This will be the only Parenting Class taught in the spring. There will be no evening class.
The next semester (with 10 different classes) begins on TUESDAY (NOTE: Different Day!!!) January 12, 2016 9:30-11:30am at the Nampa Institute building (6115 Birch Lane; Nampa, ID). NO BABYSITTING is available.
This will be the only Parenting Class taught in the spring. There will be no evening class.
I love this class because most of us are hypocrites on this subject. We go to church and pretend that our marriages are perfect. We are all mortal and our marriages are tough. Most of us want to put on this image that we are always good. Sometimes we aren’t really honest about where we are in relationships.
My philosophy is that any good marriage could stand good counseling. There are great tools that we need to learn. We are working forward to making it better.
Somedays you probably contemplate what it would be like to be single. We are imperfect mortals.
What is the goal in this life? To live with our Heavenly Father and in order to do that we have to be like him. We have to develop His attributes.
Some of you may have a ‘perfect’ child. This is the almost self raised child. They are mild. They keep their room clean because they want to please you. They are peace makers in your home. Some of you may have that child. If you were blessed with that child you are taking a course in parenting 101. You still have to get up in the night when they are babies. You still have to potty train them. Is it really hard when you have a ‘perfect’ child.
What if some of you have children that are strong willed, say ‘no’, throw temper tantrums, hard to get to go to church, defiant at everything you say. Now you are enrolled in Parenting 505. It will teach you patience, reliance on the Lord, absolute complete humility. This hard one gives you the opportunity to learn Christ like behavior. You have the choice to learn it. You don’t have that same opportunity with the ‘perfect child’ in Parenting 101.
You either give birth to trouble or marry it! Heavenly Father wants to give us that opportunity to grow.
Most of us go into marriage with a faulty idea of what it should look like (in the church). Most of you are not raising your children to be good marriage partners. We aren’t teaching them what it’s like to be real in marriage. We are still teaching the same principles that we had when we grew up.
Girls…be active, get YW medallion, be clean, go to college, be moral, find the perfect missionary, get married in the temple and live happily every after. It’s not wrong it’s just incomplete.
Boys…same thing…add go on mission, find the right girl.
After you are married a few days you learn that marriage is not what you thought it would be. You still have the idea subconsciously you think it’s an extension of a perfect date, you just don’t have to say good night.
When you are on a perfect date what are your manners like? You are still trying to impress. How long do you have the energy to live like that?
When you are in this class you have to listen for yourself. We will talk both men and women’s side. You aren’t listening for what they should be doing. I want you listening for what you have power over that you can change.
Hopefully we will go from understanding to application. Some of you, those who maybe have a rocky or empty marriage, I want you to know and testify that if you change you the relationship will change. I’m not talking about abusive marriages, just regular normal empty marriages. No one husband or wife should be abused. That needs to be dealt with, with the bishop. You are not abused if you don’t get your own way.
The first part of a marriage is called the “Infatuation” part of marriage (October 2000 Agency and Love in Marriage by Lynn Robbins) This is where you live on love. It requires no effort. You are always thinking about fun things to do for them. No one said…you need to do this. You just did it. That’s not true love.
True love requires conscious effort and sacrifice. It’s a choice. In the ‘Infatuation’ period it’s like living in the Garden of Eden. You begin to slide out of that.
About year 2-3 when the first baby comes along Mom’s attitude changes from what Dad used to know. Dad is finishing up school. It’s busy and crazy. Baby comes. Mom is home with the baby and Dad is still working and finishing home. Women start wanting attention and time. I’ve been home with this baby all day. He needs space…I’ve been at work and school and just need someone to care. As each person looks at their own needs what begins to happen? We start sliding just a little bit.
Child 2 comes and you are still ok. When Child 3 comes it’s over. Mom is completely immersed in being Mom. Dad is trying to support the family and church callings.
With 3 kids you don’t let go of anything. You still keep your house clean and try to do it all. The more kids you have the more you let go of.
The #1 reason people want to get divorced is that ‘we are falling out of love’. Love is a verb. Do you fall out of kindness? You don’t fall out of kindness you stop doing kind things. You don’t fall out of love. You stop doing loving things. It’s a gentle slow slide out of love.
Alma 32 (The Parable of the Seed)
Change the wording…
37 And behold, as the tree marriage beginneth to grow, ye will say: Let us nourish it with great care, that it may get root, that it may grow up, and bring forth fruit unto us. And now behold, if ye nourish it with much care it will get root, and grow up, and bring forth fruit.
This is the infatuation time. If you nourish with much care…what does much care say….time, effort, intentional…if you take a plant and just expect the plant to grow will it? It probably won’t.
My Dad’s hobby was plants/gardening. We moved into a house. He laid out a plan on gardening. He took a wheelbarrow and hand mixed soil for every plant he planted. The yard turned out incredible. That is nourishing with much care. What did he have to do? What did it look like?
He learned about the plant. He had to find the right balance. Then he had to do it…many times. He did it daily! That’s what carefully nourishing looks like.
38 But if ye neglect the tree marriage, and take no thought for its nourishment, behold it will not get any root; and when the heat of the sun trials, selfishness, illness, PMS, post pardem, work-a-holics, internet gaming cometh and scorcheth it, because it hath no root it withers away, and ye pluck it up and cast it out.
We are through the infatuation period. We have talked about intentional parenting. We need to do intentional marriage and marriage with a purpose.
“Pluck it up and cast it out”…I’m not talking about divorce. This means…ignoring each other. You are casting out your willingness to nourish. You are emotionally and spiritually withdrawing from them.
Critical years in marriage 5 and 10…hump years. In almost every marriage people stop and say this isn’t what I wanted. The next time is ‘empty nesters’.
If I feel like my needs are getting met…they aren’t moving, but I am and it creates distance. If I am really offended and hurt and will not move how do we close the gap. It doesn’t matter if they move from you or you move from them. You can begin to do the much nourishing.
39 Now, this is not because the seed marriage was not good, neither is it because the fruit love thereof would not be desirable; but it is because your ground heart is barren, and ye will not nourish the tree marriage, therefore ye cannot have the fruit love thereof.
This is where you ‘find new interests’, you aren’t listening and aren’t paying attention to me. That marriage is still good. Your heart is hard. You have to nourish with conscious purpose.
In the infatuation period is the 80/20. The others you dated just didn’t have the same things you wanted. Then you found the person you wanted and they had 80% of what you wanted. There was 20% of the things that annoy you. Let’s say that they have allergies. In the spring and in the fall they ‘sniff’. Because you love this person so much in the Dating/Infatuation your heart is torn that you have allergies.
5 years down the road that isn’t funny anymore. You are saying…could you knock it off.? Could you blow your nose? We go to the point where we are going to fix the 20% because we are wanting to ‘help’ them. We rationalize it that way. We start to parent our spouse. (Women do that) Men will criticize. Those things that didn’t bother us in the beginning are going to start bothering us.
