top of page


Getting Along with Others

Learn to use the Nurture and Control approach to lead your children in getting along with others.

Notice in the video, they mention both nurturing and control. To me nurturing is the theory side of parenting. Helping your child to learn and understand values, logic, to think critically, to plan, to organize, to make good decisions, and so forth.

The control side, as they say in the video, needs to be balanced. Not too strict or it will build resentment. However, not to be too lenient either, as they will not develop self-mastery. The control side of parenting is the practical, day to day, helping your child learn to control themselves.

And it is very true, that if your child is out of control, loses their temper easily, cries easily, gets their feelings hurt too easily....other children will not like them as much.

Therefore, as you help your child master their passions, you also help them become more LIKABLE!!

Today on Facebook I saw this question:

Anybody have any suggestions for temper tantrum throwing toddlers in grocery stores? The last two trips to the store have been AWFUL! Lily isn't happy unless she can run free.

This was my answer:

Practice makes perfect...practice each day having her sit still. Put on some music and have her sit quietly on the couch (by herself) and just stand there and tell her that she has to sit still until the buzzer goes off (use an egg timer).

30 seconds, then 1 minute, then 2 the end of a week or two she will be able to do it for 15 minutes. Practice 2 or 3 times a day. Or more if you want her to learn more quickly.

By the end of a month or two, she will be able to sit still for 1 hour.

A very wise woman taught me this when I had 3 active boys under the age of 4. No games, no toys, nothing to write on. Nothing to look at.

The Victorian era demanded that a child sit still hours on end. Surely our generation can be taught to sit still for 1 or 2 hours.

We are not surprised when a toddler learns tumbling, or to read, etc. Why then have we lowered our expectations...if we expect it, and demand it, and then help them to LEARN how to do it. They will.

26 years and 10 children later, I have learned that that woman was indeed wise and correct. 

Children, even toddlers can be taught to sit still.

If they refuse to sit still, I would hold them tightly (which they absolutely can't stand) and face a wall, with their nose touching the wall.

I do not know how many Sundays I was outside the building with a child facing the brick wall. I let them yell and carry on...BUT DO NOT let go. I would calmly and quietly keep telling them, "When you are quiet and can sit quietly, we will go back in."

At grocery stores or other public places, I would take my cart to the front, tell an employee I would be back shortly, then I would take the screaming child to the car. I would sit in the back seat with the child held firmly in my lap with my arms tightly wrapped around them.

Again remind them that you will let go, when and ONLY when, they are quiet. This is not just a battle of wills. This is giving your child one of the greatest gifts that a parent can possibly give--the gift of self-mastery.

When a child is screaming or throwing a temper tantrum, they have lost control of their emotions. Even as adults, when we lose control we feel inferior, weak, depressed. Self-mastery gives confidence, makes one have a sense of accomplishment, and learned early can help a child to not give in to passions later in life.

Too many times, parents are tired and worn out and say, "Oh, it's no big deal if they chew their nails, get angry, throw food, talk back, etc."

But how many little habits do you have as an adult, that, oh you wish you had conquered in your youth?

Do your child a favor and be strong. Help them to conquer their emotions and passions and learn civility. Also as they learn to sit still and control their bodies, a remarkable thing happens; at school, at home, and at church.

When the child is still, not drawing, playing, not distracted by food, books, electronic gadgets, toys and so forth. The mind has no where else to it goes to the speaker. Your child begins to listen!

With my first children, I felt I had to teach them their ABC's, numbers, and so forth. Later, I came to realize that if I taught my children to sit still, be respectful of others and the learning process, and have civility, that their teachers could easily teach them anything.

Read about the Victorian period, the children were well behaved and could sit still for many hours. Our children are more intelligent and can do the same, even more. One of my sons was ADHD and is now in West Point. He was taught to sit still, and can now stand at attention for hours.

Think of behavior as an Olympic Sport, and work at creating an Olympian. This son took many practice sessions over several years. We home schooled because I was afraid the school would label him and just drug him.

The mind and body are intertwined and the spirit and mind CAN control the body.

Practice, practice, practice.

Just one more thing, at church, I see many parents take their children out and then let them play!

Okay, let me get this right. Your child has just misbehaved and so they are rewarded with play?

Or at the store I see a child misbehave and they are rewarded with candy, gum, or a toy?


Think about it!


Explain to your children what legacy is.

Ask your children, what legacy do you want to leave?

If you died right now...what would be said of you?

As a sibling? As a son or daughter? As a friend? As a student? As a neighbor? As a church or community member?

Look at the several roles. Would some be positive and some negative?

Is that what you really want?

Courageous Parenting

From a speech given by Larry R. Lawrence that I edited. (Ensign, Nov. 2010).

What the world really needs is courageous parenting from mothers and fathers who are not afraid to speak up and take a stand. There are no perfect parents and no easy answers, but there are principles of truth that we can rely on.

Imagine for a moment that your daughter was sitting on the railroad tracks and you heard the train whistle blowing. Would you warn her to get off the tracks?

Or would you hesitate, worried that she might think you were being overprotective? If she ignored 

your warning, would you quickly move her to a safe place?

Of course you would! Your love for your daughter would override all other considerations. You would value her life more than her temporary goodwill.

Challenges and temptations are coming at our teenagers with the speed and power of a freight train. Parents are responsible for the protection of their children.1 That means morally as well as physically.

