zone and to engage in activities that would have otherwise seemed impossible.As a foster parent, I have met many young boys and girls whose parents did more than just physically abuse them, they emotional abused them. Parents, teachers or peers who demean and humiliate children inflict harm more permanent than physical injury. Emotional harm is long-lasting, it strips children of their self worth and leaves them feeling worthless.
As a parent, my goal with my children is to empower them with the gift of knowledge. To inspire them to follow their good desires. Knowledge of who they are and where they come from is the underlying foundation of courageous youth. We must remind our children, it takes courage to achieve our goals and that failure in something is NOT the worst possible outcome. In fact, failure is part of the process in which we learn to be successful.
As parents, courage is required every day, the courage to make choices for our children, even when it is unpopular. The courage to stand and speak out on principles of righteousness, especially when it is unpopular. I cannot speak of courage without thinking of the man in Tiananmen Square who had the courage to walk out in front of three tanks. He put up his arm to stop them. This one act of courage empowered generations. I firmly believe this man had an incredible knowledge of who he is and what he was capable of. As parents, it is our great opportunity to display similar courage every day. By doing so, our children will be blessed.