We will encounter other things.
Example…There was a woman married to a guy and they went to a fireside. The husband was driving home and he thought my wife is always mad about the toothpaste lid. I will put the cap on the toothpaste lid. The next morning he got up and sure enough he left the cap off and put the cap on the toothpaste. He comes home anticipating that his wife will greet him.
How much effort did it take for him? Conscious effort. He does it every day all week and the wife never says a word. Saturday morning he is coming his hair. She comes in and folds her arms and say, We need to talk. She says, “I want to know why you haven’t brushed your teeth all week.” J
President Hinckley….Anyone who imagines that bliss is normal is going to waste a lot of time running around shouting that he’s been robbed. The fact is that most putts don’t drop. Most beef is tough. Most children grow up to be just ordinary people. Most successful marriages require a high degree of mutual toleration. Most jobs are more often dull than otherwise. . . .
Life is like an old-time rail journey—delays, sidetracks, smoke, dust, cinders, and jolts, interspersed only occasionally by beautiful vistas and thrilling bursts of speed. The trick is to thank the Lord for letting you have the ride.
A lot of time you don’t even know what is missing, but you just feel like something isn’t right. Most of real life is happy normal life.
Stephen Covey…“At one seminar, after I’d spoken on the importance of demonstrating character within the family, a man came up and said, ‘I like what you’re saying, but my wife and I just don’t have the same feelings for each other that we used to. I guess we don’t love each other anymore. What can I do?’
“‘Love her,’ I replied.
“He looked puzzled. ‘How do you love when you don’t feel love?’
“‘My friend,’ I responded, ‘love is a verb. The feeling of love is the fruit of love. So love your wife. You did it once, you can do it again. Listen. Empathize. Appreciate. It’s your choice. Are you willing to do that?’
“Of course, I was asking this man if he was willing to search within himself for the character required to make his marriage work. All our relationships follow the contours of life; they have ups and downs. This is why our families provide a critical measure of our character—and the opportunity, again and again to nurture it.” 6
PONDER: What would it be like to be married to me?
PONDER: What specifically can you do in your marriage to make your spouse happy?
That is your homework assignment. DO whatever you wrote down as what you need to do.
There should be things that are more sacred to you than the intimate relationship…trust, shared experiences, the depth of the relationship changes. It’s built on much better long term things.
I am satisfied that a happy marriage is not so much a matter of romance as it is an anxious concern for the comfort and well-being of one’s companion. “What God has Joined Together” April 1991
Anxious concern = nourish
If you are anxiously concerned about a child’s homework you are there, talking to the child, talking to the teacher. If you are anxiously concerned about your companion you have to know what brings them comfort? What makes them happy? What are their goals? What are their dreams? What’s on their bucket list? Do you know what’s on your bucket list?
Stop criticizing your spouse and focus on what you can do NOT what they aren’t doing. Stop looking at what the relationship is lacking and start focusing on what the relationship has.
As the decades passed, the moment came that her husband took the box down and asked if he could finally know what it contained. The wife consented, and he opened it to discover two doilies and $25,000. When he asked his wife what this meant, she responded, “When we were married, my mother told me that whenever I was angry with you or whenever you said or did something I didn’t like, I should knit a small doily and then talk things through with you.” The husband was moved to tears by this sweet story. He marveled that during 60 years of marriage he had only disturbed his wife enough for her to knit two doilies. Feeling extremely good about himself, he took his wife’s hand and said, “That explains the doilies, but what about the $25,000?” His wife smiled sweetly and said, “That’s the money I got from selling all the doilies I’ve knitted over the years.” (President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “What is Truth”, CES Broadcast, January 2013)
Class member: “Why do we spend our whole marriage trying to change our husbands and then complain that they aren’t the men we marry.”
Class member: I made a comment that my husband doesn’t like to hear ‘I love you’.
Those words somewhere in his life have caused him a great deal of pain. Example: Some children are raised by mothers who are critical and demanding and harsh. They always find fault . They are always criticizing. I’m not going to make it. Then they say, “I love you” and it doesn’t go in. That was related to someone who used those words, but never showed the feeling. They don’t always carry meaning.
You know the scripture in James…”Faith without works is dead”…that’s what it is. Don’t tell me you love me, but show me you love me by what you do. If those words are offensive don’t use them, but you must show it.
Examples…my love language is verbal validation. I need people (those that I love) to tell me not praise, but encouragement about what I am doing right. I needed my husband to say, “I love the way you read this story to the kids.” That’s what I needed, but he didn’t know what it was to give it to me. I decided I needed to teach him what he needed. His love language is physical touch. He would be exhausted…if I would give him a back rub he would just melt. You could just feel the tension going out of him. What makes you feel good is what you want to give. My feeling is thank you very much I had 10 children crawling all over this body I don’t want one more person touching me. I make 3x5 cards. They say the dumbest things. “I would walk across the desert barefoot to be with you.” One night he came home…he was in a good mood and so was I . I said, I need you to give me 3x5. He started to read them. He said you have to be kidding. I said put them in your drawer. About 3 nights later I was in tears. They don’t know if they should come in or go back out. Saying how is your day? I said I need a 3x5. Do you want me to go get them? I said you need to put your arms around me and read them. We both just started to laugh hysterically. He wasn’t threatened. He wasn’t criticized. It showed him what I needed. Now he is very good at validating.
Everyone feels love differently. Some is touch, some acts of service, some time, some conversation. There is a zillion ways that say I love you. If you don’t know…then you need to start paying attention to when you ‘feel that warm fuzzy’. You need to begin to validate when they give you what you need. Say, “I love it when we walk through the mall and you hold my hand.” I love it when you come home and you give me a hug.” Ask them…What is it that makes you feel loved?
Class member: I just had my kids take the love language quiz. I had no idea. I guessed wrong on them.
Pick one of the “Homeworks” at the end of the chapter. Read the story at the end of the syllabus on Marriage.
President Benson…When marriage becomes a quest and ceases to be an irritant in that moment Heavenly Father will endow you with great power.
Your power will come as you make that eternal relationship your quest.
Follow up: Gratitude/Service
What have you learned from this past 10 weeks? What is your take away?
Class member: It’s more of a priority for me to get my kids to love to work. That’s what I’ve been really trying to focus on. Our background is that we have a blended family for the past 6 years. We have older kids. I didn’t focus on work and now I have kids leaving the house. My youngest 2 are going to be the ones I get right. I’ve learned it’s never to late to keep trying.
As you work on the younger two you will be surprised how much it will influence the older ones. It’s never too late! I’m not teaching new doctrine. This is application of the truths we already know. Hopefully we see them in a motivating light.
Class member: I noticed that I am a lot more patient with my children. I didn’t really come here for a list of things to do. I came for a spiritual experience. I have really appreciated that. I came to work on myself. As a result of working on myself I teach out of love and purpose. My frustration and anxiety levels are much lower. I don’t think you can ever stop working on yourself in a spiritual way.
