- Ponder with real intent your family traditions
- Read "Family History & Temple Work: Sealing & Healing" by Dale G. Renlund. Make a list of all the blessings that come. You should be able to find at least 11.
- Post a traditions to the Facebook Group, here on the blog, or leave one in the comments of the Youtube video.
Class member: I did the evaluate traditions. We have a long hallway and I want to put vinyl on my wall with pictures of my kids. So I went home and ordered the vinyl. What has been the response. The 9 year old was not happy about it. My 13 year old daughter she came and gave Dad and Mom a hug and she loves it.
If there is a downside to the digital age it’s that there is none in print.
Class member: My son had gone in to change the pictures on the screensaver to a slideshow of the pictures from our trip.
You have to do the effort.
Class member: Put the memory disk in the TV and look through photos on Sunday afternoon.
It doesn’t do the child any good if they can’t see themselves in the pictures and connect to it. Even if you have it saved it doesn’t do them any good. It has to be made so they can touch it and feel it in their lives.
Class member: We always watch Conference. I have a 13 & 15 year old. They usually sleep through it. I said everyone who takes notes and can tell me their 3 favorite talks and the stories related to them. So last night (FHE) they took turns telling their favorite talks and stories. They loved it. They got their Itunes card.
Your children will always go to the lowest level of your requirement. So don’t expect if you don’t require anything that they will produce it. You have to raise the bar in your expectations. You have to expect that there will be some flack. They will go to the lowest level. Elder Perry story---with a pole vaulter.
Class member: Mine was my husband. We have always made a special treat for the guys at the Priesthood session. I said it stinks that they made the company party on Conference night. The kids didn’t let him miss Priesthood. He missed the party instead. I loved seeing the kids reinforce what we had been teaching.
Class member: I asked my kids which traditions they liked and the ones that they wanted to get rid of. It was surprised at the traditions they wanted to get rid of. While my kids were gone to their Dad’s on Thanksgiving I would decorate the house for Christmas and then we set up the tree for FHE after Thanksgiving. We read a Christmas story every night throughout the month. They loved that one too. It’s funny when you ask them what they like and what they don’t. Sometimes they surprise you in the things they like.
Class member: Mine is the traditions too. It started last week after this class. I have never done ‘Elf on the Shelf’. After this I decided I don’t need to feel guilty. The traditions they care about are the ones we talked about. I gave myself permission to not have to do that or feel guilty.
You have permission to let it go.
Class member: We have a family motto now because of conference. “Hard is good!”
Class member: I have had a lot of trouble with my son. That was a question I went to Conference with. The topic that came to me was service.
Class member: I was sick last week and my husband had to go out of town. I wasn’t able to have it the way I wanted it, but I got to listen to Conference on my own. My friend told me to look on Twitter because they post the best quotes on there. I got the most out of Conference this times. I felt like everyone of the talks spoke to me and my family.
Starting January 1st the curriculum for High Priests and Relief Society will change. We are moving toward studying Conference. The interesting thing is that it was a different Conference. Everyone chose their own topics. They do feel like they are individualized to families. The first Sunday of every month the RS & HP group will be sitting in counsel and will decide what the needs are in that ward and they will find the talks that will address those needs. Each group will decide what they feel like the needs are for that group. Our meetings are going to become very focused on the needs of that unit. Each ward is their own little family and we are going to work towards finding what we can do to meet the needs.
Do you remember Elder Oaks talk it was very pointed! It was the Proclamation on the Family given 25 years ago as a preparation for our time. He said this was the Lord’s church and the Lord’s vision of the family. The church isn’t going to change. It’s interesting to watch how direct he is. He said this is the Lord’s doctrine. You don’t change it or rationalize it. It’s not bad to have questions, but find answers.
The talk by President Eyring where he referred back to President Monson’s talk about reading the Book of Mormon. He has read it for 54 years. He said I felt like I needed to read it with greater intent and seeking different insights. The depth of commitment to the teachings of the prophets as our testimonies grow.
Looking back at receiving the Proclamation on the Family 25 years ago and now it’s really important what we are receiving now for the past year the directive was to “Come Unto Christ”. We talked about the truths of the gospel, but not really focused on the Savior as the main topic. It is now. Becoming focused on the Savior we will see that belittling of the Savior. If you aren’t truly founded in the Savior you could slip and fall. They are telling us how to protect ourselves against what is going to come.
Class member: My parents taught English through the church. They can’t proselyte. It’s growing though.
Class member: Nelson was learning Mandarin. It’s these great men who do what they are inspired to do. I think these examples we need to dig deep.
