Daughter looking a phone and ignoring her mother

Since parents have the primary responsibility for teaching their sons and daughters the gospel of Jesus Christ, raising the bar for our future missionaries means raising the bar for parents as well!

Over the years as a family counselor, priesthood leader, and parent, I have noticed several key mistakes that many contemporary parents consistently make. If we want to drastically improve the effectiveness of our missionary force and help our children be better prepared for the real world of “adulthood,” we must be willing to learn from these mistakes and make course corrections. Here are seven common parenting mistakes—and how to fix them.

1. Not teaching your children how to work effectively.

Even though most parents understand how important the concept of “work” is, very few parents today are willing to teach their children how to work. Ask any mission president and they will tell you: The most successful missionaries are those who have learned how to work. Most parents understand that if their children are going to become successful adults, a strong work ethic is vital to their future achievements.

Solution: Parents should spend time working beside their children. Make work fun. Wonderful family discussions and memories can be made as families weed flower beds together, paint rooms, and clean their homes. Children should have chores to do each day, and when they become older, they should secure summer and part-time jobs.

3. Protecting children from anything they don’t want to do, or anything that is hard, uncomfortable, or inconvenient.

Too many parents are overly concerned with coddling and protecting their children, instead of preparing them for the “cold, cruel world.” Consequently, children have been robbed of developing strength, fortitude, and resilience. For children to grow, develop, and mature, they must experience life’s demands and challenges—firsthand.

Solution: Encourage your children to do hard and difficult things. Help them understand that real self-worth and confidence comes from engaging in things that are difficult—not easy. Children can take challenging classes and come up with their own solutions. Parents should do hard and difficult things with their children, such as running races, hiking, swimming, and other physically demanding activities. Teach your children not to quit.

Read the rest at LDS Living.