Courses aimed at building positive parenting skills and raising spiritual families
The Bahá’í teachings uphold the importance of raising children of good character and building unified families, calling mothers the first educators of the child and children the “most precious treasure a community can possess.” But what do these teachings really look like in a modern day context?
Counter to the common assumption that parenting skills emerge automatically once a couple gives birth to a child, raising service-oriented and resilient children requires a great deal of knowledge, reflection, and skill building. Families thrive when both the parents’ and the children’s growth and development are founded on spiritual teachings. The Parenting and Family courses at the Wilmette Institute aim to build capacity in the participants to make wise choices and create happy, unified homes that are of service to those involved and outward to others.
The Wilmette Institute offers spiritually-based, practical, and participatory courses for:
- Individuals wanting to study parenting and raising children within a spiritual context
- Individuals interested in building skills to face the challenges of modern day parents using a Bahá’í perspective
- Parents who want to engage in practices that uplift the spiritual atmosphere in their homes
- Members of families and institutions wanting to support parents in their role of raising the next generation of humankind
- Groups of individuals wanting to study and discuss materials together, either in the same geographical location or over the Internet; groups may be organized with the assistance of a Local Spiritual Assembly or other entity
Courses include the Bahá’í Writings, parent education materials, discussion questions and Forum, learning activities, skill-building opportunities, videos, articles, the arts, mentoring by email, and more.
Course materials are in English, with Google Translate available for approximate translations.
Internet access; devices capable of downloading and reading pdf documents, and email. Most of the readings, activities, and discussions are available on the course’s website, the Internet, or transmitted through email.
The Wilmette Institute provides discounts and scholarships as needed to groups, couples, youth, senior citizens, and pioneers. Please do not register for a course more than three months in advance, because course dates sometimes must change.
CURRENT & UPCOMING COURSES
Are you currently expecting a baby or planning to grow your family in the near future? This course invites participants to learn ways to nurture the spiritual well-being of a baby during pregnancy and in the parents as they experience this significant change. Topics include the role and preparation of mothers, fathers, and other family members for the changes ahead; the use of prayer and spiritual scripture throughout the experience; the marriage and family unit as the secure foundation for the well-being of the child; and the importance of building a spiritual and emotional support network for new parents. This course consists of 5 units and is available year-round.
Family unity is linked to the quality of respectful and effective communication between all family members. Inspired by quotations from the Bahá’í Writings as well as stories from the life of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, the course materials invite you and your family to explore different techniques for communicating effectively, understand the importance of encouragement, foster a learning mode, and implement and carry out family meetings. This course is appropriate for those with children 14 years old and under.
How can we help children place love for Bahá’u’lláh and the desire to be of service to others as the foundation of their lives? This course enables parents to explore how they can foster a child’s connection to the Bahá’í Faith through developing spiritually uplifting routines at home, engaging in service within the home as well as in their communities, and aligning family activities with the current goals of their communities. Participants will be given positive parenting tools inspired by the Bahá’í Writings as well as hands-on strategies for implementing spiritual practices at home. Materials are suited for those with children 14 years old and under.
The Parenting and Family Section is under the Marriage and Family Department.