It’s amazing how many people say I came to learn about my children, but I left learning about me.
Class member: It’s helped me identify specific “parenting” things. It’s given me the fact that Parenting can be fun. Let’s make an activity to detract from the ‘learning’ part of it.
It should be. This is the greatest gift Heavenly Father can give you. Being a parent is the greatest.
Class member: The example of living gratitude. I want to make sure my kids know that I love being a mother. I think that I need to change my attitude. I’m learning how I need to change me.
I think a lot of us thing we are really happy being a mom. We don’t want to be single or without kids, but we just don’t always radiate the joy of being a Mom. We need to smile more Part of it is turning life into joy. You can have fun with it.
Class member: I loved the family mission statement. We did ours 5-6 weeks ago. It’s been amazing to be able to pull from that. I don’t have it memorized yet, but we are working on it. It’s been great to draw from that. ‘
You have to use it after you write it.
Class member: I have missed the past 2 classes. I was sitting there thinking about all the things that I have to do. I was thinking that my 8 year old hasn’t ever done the dishes. So I pulled him in and I pulled him in and had him start working with him. We talked about it. He wasn’t very happy to begin with.
Class member: My oldest is 4. She likes to work and do things with me. One morning she didn’t come in the kitchen and help one morning and she decided she wouldn’t eat them because she hadn’t helped.
It’s easy, but sometimes it’s so annoying.
Class member: I’m feeling excited about gratitude and service. I hosted part of a progressive dinner for all the YW. We had about 50 people in my house last night. My daughter that is a Laurel was about to do the devotional in our home. We have been trying to focus on that. She is seeing it in fasting and praying. She is also a Family History working. We are talking about that and reading scriptures. We need the blessings from doing the work for them. We have spray painted leaves gold and every night we write someone’s name on it of someone that blesses their lives, then clipping it with a clothespin to twine as a garland.
Class member: It’s interesting to see how my daughter craved the attention.
Class member: There have been a lot of things. I find myself thinking…did I just do that? Just being here and being reminded and hearing in a different way. On a daily basis I have been evaluating myself. We have always done FHE from the General Conference issue. We got those for them this time and they have highlighters. My daughter did FHE from her Ensign. I can’t come next time, but I will follow the blog.
The kids take ownership and want to know what’s in it. So many paydays.
Class member: You know when you have little kids and go to church and you end up in the hall and you think why am I even here. My kids are older. This class is a real grounding tool to keep real expectations. My kids ‘know’, but they don’t just do it. You don’t see the paydays until after they leave. I still have to go check their jobs. You still have to role play saying 3 nice things about the person. The purpose is not to ‘get it’. We keep teaching those correct principles and the payday is further down the road. My missionary kids are seeing ‘why’ we did the things we did.
There is a huge difference between knowing it in your head and knowing it in your heart.
Class member: I feel like the Lord has been telling me the same things over and over…read your scriptures, say your prayers. This year the class has punched me in the face and I’ve worked hard on making my prayers more meaningful. We have been reading the scriptures each day. Before it was “I should”. This year it was “I have time”. My own personal study is better. I’ve heard all of it and I know all of it. I just haven’t done it.
He doesn’t want to offend. Sometimes they have a harder time standing up. You struggle with them. I keep telling Tracy this kid is fabulous. I can see him different. He doesn’t want to be with the adults. He goes and plays with the kids. You have these ‘payday’ moments.
Tracy…at mutual last night the youth are in charge of the ward Christmas Party. They are having the youth act out the nativity. We have this lady that is a little intense working with them. They assigned parts last night. They have a part for a boy where they need to sing a whole song by themselves. After a couple of minutes Cody said I will do it because I know no one else will do it. He is so afraid that he will croak in the song. He has the confidence to handle it.
The sibling just above him played the lead in the school musical and stole the show. His older sister does piano and performances. Cody doesn’t profess to sing. For him to do this…building self esteem, gratitude, service…that’s what it looks like when they got it. It doesn’t mean they don’t still have growing up pains. He is well founded. He will make good choices.
We sometimes get so tunnel visioned that we forget to look at how fabulous they are. They know that they are making good choices.
Gratitude is something that is learned. Children come into the world very self focused. We have to teach them to think out. Our society is very self focused….What’s in it for me? Am I having fun? Little things are causing riots because you didn’t say something right. I want to be angry and a cause to be mad at. None of it is for the benefit of the masses. I want to be in power and in control. All selfish.
When we teach gratitude that is the beginning point, the foundation, the place, that all other positive attributes spring from. When I first heard that I had to ponder on that for along time. I do believe it now.
Think about humility. Why are you humble? Because you are grateful for the service someone else has given you.
Gratitude causes a softening of the heart. All the other virtues can grow out of a soft heart. You think about any positive attribute and see if you can really have it without being grateful.
If there is an absence of gratitude then….
President James E. Faust said, “As gratitude is absent or disappears, rebellion often enters and fills the vacuum. I refer to rebellion against moral cleanliness, beauty, decency, honesty, reverence, and respect for parental authority.” (“Gratitude as a Saving Principle”, Ensign December 1996, pg 2)
Because that’s true…if you have contention, rebellion, children that say “That’s not fair”., what’s missing….Gratitude. That void that comes will be filled by these hard hearted traits. The key is that we need to consciously teach gratitude. We tend to teach that if you want something, “make me a Santa list”
You take your kids to the store and they are being good they ask if they can have a package of donuts and they say can I have a sucker at the next store. Because it’s not expensive and it’s not a sacrifice to us we tend to give it to them. Just because something isn’t wrong doesn’t mean that it’s right.
We tend to overindulge our children. We allow them to live at the level of least resistance and then we complain. All we require is that level of least resistance. As they live there they develop the feeling of entitlement.
When they start having this attitude of gratitude their heart softens they become more compliant.
Pg 90---at the bottom….actual physical attributes, tangible things that come when you have a grateful heart.
A grateful heart is not just saying thank you. When you are grateful you see the good, you experience the good, you look to the good.
Examples of living in gratitude:
Over the years, I have had the opportunity to work with the young women in the church. I have been concerned about how many of them are not interested in “growing up to be mothers”. When I ask them “why”, they say because it isn’t fun. Their mothers complain no one will help and how discouraging it is to just do the same dishes and wash the same clothes over and over again. Their mother’s murmur about how hard it is to have children that do not obey and help enough. It is no wonder these young women do not want to grow up to be mothers. This is certainly not an attitude of gratitude for the blessing of motherhood.
Winnie Dalley shares her grateful view of motherhood in the Ensign of March 1998. “The young mother says: “I can’t wait until my kids are older and off to school. I know I chose to become a mother, but sometimes I just feel so trapped. My whole life revolves around dirty diapers, crying kids, and unending housework. I hesitate to speak, for fear of sounding insensitive. I can understand those feelings. “But don’t you see,” I yearn to say, “that the present, unsavory though it sometimes appears, is in reality most precious and delicious? There is perhaps nothing more delightful than the sound of a little child’s laugh, nothing more genuine than a little child’s hug, nothing more pure than a little child’s love and nothing more sacred than a little child’s trust. Motherhood is not a burden to be borne; it is a privilege to be enjoyed. It is not a trial of endurance; it is a time of celebration.”