Christensen reminded us that “parenting is not a popularity contest.”2

Hales has observed, “Sometimes we are afraid of our children—afraid to counsel with them for fear 

of offending them.”3

Years ago our 17-year-old son wanted to go on a weekend trip with his friends, who were all good boys. He asked for permission to go. I wanted to say yes, but for some reason I felt uncomfortable about the trip.

I shared my feelings with my wife, who was very supportive. “We need to listen to that warning voice,” she said.

Of course, our son was disappointed and asked why we didn’t want him to go. I answered honestly that I didn’t know why. “I just don’t feel good about it,” I explained, “and I love you too much to ignore these feelings inside.” I was quite surprised when he said, “That’s OK, Dad. I understand.”

[I need to interject a story here. The same happened to us, but our son, Tony, did not listen. He left and ended up totaling the car in an ice storm. It flipped, end over end and broke both axles. It is a miracle that he lived, let alone that he survived the wreck without even an injury.

From that time on, Fito and I never hesitated to say no, even when our children argue, nag, beg, and so on.]

Young people understand more than we realize because they too have impressions or intuitions.

They are trying to learn to discern between good choices and bad ones, and they are watching our example. From us they learn to pay attention to their impressions—that if they “don’t feel good about something,” it’s best not to pursue it.

It’s so important for husbands and wives to be united when making parenting decisions. If either parent doesn’t feel good about something, then permission should not be granted.

If either feels uncomfortable about a movie, a television show, a video game, a party, a dress, a swimsuit, or an Internet activity, have the courage to support each other and say no.

Parents can prevent a lot of heartache by teaching their children to postpone romantic relationships until the time comes when they are ready for marriage.

Prematurely pairing off with a boyfriend or girlfriend is dangerous. Becoming a “couple” creates emotional intimacy, which too often leads to physical intimacy.

I have always believed that nothing really good happens late at night and that young people need to know what time they are expected to come home.

There is a great deal of wisdom displayed when parents stay up and wait for their children to return home. Young men and women make far better choices when they know their parents are waiting up to hear about their evening and to kiss them good night.

May I express my personal warning about a practice that is common in many cultures. I am referring to sleepovers, or spending the night at the home of a friend.

As a leader of youth, I discovered that too many youth drank, did drugs, or had sex for the first time as part of a sleepover.

Too often, their first exposure to pornography and even their first encounter with the police occurred when they were spending the night away from home.

Peer pressure becomes more powerful when our children are away from our influence and when their defenses are weakened late at night.

If you have ever felt uneasy about an overnight activity, don’t be afraid to respond to that warning voice, your intuition.

It takes courage to gather children from whatever they’re doing and be together as a family. It takes courage to turn off the television and the computer and to guide your family through better literature.

It takes courage to turn down other invitations or events so that you can reserve that evening for your family. It takes courage and willpower to avoid over scheduling so that your family can be home for dinner.

One of the most effective ways we can influence our sons and daughters is to counsel with them in private interviews.

By listening closely, we can discover the desires of their hearts, help them set worthy goals, and also share with them the impressions or intuitions that we have received about them. Parenting and counseling requires courage.

1. See “The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” Liahona, Oct. 2004, 49; Ensign, Nov. 1995, 102.

2. Joe J. Christensen, “Rearing Children in a Polluted Environment,” Ensign, Nov. 1993, 11.

3. Robert D. Hales, “With All the Feeling of a Tender Parent: A Message of Hope to Families,” Liahona and Ensign, May 2004, 90.


Years ago, two of our sons, then little fellows, were wrestling on the rug.

They reached that line which separates laughter from tears, so I worked my foot carefully between them and lifted the older one back to a sitting position on the rug.

As I did so, I said, “Hey there, you little monkeys. You’d better settle down.”

To my surprise, he folded his little arms, his eyes swimming with deep hurt, and protested, “I not a monkey, Daddy; I a person!”

The years have not erased the overwhelming feeling of love I felt for my little boys.

Many times over the years his words have slipped back into my mind, “I not a monkey, Daddy; I a person!”

I was taught a profound lesson by my little son. He is not just a person, nor just mylittle boy.

He is a child of God.

The cycle of life has moved swiftly on. Now both of those sons have little children of their own who teach their fathers lessons.

They now watch their children grow as we watched them. They are coming to know, as fathers, something they could not be taught as sons.

All too soon their children will be grown with little “persons” of their own, repeating the endless cycle of life.

Secularism holds that man is not a child of God, but basically an animal, his behavior inescapably controlled by natural impulse, exempt from moral judgments and unaccountable for moral conduct.

While many claim that this philosophy could not, in the end, lead mankind to relaxed moral behavior, something causes it.

Is it accidental that the more widely such philosophy is taught, the more prevalent corrupt behavior becomes?

Secular doctrines have the advantage of convincing, tangible evidence. We seem to do better in gathering data on things that can be counted and measured.

But, in time, the consequences of following either will become visible enough.

Our behavior is not totally controlled by natural impulses.

Behavior begins with belief as well. Beliefs are born of philosophies, of doctrines.

Doctrines or principles can be spiritual or secular, wholesome or destructive, true or false.True principles, understood; changes attitudes and behavior.

In the end, training using true principles will improve behavior quicker than a study of behavior will improve behavior.

This is an edited part of a talk by Boyd k. Packer, found at:

For more parenting tips:

bottom of page