LC: 11. RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE CHARTER HOME: REGARDING CHILDREN AND PARENTS
Many of the items listed in this section are somewhat repetitive of the earlier sections, which deal with the rights of children and parents, this time as applying to the Home itself. As such, the same basic explanations apply, so we did not repeat them under this section. (See Rights of Parents and Rights of Children.)
Since the children and parents have certain individual rights granted them under the Charter, it becomes the Home's responsibility to work toward fulfilling those rights.
The Charter Home:
A. Shall have regard to the welfare of and allocate sufficient time for the spiritual, emotional, intellectual and physical development of its resident children, and provide resources, materials and personnel to fulfill these responsibilities.
Our children are a precious gift from the Lord and we must do all we can to ensure that they are well cared-for in every possible way. While it is ultimately the parents' responsibility to make sure their children develop properly, the Home's population is collectively responsible for the same. It is the Home's responsibility to schedule the time, and provide the resources and personnel, to provide the means for its children's spiritual, intellectual, emotional and physical development.
Obviously, a Home can only provide personnel as available within the Home. If they don't have enough Home members to help properly care for and teach their children, they should try to get extra personnel, or hire a tutor. If their schedule doesn't allow for enough Word or school time, then they should revamp their schedule. If they don't have enough resources and materials for their education, then they should likewise pray, discuss and attempt to find ways to get whatever is needed. Advertising the need in the CRO Want Ads could be helpful.
Once we establish that these children belong to all of us and God holds us all responsible, regardless of who physically bore them, we'll have a little more to work with, a few more people to work with, and we won't be giving all the responsibility--physical, intellectual and spiritual--to only the flesh parents. Even the System knows they have to share the responsibility of their children with the churches and the schools (ML #2670:15).
When it comes to our children, whether they have one parent or two, if they have a need, it's the job of all of us to be burdened and desperate about that need. These are our children, and we need to pray fervently for God's supernatural love that will help us to love them as we do our own natural children. We need to pray for them as we pray for our own, and be as desperate for solutions to their problems as we are for our own (ML #2953:4).
B. Provides, by whatever means, an adequate education for its resident children by allotting sufficient time, opportunity and educational materials for them to become competent in a manner appropriate to their age, ability and aptitude in the skills of reading, language arts, mathematics, social studies, science, practical-life skills and other curricular subjects.
As stated in the Rights of Children, F., children are entitled to an adequate education; thus the Home is responsible to provide it by whatever means is available to them. Generally Homes will home school their children, which we have found to be the best method for schooling. However, there may be situations where it's not possible to do so, or the Home doesn't feel it has qualified personnel, in which case the parents and the Home could decide to get a private tutor or place the children in an outside secular or religious school. The decision to do so belongs to the parents, but the Home must be in agreement, in accordance with the Home Life Rules, J. If the Home is not in agreement, the parents, of course, can use their Right of Mobility to remedy the situation.
We're for the most part trying to encourage them that they can teach their own children, have their own childcare workers and their own teachers if possible. If not, they can send them to the local System [school] if they have to! (ML #332B:80).
C. Allocates sufficient time for the keeping of the educational records of the resident children.
D. Keeps parents informed, on a regular basis, of the spiritual, physical and educational well being of their children under the age of 18 residing in it, regardless of the residence of the children's parents.
1. For resident parents, "regular basis" is determined by a simple majority of the Home.
2. For non-resident parents, "regular basis" is not less than once during every three-month period.
See Child Progress Report Form in Appendix B, which can be used for this purpose.
E. Allocates sufficient time for resident parents and children to have time together, in accordance with Required Meetings and Activities, G. and K.
F. Allocates sufficient time for the children to regularly engage in witnessing activities. (See Rights of Children, E.)
G. Supplies sufficient assistance to resident parents in the physical and spiritual care and education of resident children. A two-thirds majority determines "Sufficient assistance."
We're the only way He has of training and shepherding and parenting them. He's expecting us to do a good job of it, and He's holding us all responsible for the children He's given us. Each one of us is going to have to give an account to God for what we've done with our children. Have we played our part--no matter how large or small--faithfully, diligently, lovingly and responsibly? Have we done our best to help our children? (ML #2670:31.)
H. Agrees together upon a discipline standard for its resident children that operates within the bounds of, and in accordance with, the Child Discipline Rules.
I. Supplies to its children a current address and/or telephone number of their non-resident parent(s).
J. Recognizes that a single parent faces the challenge of raising his or her children without the assistance of a spouse, and therefore may need additional assistance in supplying the physical, spiritual, emotional, educational, economic and disciplinary care of their children. Having recognized this fact, the Home endeavors to supply, to the best of its ability, additional assistance and to take into account the special challenges single parents face.
As mentioned earlier in the Charter, our single parents are faced with more difficulties in raising their children than couples are. Added to this, they can sometimes be tempted to feel that they and their children are a burden to the Home. With the enactment of this Charter, many single parents may fear that they will be voted out of, or not be accepted into Homes, because they may be considered a weight to the Home.
Many single parents already feel that they must almost do "double duty" by working extra hard in order to prove to the Home that they are a blessing. This, coupled with the fact that they must be both mother and father to their children, can be very taxing on them.
We must all recognize the difficulties and challenges that our single parents face and do all we can to help. We should put ourselves in their shoes and try to be loving and understanding of their and their children's needs, and our love should be "in deed and in truth" (1 John 3:18). We need to "bear one another's burdens" (Galatians 6:2).
Members of the Home individually and collectively are responsible to help supply the single parents in the Home with additional help in the care and raising of their children. All of the children in your Home are your children, because they are Family children. Every child needs a daddy and mommy, and if they don't have one, the Home and its members are responsible to help provide their needs. They might want to arrange for the single parent to team up with another single or a couple in a parenting teamwork so the single parent would have regular help with and counsel about their children.
Our Homes need to take into account that our single parents face a special challenge in the care of their children, and if any of our single parents are not able to carry the same weight in a Home as a married couple, or single person without children, the Home should be loving, compassionate and understanding.
In our society it is easier for a woman with children to live separately from her husband because she has the assistance of the Colony in the care of both herself and her children if the Colony so agrees. Even a man with children separated from his wife will receive assistance in the care of his children in our Colonies if the Colonies so agree (ML #359:15).
[Jesus,] do help us all to cooperate and do all we can to be unselfish and loving and kind and helpful to our young parents and their children. (Maria: And to our older single parents, Lord.) Yes, and to our older single parents who are usually women with children. Help us all to be more kind, unselfish, considerate and helpful, and the single men to help the single mothers and really be good fathers! (ML #2582:21.)
Copyright (c) 1998 by The Family