We think it’s bad right now…this is just the preface. We will need to be individually strong. The Lord always tells us ahead of time what to do.
Find out which talk was giving when they said you should have no tattoos and one ear piercing. (1998) It’s that long ago and now tattoos have become the norm. Back then there were only a few tattoos.
Pay attention to what he is saying now and do it even if you don’t feel like it’s critical. I think the Lord was strengthening the world wide church and now he wants to strengthen individual units.
How was Conference?
Class member: Conference was great. I learned last year that Conference wasn’t for me I have to help my kids love it. My kids love the snacks. My 8 yr old flipped out and he was a different kid. During one of them they were doing the Bingo card and they were listening for “sing”. Then they tried to remember what their favorite primary song was and they all stood up with them and sang “I Am A Child of God.”
I love that you said ‘it was a moment’.
Class member: I started doing Conference things when I started taking your class awhile ago. My kids will now say “I love Conference”. My kids don’t do great through all of it, but they do great to start. It’s made a big difference.
Class member: I did like K. Brett Nattress of the Seventy. I like what he was talking about reading scriptures to your kids and he said that he wasn’t listening. That really stuck with me. I do it for awhile and then slack off and then start again.
We do it to make it consistent. Over time the testimony is built. We take our ques from the kids and let them be the parent instead of clinging to the promise.
Class member: I have an Elder Nattress son. He grumbles and just walks away if he doesn’t like it. We ended up wood burning and our house smelled like camp fire, but he was there the whole time.
When they are there they feel the Spirit. Conference now is connected to ‘feel good’. That is all we do in the beginning. The ‘feel good’ will translate to ‘I want to know why’. It will usually go to the music and then the talks. We have to connect it so they will want to come.
Class member: My husband told the kids we are going to talk about our favorite Conference talk. I have 13, 11, 7, 5, baby. At our FHE we started from the littlest to the biggest. I learned that we need to not read cereal boxes while you are reading scriptures. We get farther up the line and I was so amazed at what they really took in. We talked about what principle came from that and how we could apply it to our life.
What would be really interesting for you where they paid attention that you write down a summary of that FHE and the speaker was….then invite that child to give a FHE on their speaker on their talk. Now we are putting them into it. You show us what you would like us to underline. You teach us the principles and help us set the goal for this talk. The family cannot internalize those unless we break them up and focus on them individually. Post it. Put a picture and have a goal. At the end of 6 months they feel so much empowerment because they chose it and they did theirs. Now they are taking ownership for following the prophet. That is where they internalize it. When it’s theirs that’s when it because internalized in their testimony. It says what our goal was and what we did. When they see that cumulatively you can’t visualize your success. That visual gives them hope and keeps them invested. When we just preach and they can’t keep track it’s like playing basketball without a net.
Class member: My 9 yr old twins listen through the closing prayer. Their favorite part has been “has it been delicious to our souls’. I want to have a FHE on feasting on the words of Christ.
Class member: When I got home last week from class my friend posted a video of her granddaughter about 4 year olds. She said tell us what you told us before. We get lots of fruit loops. In 4 days and then when that day passes its 3 days….then it’s General Conference! She was so excited!
That’s what mother’s do to nurture.
Class member: Each child chooses 2 snacks one sweet and one not (chips). We posted their 2 words and then they could pick a snack every time they hear the words.
You are about 1/3 of the way there. It’s not just about Conference days. That has to happen, but that is the foundation for the next 6 months. If they are excited about Conference and then it dies they have missed the point. It simply opens the door for the opportunity to teach for the next 6 months. It puts us all on the same page.
I would invite you to be sure that each child has their own Ensign. Write their name on it BIG. They will leave it everywhere. Invite them to read a Conference talk before they go to bed. Invite them to find the page with the stories. Invite them to use these when they give a talk. Then you need to set goals and apply this. It’s not just learning.
Following the living prophets means we repent and change. We do something. We need to do something different/better. That’s repentance. It’s change to make us better. Repentance should be used 100x a day. We need to teach our children that repentance just means we are going to change and be a little bit better. To set goals and use Conference for FHE lessons and have your children watch you following the prophets.
From time to time you need to go online and use clips where ‘he’ is telling the story. You are re-inviting your children to be familiar with them telling the story.
Don’t let Conference die! It’s not just a twice a year experience. If it stops with the goodies you eat during Conference you have missed the point. They will be more receptive to receiving. The purpose to create those happy moments
Class member: Do “name the voice” Jeopardy. See if they can recognize their voice.
