Being a parent is the single most difficult, yet amazingly rewarding job on earth. Nothing beats watching your children grow into wonderful adults.
The single most important thing parents can do is set a good example. If you say one thing and do another your children will not respect your teachings. There is hardly a group of people that the Savior condemned more than the hypocrites. (See the Parable of the Two Sons Mathew 21: 28-31 KJV)
Be united with your spouse, set common goals. Children have a difficult time understanding direction if they are getting mixed signals from their parents. The prophet Amos said; ” Can two walk together, except they be agreed ?” (Amos 3:3 KJV)
Spend time your children in their extracurricular activities no matter what challenges this may pose. On a youth mountain biking trip I helped chaperone, I had one of the most challenging experiences that I have ever had. I was always last, I fell more than I thought humanly possible and I walked with my bike more than I rode. When we rode on Slick Rock trail in Moab I had to ride on the practice trail and still launched over the handle bars of my bicycle onto the Navajo Sandstone like I was flung down by a Sumo wrestler. My trial by mountain bike cemented a relationship with my son that’s value is priceless.
Get involved and play with your kids. One year I served as a leader at scout camp. At the end of the camp they had a belly flop contest for the leaders, which I had no interest in participating in. The boys on the other hand had different ideas and asked me to take part. I politely declined and reminded them that I had not had the required swim test. They were undeterred and arranged a special swim test for me. After the swim test I again declined saying that I didn’t have a costume. Still undeterred they told me I would be the “Cocoa Pebbles Man” and made me a costume by cutting up an empty cereal box and tying it onto me with twine. Having consigned myself to their wishes, I gave my best belly flop to the cheers of the boys.
Remember that there is no other more significant responsibility than that of being a good parent; it should be our most important focus. David O. McKay said “No other success can compensate for failure in the home.” Remember; do all you can and sacrifice whatever you must to being an effective parent.