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
Fostering a Bahá’í Identity in Children (new course)
FACULTY: Julie Iraninejad and Chelsea Lee Smith
Dates: September 3 – October 28, 2018
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, enabling their children to engage 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 10 years old and under.
“Sharing the Twin Birthdays with Children” has been cancelled but will run in 2019
Communication Skills for Spiritually Minded Parents (new course)
FACULTY: Chelsea Lee Smith and Swathi Baskaran
Dates: October 29 – December 16, 2018
At times, parents wish their children could listen better or be more skillful at communicating clearly. This course will give you tools to build a foundation of open and respectful communication in your home. Inspired by quotations from the Bahá’í Writings as well as stories from the life of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, the course materials will invite participants to explore different techniques for communicating effectively, help them understand the importance of encouragement, empower them with language that fosters a learning mode, and teach them how to implement and carry out family meetings. The course is appropriate for those with children 2 to 10 years old.
Parenting and Family Faculty Team
The Parenting Section is under the Relationships and Marriage Department.