The difference between the two viewpoints is not the amount of work, or the tasks required, it is in the condition of the heart. The first mothers are counting their trials and Winnie is counting her blessings. The attitude of the mother has a great impact on the training of the hearts of the children.
This is the Nephi vs Laman/Lemuel experience in the wilderness. The Mom chooses to count her blessing IN the experience.
Class member: My Mom always said, “Being a Mom is always an adventure.” Adventures don’t always go right.
My goal is that I hope you go away being thankful you are a Mom. It is the best blessing. It is the greatest gift God can give us in this life.
D&C 59:7 “Thou shalt thank the Lord in all things. (not just the good things)
D&C 59:21 “In nothing doth man offend God, or against none is His wrath kindled, save those who confess not His hand in all things, and obey not His commandment.
When we take things for granted we offend God.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 “Rejoice always, pray constantly, and give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus.”
The Roman Orator Cicero said, “Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others.” (Marcus Tullius Cicero, Pro Plancio, 54 b.c.)
It’s interesting that the Lord had COMMANDED us to thank him in ALL things.
Corey Tenbloom talks about thanking him for the fleas. Having the fleas was what kept the guards from coming in and allowing them to read the Bible they had snuck in.
Pray for the understanding.
Class member: If you took everyone’s problems and put them in a pile you would take yours back.
Joseph Smith said if we would thank the Lord with all our hearts we would find ourselves in heaven.
President Faust ( Ensign, December 1996) said, “A grateful heart is the beginning of greatness. It is the expression of humility and the foundation for the development of:
Substituting the word “gratitude” for the word “faith”, James 2:17-18 would read:
“Even so “gratitude,” if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast “gratitude” and I have works: shew me thy “gratitude” without thy works, and I will shew thee my “gratitude” by my works.”
You can say I have gratitude and I will send a thank you note. I can do that without having gratitude. I can do it because it’s socially appropriate things to do. We have to show you my gratitude by my works.
Thanksgiving is made up of 2 words….Thanks….and….giving. Thanks is a noun. Giving is a verb. When we talk about giving thanks. A verb is an action word. The verb ‘to give’. What are you going to do to ‘give’/show thanks?
Example: If you are grateful for food, you might choose to share it with someone by taking in a meal, donating to the food bank, or working for a few hours at a soup kitchen.
Example: If you are grateful for your home, you may decide to try to keep it a little neater.
Example: If you are grateful for your family, you might write each of them a note or have a one-on-one session with each of them to tell them how much you love them and some of the things you think are wonderful about them.
If you want to do something hard that you can go in with each child individually and you kneel down with them and ask if you can be the voice for the prayer. You begin your prayer by telling Heavenly Father how thankful you are to the child. Ask that the Holy Spirit testify to the child and then talk about the things you see in the child and why you are grateful.
Gratitude is a way of living.
You will develop love and gratitude through service.
I went through a period of time where I felt very much in need of knowing where I was on the spiritual continuum. Is what I’m doing moving me forward as I tumble? I just needed to know (a confirmation) a rubric not to know how I am right now, but how to I progress. I needed a visual. Not just “be faithful, keep the commandments…” I spent a lot of time praying that Heavenly Father would teach me something I could use to be this visual for me. He blessed me with an answer. That’s what I’m sharing with you here. It’s personal, but it’s also general. I feel like any time you read the scriptures, go to the temple, and look at the highest ordinance in the temple is consecration. Consecration is giving everything…you, your time, soul, thoughts, feelings to the Lord.
I went to an education week and listened to a speaker “I finally reached a point in my life where I could give myself to the Lord (that’s consecration).” I thought…I want to be there. I still take my temperature too much. I just hadn’t reached that point yet. How do you do that? How do you overcome the natural man to the point that you can just say use me whenever you want? How do make my heart, my soul and my mind to that’s what I am?
The key to becoming Christlike is the heart you have when you serve. The Savior came to earth with a mission to serve. He came to give his life for us and he knew that. He also came to live his life for us. From the time of his ministry at 30 until he died at 33, every portion of his life was given to someone else. He never said I’m just too tired tonight to heal the cripple. Bring him back in the morning. In America there was 2400 people at the temple. Even 10 seconds per person it would have been 8 hours that he stood there.
He came to serve and not to be served.
When we start having a harder heart it’s because usually we have to serve when we don’t want to. I think if you really want to know the true test of the living spirituality I think this is it. To find where you are on the Service Continuum is where you are.
What is a Continuum? It’s like a time line without beginning or end. This is the condition of your heart. It’s going to continue to grow past this life and keep on growing. It’s not a matter of feeling like you are ‘there’. Where do I go if I choose to step up and ‘go’ somewhere. This doesn’t make me feel guilty it makes me feel hopeful.
In every part of your life you are in a different part of your life….personally, sibling, church calling, spouse, wife, friend, daughter, mother…you are different in every role in your life.
HOMEWORK: Study them and read them.
As you get more gratitude your heart changes and grows. You grow spiritually.
I Won’t---This person lives in entitlement. It’s totally self focused. It expects other people to help you. You should be serving me because I have such a heavy burden.
Example: A few years ago I was sitting in a wonderful Relief Society lesson on charity. As the lesson progressed I was impressed with the comments made by “Sister Jones”. Her remarks added to the lesson as she bore her testimony to the principle of charity. After the lesson was over, the Relief Society President stood up and shared an invitation for service. She said there was a non-member woman who lived in the ward boundaries, new to the area and she needed some help. She had just had a baby followed by a brain aneurism that was very serious. The lady was in the hospital, her husband had to work and they needed someone to watch this new baby night and day.
Her neighbor had been talking to her about the church before the baby had been born and they wondered if anyone in the church could help them. They did not know where to turn. The father would come to visit but he could not keep the baby at night and still work and be able to visit with his wife. They did not know how long it would be and they did not know anyone in town. As the President was telling us about this woman, “Sister Jones”, who was sitting in back of me whispered to the lady next to her and said, “I don’t know why we have to tend that baby. That is too much to ask us to stay up all night with a new baby. They need to get one of their neighbors to do it. We don’t even know her.”
I was shocked to hear her after all the vocal testimony she had given. Even though she knew about the principle of charity, when it came down to acting she would not. I was privileged to take that baby into our home for the next four weeks and what a great blessing it was to our family.
I Have To---Laman/Lemuel they did leave, but they murmured the whole time.
I Will/I’ll Try---Can you make it to help with our meeting? I’ll try. I’ll do it, but not with real intent. Yes…I’ll do it. You do it.
