What is your parenting style: Shepherd or Sheepherder? Jesus was the Good Shepherd. He marked the path and led the way! I believe He gave us a pattern. He gives us some clues about good or true shepherds in the scriptures.
-leads his sheep. (Psalms 23:2)
-guides his sheep to safety. (Psalms 23:2) He goes before them removing the noxious weeds. (Psalms 23:5)
-carries the baby lambs close to him, in his coat. They hear, recognize his voice, and respond to his voice. Because his gentle loving care his sheep develop trust in him. (Isaiah 40:11)
-feeds his sheep. ( Ezekiel 34:14)
-protects his sheep with his life. He places his body at the door to the fold to protect the sheep from wolves. He uses his rod to rescue sheep, helping to right them from a pit, or uses his rod to drive away the wolves. He does not use the rod to beat his sheep. (John 10:11)
- manages the sheep.
- drives his sheep from behind.
- prods the sheep.
- uses goats and dogs to bark at the sheep to keep them together in fear.
- does not protect his sheep but relies on the dogs and the sheep pen.
When I think of Shepherd parenting I think of the gentle admonitions of the living prophets on how to parent our children and the gentle admonitions in the scriptures. We have been admonished:
- "Rear your children in love, in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Take care of your little ones. Welcome them into your homes, and nurture and love them with all of your hearts." “Excerpts from Recent Addresses of President Gordon B. Hinckley,” Ensign, July 1997, 73).
- “To nurture means to cultivate, care for, and make grow. … Nurturing requires organization, patience, love, and work. Helping growth occur through nurturing is truly a powerful and influential role bestowed on women” (“Mothers Who Know,” Liahona and Ensign, Nov. 2007, 76, 77).
- "A soft answer turneth away wrath." Proverbs 15:1
- "How do parents teach these attributes to their children? We will never have a greater opportunity to teach and show Christlike attributes to our children than in the way we discipline them. Disciplinecomes from the same root word as disciple and implies patience and teaching on our part. It should not be done in anger. We can and should discipline the way that Doctrine and Covenants 121teaches us: “by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned; by kindness and pure knowledge” (verses 41–42). These are all Christlike be’s that should be a part of who we, as parents and disciples of Christ, are." April 2011, Lynn G Robbins, "What Manner of Men and Women Ought Ye to Be?"
- "Children need to work with their parents, to wash dishes with them, to mop floors with them, to mow lawns, to prune trees and shrubbery, to paint and fix up, to clean up, and to do a hundred other things in which they will learn that labor is the price of cleanliness, progress, and prosperity."Sept, 1996, Gordon B. Hinckley, "Four Simple Things to Help Our Families and Our Nations," First Presidency Message.
There is so much more to study in the words of the prophets on parenting. It is clear that the Lord would have us follow His pattern and not have us pattern our parenting after the manner of men!
You can find more from Donna at Moor House Academy.