Make flash cards of the 15 and have them match them. See who can name them all. Do you know the order? Do your children know if President Monson dies do they know how the First Presidency dissolves and who becomes the next president?
Last week we talked about Rites of Passage and Daily Order. This dove tails into order and rites of passage.
When you think about traditions your families had in growing up….Thanksgiving, birthdays, summer….what are your best memories.
Class member: 8 kids in our family and Dad would take one of us out for a breakfast each Saturday by ourselves.
Class member: 5th grade-high school we would get KFC on Labor Day.
Class member: I am the youngest of 6. I think they got tired and didn’t do it. I can’t have anything.
Class member: I was the oldest of 10 and I was gone when they were doing those activities and I wasn’t part of them.
Our family has a family reunion and they do “Remember When…” I love that!
There are 4 needs that every human being has.
When you become an adult and you are feeling lonely or no one listens it usually boils down to you feeling a lack in one of these 4 areas. If we can keep these things strong in our kids it will help keep our kids from feeling lost.
The reality of a child is what they perceive. It’s not necessarily true. My daughter was accepted and loved, but she didn’t perceive her individuality as being important. Her perception IS her truth! You have to be continually be asking questions and watching to see what your children think about themselves.
The purpose of traditions is to cement the unique individuals together as they go back and say, “remember when…” they recognize themselves as being bonded and part of the family.
The problem with traditions and you have a lot of family traditions and you marry someone with lots of family traditions. Those things become ‘doctrine’ in your family. When you try to mesh two concrete rights together there are conflicts. Then you add ‘in-laws’ into the picture and it is hard.
Both Mike & I came from homes with no traditions so we had a whole lot of nothing.
One type is INTENTIONAL!
Doing something over and over makes it a tradition. One time is an event.
President James Faust said,
“Develop family traditions. Some of the great strengths of families can be found in their own traditions, which may consist of many things: making special occasions of the blessing of children, baptisms, ordinations to the priesthood, birthdays, fishing trips, skits on Christmas Eve, family home evening, and so forth. The traditions of each family are unique and are provided in large measure by the mother’s imprint.” Ensign, May 1983)
Mothers tend to create these events. We are more emotionally attached.
One type is and EVENT that they WANT to happen again.
Example: I have a sister that has boys. She decided that on the last day of school they would have a whipped cream fight all over the back yard. When school came to the end they asked if it would happen again.
What you thought was an event becomes a tradition. Some of them you plan and some of them just happen. Those traditions bind your family together.
What does your home smell like? I asked my kids what they remembered and they said homemade bread. They would eat 4 loaves of homemade bread every day. They remember that smell.
What does your home sound like? They said elevator music. That’s what I liked to play. The whole time they are growing up they hated it, but now that is what they play in their homes.
How do you meet and greet in your home? Do you meet at greet? Do you do it with a smile? Are you happy? Will your children remember that you were happy? Were you focused…not mad, but focused? Do you have dinner together every night? FHE? Family prayer? Family scriptures? Bedtime routine?
EXAMPLE: I used to have what I called my “hall of fame”. It was a long hallway in our home with my children’s pictures on both sides. On one side was their baby pictures, and on the other side I had fifty some pictures in varying sizes and frames. Pictures of them doing things they loved. The walls spoke of my love for them and my pride in them.
They watched themselves grow up on that hall and watched their success on their home. Every one of their friends would look at those pictures. It became a place visual and very public that they could acknowledge successes.
I had their baby pictures on the other side of the hall. I loved my babies and eventually changed them with wedding pictures.
Class member: I didn’t realize this was a bedtime tradition until my son pointed it out. My 3 yr old was helping me put down the 9 yr old down because he was sick and my 1 yr old needed a nap. My 3 yr old said, “I love you. Goodnight my princes.”
That’s where I see traditions binding them together.
Their Eagle plaques and mission plaques hanging on the wall. You don’t have to teach the lecture all the time.
Some of you look at it like a day off from your calling. Sometimes children don’t like it.
Conference needs to be something that your children are saying ‘When is Conference?”
In these days we have to make our children yearn for the teaching of conference. How do you make Conference so exciting for them they can’t wait for it to come?!?
In the beginning they aren’t going to come and listen to conference. Your job is to create an environment, feeling, activities, atmosphere so that they want to be there more than anyone else.
EXAMPLE: My son would take an afghan and roll it up like a snake and make a circle. That was his nest and no one can get in his place.