I Want To---You are dependable. You want to be a good mother. This is a good level. This is where most of us live.
The key is that there is a HUGE step to the next level. The next level is based on gratitude to the Savior. That is the core. Because of that I want to serve.
May I---The Savior becomes the focus of your life. This level can only be achieved if you do deep study of the Atonement and know the meaning of the Atonement. When we reach that point we will turn our lives over to him.
Class member: Our camp cook said, “This camp food is filled with my love of our Savior and this is why I am here to serve you”
This is where you say…May I serve? May I be your hands below? Most of us will have those experiences from time to time. The goal is to shorten those spaces between then so we can live there. You have to study the Atonement, pray every day, read scriptures every day, attend the temple regularly. As you slip doing those things you will slip back to the “I want to” level.
The goal is to keep moving up. The next time some asks you to take a dinner in note your response.
If I say in my mind say “I will”…make it a verbal in your mind. You are training yourself to hit the next level. If you mope in the “I have to” level you can repent and change directions. Ask for forgiveness and verbally put in your mind to move up.
Class member: A couple years back I was talking to some friends of mine. I said I have to go home and take dinner to someone. I said I guess I do make them a lot. I am asked to do it a lot. At some point it’s going to come around and I will need it. I happened to be making a meal for someone who is not a member. I called our RS president and said I have a hot meal ready who needs it. At that time our relationship was struggling (me and this mother) I held back for a minute, but finally did it. That little act of service was a way for us to mend our bridges. She showed such gratitude to me for something that wasn’t planned at all. When I was pregnant with my baby I was on bed rest for 4 months. For those 4 months I had meals brought in 3 nights a week for dinner and every day for lunch. Because I was willing to serve I could see the blessings coming back to me.
Tracy’s husband was out of work with 6 kids at home. That’s hard. You could say…How come us? We are doing everything. OR with a heart of gratitude every sign up that went around in 9 months she signed up for. She set up and took down for every activity. They took meals in. I asked her once about it. She said, “Mom I’m so grateful to Heavenly Father and I need his blessings so much that I need to serve everyone I can.” She kept a journal of it. Those become sacred moments when we live on “May I…” It wasn’t complaining about what I don’t have.
HOMEWORK: I hope you accept the challenge after the lessons on Work, Gratitude, and Service. I want you to commit to do something hard. It needs to be a bit painful. It can be time or money or whatever, but you give until it’s uncomfortable. Figure out a Christmas project. It can be taking on a family to take in Christmas. If that’s your choice you may have the money in your pocket, but you can’t just give your kids the money to go buy it. You need to set up a fund raising as a family. The purpose is to create a service project that is based on love for the Savior. Gratitude for his offering. That only comes if we do something that is difficult, that we sacrifice even as he sacrificed.
You may decide to adopt a grandma at a nursing home. That will put everyone out of comfort.
You may decide to go serve at the soup kitchen.
Maybe you will go down to the VA.
Maybe you have an assisted living in your ward.
Talk to your family about it. Pray about it. It needs to be a gift of consecration to Him for all that He has given you. If you choose to do it you will have the most profound holiday season that you have ever had.
I testify that these things are true in the name of Jesus Christ Amen.
Part of what we did was make our kids work really hard. We paid them really good. We didn’t give them their money. We took the money and invested it. They learned to pay tithing and fast offerings and they had a little more, but never sat down and said this is what budgets are. I should have taught them. I did what a lot of them are doing.
All of my missionaries went on missions by saving their money. They earned it, we took it and put it in savings so they had it. We needed to teach them how to have a checking account and debit card.
I think if you don’t teach them about money and how to handle it, then it becomes an emotional thing for them. It’s not a joint experience if you become emotionally invested. It’s a safe thing. Lay it out and say what you are going to do about it. Both of you need to have your play money and learn to live within that.
Finances are one thing that causes a big thing for divorce. It needs to be discussed and trained for kids.
Input/opinion about where this class should go next semester…..
We haven’t been about to come up with a great idea about babysitting.
Did any of you make your children work this week?
Class member: I have a bad habit of asking my kids if everything is fun. I know I was trying to hope that they would find satisfaction and joy, but I’m creating a sense of entitlement. School isn’t always fun. I had to bite my tongue a lot and change what I was saying. I had to ask…Did you work hard in school today? What did you feel good about in school? That helps them find satisfaction about that.
That’s a good point. Most of our youth who have problems going to mutual or women going to Relief Society activity say “That’s not fun I’m not going to go.”
Class member: I remember you lesson about teaching small children. My 1 year old he is really good at picking up. He’s better than his older siblings at picking them up.
At that age they love it. They feel good about it.
Class member: What I realized this week is that our work issues are because of me. A lot of times they come home and have homework. A lot of my kids don’t have a lot of time to work. If they do I find I’m so busy that I don’t stop and say…this and this and this isn’t done, but I’m still quick to complain about it not being done. I have slipped because they have been so busy, but them I’m annoyed that I’m doing everything. I went out of town this last week. I wrote them a long list and left it for them. They had most of it done Friday night so they didn’t have it to do on Saturday. The things I left them were projects.
Ponder question… “When I want to complain about work not done in my home, is it because I haven’t outlined it or set up the program to get it done or is it because children know and just haven’t done it? Do I expect them to act in the responsibility of the mother instead of the child?”
Class member: My friend said we taught them to ‘pick up their things’ rather than to put them away the first time. Don’t ever pick anything up just put it away the first time.
“Teach Ye Diligently” Boyd K. Packer
“We don’t give them the picture of the full job. The kids come in drop their backpack and go to the kitchen to eat. We say, Come back and put your backpack away. Then the next day the same thing happens. The reason they don’t get it is because we are nagging, we are not teaching or training. We are only teaching part of the picture. We need to tell them to put on their coat and backpack and take them back to the driveway and walk back in and then put it away.”
Instead of saying…pick up this and pick up that. You start when they are little to ‘pick up the blocks’. As they get older you have them do the whole room and then have them look at the whole room. They need to go from gopher activity to whole room activity.
Class member: This week we just recently moved, we are building a house. My kids were fighting. My husband got home from work we went and raked our old leaves and all the houses that were for sale. We had tons of kids flocking out of their home to come help. They forgot about fighting. We just kept going around the block until their was no more daylight.
They went from ‘have to work’ to ‘love of work’ by the end of that evening. We need to teach them that enough so they start there.
Class member: We went simple. I took away the ‘they are good at partial cleaning’. Today when you get all your normal things done I will teach you how to do the mirrors and shake out the rugs. She was coming to me about what to do next. She liked having the more responsibility. She even helped me with cooking.
This became a rite of passage because Mom never let her do it, but now it does. She likes that one on one attention from Mom. You have to be involved in it. We can’t say, “go do” it’s “come let’s do”.
Class member: My 7 year old by swept the whole house. I was there with the dustpan. He ate it up too. Before it was just the commitment when you are teaching your kids how to do things right. I wanted to just do it while they were at school.
Class member: I really learned that I didn’t give my kids enough responsibility. Occasionally it was ‘come help me unload the silverware’. I decided I needed to kick it into gear. My kids have a set of chores they have to get done before school. My sister-in-law thinks I have way too many responsibilities on my kids. I feel like she doesn’t do enough. Her daughter who is 14 we were having brownies and they sat on the counter. She says can we have brownies. Then she sat back and wanted me to cut them and serve them.
Mothers tend to be too much of the helicopter Mom’s. It’s easier and faster. When they are 13-14-15 you are mad because they won’t do anything. It’s better to be firm early. Being a mother is NOT a popularity contest. It’s ok if your kids say “I don’t like you!”
Class member: I think it’s important to note that sometimes we keep work in our homes and when there is a scout function, ward party, RS meeting. Those have been my favorite times to stay and everyone can help and staying and help clean. There are other opportunities to serve and work after those functions.
Class member: I was thinking back to your lesson on praise vs encouragement. Sometimes when my kids are asking why they need to help. I will say, “Right now it’s hard for me to get down on the floor to pick things up (because I’m pregnant).” I don’t want to guilt them.
What is the reason you want them to do it?
Class member: I say, “We all have to help each other. I had to do it. Now we need to help each other.”
Blues talk too much.
Class member: Growing up I was taught to work really hard. I have taught my kids that. I realized this last week that I don’t know how to work hard emotionally or spiritually. I think my kids are the same way. It’s way easier to ‘work’ with my kids than it is to spend quality time with them. Physical work is how I cope with things.
It requires effort for some of you to play.
Class member: I think she brings up a good point to do things that are ‘hard’. Some it might be physical and some it might be spiritual. You said, “Because I don’t have to do hard things very often and this is hard.” Usually a good gauge of something hard is that it is something we don’t want to do.
You will find as you come into a different phase of life (as an empty nester) you actually have time to figure out what to do with it. I would love to go into my craft room and quilt and craft and just do the things I want to do. I can do more of that than I used to be able to do, but now is the test. When you are doing your children they are there. You are there. They dictate what you did with your life and your time. When you are older that’s the test of how much do you really love the Lord. Will you choose to serve him? Because you have some options. A lot of retired people choose not to have callings or to travel. You can choose how involved you want to be in things. My husband retired and I was working. What does he do with his day all day. No one is telling you what you have to do. That is the real test. He goes up to the food bank and works there a couple times a week. He goes out to the VA and visits them. He has visited every widow in the ward on a schedule. He has ‘self’ initiated all of those things.
There comes a time that are we going to sit back and not do hard things or how do we show the Lord we are going to serve the Lord. Sometimes necessity…keeping your children there…when you don’t have children there will you still get up and read your scriptures in the morning with your spouse? Will you have family prayer with just your spouse?
It’s interesting when what the Lord wants you to do. I choose to teach this.
This is a doctrine that you have to have to take you to the Celestial Kingdom. We want to teach our children those kinds of doctrine. This can be a doctrine of exaltation or a stick to beat them with. It depends on how you teach it. It will make them or break them.
The doctrine of work!
David O McKay “Let us realize the a privilege of work is…the blessing of work is…”
We have to create the vision that work is a gift.
Everything in the scriptures that discusses reaching exaltation is described with an adverb that requires effort.
Pray…always, diligently, without ceasing. Pray is a verb. He doesn’t say just pray. He tells us ‘how to’ pray. Every word denotes great effort. There is nothing that changes the natural man that doesn’t require hard work.
When Adam and Eve were taken out of the garden they were told “by the sweat of thy brow”. It means you have to really work. The earth will be cursed and bring forth noxious weeds. Why? It will be cursed for your sake. Why are noxious weeds for your sake? It provides work. It provides opportunity to do something hard, not as pleasant, makes us sweat, makes us uncomfortable.
The philosophy of the world…no effort, no work, it’s all joy, you get everything for free. If you are successful you have a job that you work at home for ½ day and you get paid tons of money and live in a huge house. The goal of the work force is work less and earn more. This is what our children are living with. This is what you unconsciously teach them.
We need a bigger house, another car, another vacation, etc. Unconsciously we are teaching them that happiness is bought and we can’t be happy because we don’t have enough money. I want you to see what’s out there. Look at what surrounds your children. What makes them happy? What do they want to do? I want to hang out at the mall. I need the car. They leave the car empty. We don’t hold them responsible. Then we get mad at them because they aren’t responsible. Why should they? You always do it.
We feel like if they go to church, don’t smoke, drink, or be immoral. Growing older doesn’t make a person responsible. They have an excuse for everything. They always have a reason that they can’t do what they need to do. People accept the reasons and never hold them accountable.
We rescue our children and don’t let them experience natural consequences.
We don’t just pray every day. We pray, attend church, pay tithing, attend the temple. We have to do multiple things to help our children gain strength. We help them do what we can do.
Thou shalt not be idle; for he that is idle shall not eat the bread nor wear the garments of the laborer.
Who is the laborer in your home? The Dad earning the money. Parents
Heavenly Father will hold us in condemnation for expecting nothing of our children. Everything Celestial requires work. Mortality is not a time where we can do nothing. It’s not enough to teach our children to work. That’s not enough. Our goal is found in Nehemiah.
So built we the wall; and all the wall was joined together unto the half thereof: for the people had a mind to work.
“The people had a mind to work.”—That’s what we want to teach our children. This is where people enjoy it!
Class member: You have to create opportunities for your kids to work. If you don’t teach people that it’s fun and to enjoy it they won’t do it.
Your kids have to know it by the time they get out of elementary school….11 years old. It just means it’s harder if the kids are older.
What does a mind to work look like…
Do it without whining
Do it well
Resilient—when it doesn’t turn out.
What does it look like not to work…
What’s in it for me?
Do you see?!? You need to get a picture first. Our goal is NOT just to get them to do a job list. Do we use a job list? Yes. Is that the goal? No.
Now your kids have grown up and have job lists. They die and go to heaven and have and Heavenly Father tells them to create a world. God’s job is to work out the eternal life of men. He’s working for us every day. We are not sitting on a cloud playing a harp when we get there. The goal is to find JOY in that process.
Do you think the Savior woke up and said “I don’t want to go see the people today. I think I’ll just go hang out in bed.”
How do we teach it?
We can’t give our children everything they want and expect them to not be spoiled. We can’t excuse them from doing hard things and expect them to build character. We can’t save them from the consequences all the time and expect them to grow up to be responsible.”
HOMEWORK: (Read this talk)
Elder Tad Callister “Parents the Prime Gospel Teachers of Their Children”
He opens with the story of Ben Carson. I want you to see what the mother did to her children. Were they happy about it? Were they thrilled? They didn’t like their mom. See what happened to their children when they learned to do hard things. She held them accountable. Focus on Mom and what Mom did.
We need to start our children working from the time they are very young. In the beginning they do job lists and they love job lists. Ages 2-11 is the age of Industry vs Inferiority. In this age “Industry”---work creates feelings of self worth. Hard work in these stages create a feeling of self worth.
Class member: I was going to say we have a Dad in our neighborhood that teaches them to work, but he picks at them. You can see it.
This is exactly what I mean when it can be a stick to beat them by or an eternal principle. It’s how you do it.
I want you to stop being so soft. I want you to require a great deal from your children. I want them to work until they are exhausted.
Class member: How do you do that in a neighborhood subdivision?
You feel stuck if you are in a subdivision. There is SO much to do.
Class member: There is one family in our ward that was a snow day. They knew that Dad and boys were out shoveling driveways.
When my kids were growing up we were blessed with a unique opportunity. My husband started Tanner Construction on the side to create work opportunities for the kids. They day they got out of elementary school they started working on the subdivision. They were digging a street light pole. They are in this hole digging. They did HUGE irrigation structures. In the beginning they older boys would complain that Cory was sitting on the street throwing rocks and doing nothing. I let them work it out. 2 years later about 9th grade Cory was begging me to get up early and hand level and put the lawn in at our house.
We had a house we planted some trees. They were big trees. They had to dig big wells. We had 15 trees out there over this 4 acres, but we didn’t have a sprinkling system. They had to haul the hoses out and fill the wells about 3x a week. They hated that job. You have to water the trees. The problem with the trees was you couldn’t put the hose out there and them come back. It would take 30-45 minutes to water a tree. We had gophers. You had to watch the water going down the gopher hole. You had to fill the hole. It was after dinner he hadn’t done it. About 7pm he said, “Mom I’m just really tired. I’m going to go to bed.” Cory went down and about 8pm Mike came home in the truck. Mike said did Cory water the trees? Cory is pretending to be asleep. Cory said, “I was just so busy I didn’t get them done.” Mike said our agreement was that you do it today. You need to get up and get dressed. Take a flashlight and go do them. It was the best lesson he learned in his life.
If we don’t hold them accountable they won’t become responsible. They will feel like they can get away with things.
You can find opportunities.
Tyler is building a house in Blackfoot. He just poured 34 yards of concrete (4 trucks). Nathan brought up the 2 boys 13 and 11 and Tylers 12 year old boy….they kept them out of school and they had these boys out there with finishing trowels. Those boys worked WAY past comfort. He laid out the wall and told the 12 year old to build the wall with the studs.
We underestimate what they can do. Don’t be too critical when it’s not perfect. It won’t always be.
You don’t make your kids do enough.
2 year olds…How do you get a 2 year old to work? Consistency, Lots of Praise, Attention Span, Lots of time on your part.
Are you making a bed or teaching a child to work? As you start with children teach them what a complete job looks like. You need to teach them what a clean room looks like. What does a clean bathroom look like?
We worked for 4 hours on Saturday morning before they could do anything else. They would get up at 5:30am. They would watch Smurfs. At 8am you are mine. You had better be dressed and had your breakfast. If you haven’t done those things you are still mine at 8am. We worked until noon. They said, “Mom why don’t you ever work?” You get stuck in thinking I have to do all these things. You aren’t doing anything during those 4 hours that you can check off their list. You are going to be a cheerleader. You always have them return and report.
You say…”Let’s go check it out.” We teach them to do things ½ way. When my kids were really little, I taught them parts. I will teach them how to clean a toilet. What do you want a clean toilet to look like. You may not hold them accountable without teaching them. You say…I taught them and they aren’t doing it. You may have to teach them and re-teach them. Do you see the pride that comes in their work? He is thinking I did a great job.
You want them to say how they feel about the job. Then you say…this is how you clean the sink. Teach them each part. You shake mats, refill the toilet paper. If you don’t tell them you can’t hold them accountable.
If you have that job after school on Wednesday night this is what you expect. If you have that job on Saturday it is a deep clean.
Class member: When we don’t clean like that how can you have that expectation of the kids when you don’t do that?
You have to be an example, but you don’t have to be perfect. You are going to learn to work together.
Things 2 year olds can do…(in the syllabus)
Class member: Do I do part of it or ask them to do it?
Stop coddling them! Make list. Little ones are motivated with visuals. As they get older subtract points for attitude.
Cell phones don’t give them your kids young. They are a privilege and they need to be earned. You would be surprised how many elementary kids have cell phones. They need to learn how to use a cell phone. It needs to be controlled by Mom and Dad. If you give your kids a cell phone you need to dock your phones at night. You had better be vigilant if you give them electronics. That is where they are introduced to pornography.
Computer time, Ipad time, Cell phone time, TV time…all this stuff are privileges to be earned. It’s not their right because they spend 5 hours in school that they can come home and do nothing.
As your children grow up in high school they are involved in a lot of activities. Do we not have them do jobs? It will change. The picture of their home jobs will change. They should always have home responsibilities. Cooking. They can cook a meal…on a weekend. They can work on Saturdays even if they are in a sport. Cleaning up their bedroom is not hard work.
Sports are hard! It requires a lot of their time and body. They are hard. They will come home and need to rest that night. You have to remember that a sport is self-centered. Who are they thinking about? Me…you take me, I need this, I want this.
They need to do some hard things for free. Your children better go on all the scout food drives. They need to go to the all the service projects. They need to go to the activities that are not fun.
Work with your children to have self-starting businesses. Go around after Christmas and offer to haul off Christmas trees for $5.
As you pray about it and want it you will find a way to do it.
Class member: I have a hard question for you. If you raise your kids the same way and you are divorced or separated how would you do it the same if your husband doesn’t do it.
Your responsibility as a mother is to train them. They will appreciate it later. You do have it hard. You can only control what you can control. Work should be as fun as possible.
Play music while you work. Do it with them. Don’t make them go do it. Make it fun! Don’t make it drudgery and a prison camp. We want them to learn to love to work. Part of the fun is when they see the completed job and they feel good.
When my kids were in school we were coming down the road. There was a house that was stone and big. We passed his street and his yard was covered. They said Let’s pull over and rake his leaves. When they bring up the idea and they want to do it then you stop and go do it. That is the time.
They need to work past comfort!
In a subdivision what can you do to help them work past comfort….Garden, yards, cleaning a garage, basement, raking yards, shoveling yards, vacuuming around baseboards, clean window tracks in house, paint a bedroom, clean the oven, clean the microwave.
Give your kids some money and they make a menu…you take them to a grocery store to stay in their budget. They each have a night to cook. Some only want to do dessert. They have to make that work.
Class member: Hard things mean people work when it’s 100 degrees. Those things you give them help them have the confidence to do it on their own.
Mom’s are critical when kids are little. Then it becomes critical to have Dad’s involved. They need to build shelves. The confidence it builds in kids is wonderful. Don’t hold back because they aren’t perfect at it. How are they going to learn?
Class member: Play to your kids strengths. Find something they do enjoy and encourage that.
They also have to do the stuff they don’t like. Have them work in teams.
Class member: My little one talks about how things are too hard. I find myself telling him that it’s hard, but it’s not too hard.
Teach them “We can do hard things!” Teach them about Nephi building a boat. Leaving Jerusalem. Not only can we, but we will do hard things.
Class member: My husband grew up on a farm. We lived in a subdivision so we created jobs for our kids to do. Everyone picked the fruit. Everyone peeled it. If you think about not hiring anyone or buying anyone. We found ways in the subdivision…you can make up things in the home.
Can something…not because it’s cheaper, but you are teaching industry.
Boyd K. Packer…We need to teach our youth to stop trying to live in luxury. They need to learn how to ‘use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without’.
We need to start teaching them to live within your means, but not luxury. They need to work hard. You have to create experiences that they can work hard.
Only when it’s beyond your comfort zone does it become a ‘gift’.
Class member: When my husband was out of work a lady and her kids made our family pajama’s because she wanted them to learn to sew.
It doesn’t have to be a member of your church. It can be serving at the soup kitchen. It doesn’t have to be a gift you buy and give to someone. Think of some kind of service.
If your children are earning money don’t give them money without a responsibility. Children need to have access to money that they have earned and then they need to learn to budget. It’s not a journal of how you spent it. It’s pre-deciding how we are spending it. Your budget creates spending within their means.
“This year we will work hard together too. We will create memories and strengthen relationships as we accomplish difficult things together. We will hold our boys accountable for their efforts in our family, in school, in sports, in music, in hobbies and in their church duties. We will no longer ask our kids if they had fun, because frankly, we don’t care. They can choose to make every experience fun if they want to…it’s up to them and absolutely possible. But we will no longer worry about creating fun for them or shielding them from hardships, unpleasantness, or heaven forbid…boredom! We want them to reap more than fun from this existence. We want them to be fulfilled. We want them to reach their potential. We want them to be excellent.
We will change our questions and our focus and instead ask, “Did you learn something? Did you feel productive? Did you work hard? Did you try your best? Were you a good friend? Did you try something new? Did you push yourself? Did you make some one’s day better? Did you add value? Did you create something? Did you grow? Did you discover something? Did you change the world today, even in a small way? Because when you can answer yes to any of those questions, that’s when life gets really FUN.”
Money & Budget
Follow Up: Competition
How did your week go? Did you watch your family to see if they are competing? What are the signs? Backbiting, arguing, contention
Class member: I have a 7 year old and a 4 year old. The 4 year old tries to do everything that the 7 year old does. I tell them they have different abilities.
What would you suggest? Pull them out of competition.
Class member: Let the 7 year old the job of ‘mentor’ and have them teach the 4 year old what to do.
You create the oldest helping the younger ones. BUT in doing that you have to pre-counsel the 7 year old to validate. You are going to train the oldest to be a good mentor in taking them out of competition. The 7 year old could increase the problem. Help them understand they are a teacher and not a show off.
Class member: Depending on the situation you could do a rite of passage…when you get to be this age you can…
The 4 year old needs to see themselves growing up. Does the 4 year old see that? It doesn’t make sense to them. I’m throwing a tantrum. As you set the rites of passage to help him see what happens between now and 7 that says they are growing up.
Class member: Create a team experience where they can both be successful.
Create an experience if you can that the 4 year old can be ‘in charge’. FHE the 4 year old gets to lead the game and we all get to do it.
Class member: My boys hate each other and they will say that and won’t cooperate and serve each other. The 7 year old is jealous because the 5 year old stays home with Mom. They won’t and don’t serve each other.
What happens here? How do we take them out of competition?
Class member: Make them dig up dandelions. J
Class member: One thing I am going to try with my 13 yr old and 9 yr old girls. I’m going to have them do a ‘sibling journal’ where they write back and forth with each other.
This bank account is too low.
Class member: Fun activities as a family where they are creating good experiences together.
Class member: Building up individually.
They feel loved, but being loved isn’t enough because they are in competition for Mom’s love. The 7 year old says “You love him more.” Part of this will resolve itself with time. Two things need to happen. The 5 year probably doesn’t hate the 7 year old as much as the 7 year old does. Don’t deal with it out of fear deal with it out of faith. First Jarvis (7) needs to feel individual. I am different and you are different so we don’t get the same things but we both get what we need.
Class member: I’ve noticed with my 4 year old she wants me to do the same things that I’m doing for the 2 year old. I’ve learned that she wants to get dressed by herself because she is proud that she can do it a lot. Every other week go volunteer at the school with the 5 year old going somewhere else.
For you to volunteer at the school is a fabulous idea. That says I’m as important as younger brother. To let Jarvis (7) stay out of school while younger brother is somewhere else. It’s important to help Jarvis understand who he is. He needs to feel needed and have something to contribute to the whole. There needs to be something that says you get to…and I need your help to…Now it’s cool being 7. I don’t want to be 5 I want to be 7. Maybe he gets to stay up an extra 15 minutes. Create something that makes him feel needed and individual.
Class member: I have a question about the bank account. What do you do with one who is a black hole with your bank account? My 13 yr old girl is never enough.
Class member: You have to plug the hole.
Class member: Praise can create entitlement…I deserve it…I need it…I want it.
Class member: With my kiddos we do ‘late’ nights. We put it on the calendar.
Mom’s validation that comes in dates is good. Should that be done away with? No. When you look at this and it seems like I need to take her on a date all the time. It doesn’t feel like it’s working. It just means you also have to do something different. The number one problem is that she is 13. You could be doing everything right and still have 13 year old girls that act like they are 13. Deacons will act like they are 12, but not so emotional. You need to learn what to expect at different ages. In the best home with the best parents you won’t have kids that are saintly. It’s part of learning how to figure out what’s going on.
In this case, you are doing wonderful to fill in the bank account individually with all of them. Early teens are a period where boys and girls are wondering who they are. You can stroke them, but because they are wondering about their identity. They have all of these self doubts. That’s normal. Teach them how to move forward in them. Some people never move forward. Did I do that well enough? Are you learning anything?
Give experiences that bring it from the inside out. They need to feel divine from the inside out. You need to validate to take her out of competition. Do it with encouragement and not praise. You ask questions and get her to bring it out. We have to create for them other kinds of experiences that give them a feeling of accomplishment. All of these things come together.
With November starting in just a couple days and in preparation for our next class, I thought I would pass this along to all of you. You can print the pages, make cards for each one, or just cut them apart, fold or roll and put in a basket or jar. Take turns each day choosing a slip of paper, read the quote or scripture and do what it says.
Notes from classes and other information will be posted here. Also you can order syllabus and CDs from the store or check out the "Traditions" that class members have shared. You can also ask a Parenting and/or Marriage Question.
I will be posting my class notes from Thursday Parenting Class within a few days after class.