Saturday was the day that I made special breakfast. We had cinnamon rolls and hot chocolate and junk cereal. Afternoon session was chips and dips, fruit, carrots. When they were little you can go on lds.org and print out a Conference activity notebook. They have Bingos in there. They have candy for the bingo games.
I would recommend before each conference you take the opportunity to learn about them First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve. We talked about their life history. We would play memory games. I would have cards with just their name on it. We would have contests to see who could put them in order the fastest. Then when they speak at conference they can say…what was his name? what did he do as a profession? Under their pictures we would put the topic on there. When the Ensigns came out they would each get their own issue. We would use it for Family Devotional or FHE.
Each child that is old enough have their own Conference Notebook. It’s for taking notes at Conference. It’s their and it’s individual. I would put the pictures of the General Authorities where they see the 15 and they can identify who they are. As little people they draw pictures and they get older they take notes.
Put their Conference Notebooks away on a shelf. The next Conference they write their notes for the next Conference.
Consider actually going to the church for the Women’s Session or the Priesthood Session. I would suggest you use that evening to go out for treats. That makes them think it’s a really fun evening.
Class member: We started General Conference Apostle Dream team. They would be assigned a color. They would pick their first apostle and highlight their names. When their apostle talked they got their activity or treat.
http://www.carleentanner.com/general-conference.html (General Conference Traditions that have been submitted)
It takes effort to make Conference fun. Whatever feelings they feel they transfer to the apostles. You are creating the environment. If I can help them feel loved when they come in now they come in and give me a hug and they miss me when I’m not there. If I can help them feel that when they walk in the door then I have succeeded.
2. Make this Conference special.
Class member: My sister does a ‘tech fast’ before conference. It’s interesting to see that they are on board.
Class member: I struggle because I’m not sure what the right answer is. Sometimes people invite you over because it’s fun to do it together, but I feel like the kids are distracted and I don’t get as much out of it. I don’t know what the best approach is.
If you feel like you really want to be with this family you can invite them to FHE and have a great time. Don’t sacrifice your family to help someone else have fun.
Class member: There was a lady that commented on inviting a non-member neighbor to Conference. It ended up being a good thing.
You aren’t inviting them over to play. The Spirit will prompt you to do what’s right.
Need to be made a big deal of. The person needs to feel important.
You can do a red plate. The special person gets the plate. You can buy a piece of birthday fabric. In our home they picked breakfast and dinner and an activity for the family to do it.
I hate birthday parties. I don’t like inviting kids over and I don’t like my kids going over to other birthday parties. I had a friend that changed the birthday party as a service project. They tied a quilt and took it to a shelter. They collected toys for the nursery.
On special birthdays you can say we will have a ‘friend’ party as a rite of passage.
I have a chair back cover that goes over the back of the chair. During the day everyone writes a note to the bi
rthday person and put it in the pocket of the chair. We would read those at the party. If they got a gift from someone they had to say, “I love (the person giving the gift) because….”
Sometimes in our busy lives Mom buys the gifts and then the kids pick which present they want to give to the person. When we buy the gifts because our kids are busy they aren’t thinking about the person.
Let them do ‘pay’ jobs to earn the money and then take them to the Dollar Store. Do this a few weeks in advance.
There is a birthday paper that the kids had to fill out about their favorite things. It was a brief history of each year. They love to look back at it.
Class member: The only thing I can remember is that my Mom gave us a ‘purity’ ring on their 18th birthday. I write my kids a letter about special things they did that year. My plan is to give it to them on the purity ring on their 18th birthday.
Does that person feel really important?
Class member: I go to these parties that everything is so coordinated. I finally decided to let my kids decorate their own birthday cakes.
Special “love” posters between kids.
Dear Lucy---Letter about Santa
#3 Post a ‘tradition’ to the website. http://www.carleentanner.com/traditions.html (Submit it on the form at this link). You can then look at other traditions that people have submitted in previous years.
What did you learn? What did you think about? What did you decide?
Class member: I was thinking about our Thanksgiving & Christmas traditions. We always spend Thanksgiving with my in-laws and Christmas is our family. My Mom spends Christmas Eve at my house. I rarely get her alone. Both of my kids said their favorites are Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Class member: One thing I loved about Tracy, was that you were ‘real’. You weren't perfect.
Class member: It gave me a pretty big boost because you weren’t always perfect. I felt like it wasn’t too late. I felt like I could actually change things.
It’s never too late. You can teach principles. It doesn’t mean I can live them. It just means they are true. Sometimes I didn’t do really well. If I bear you my testimony you aren’t going to always say, “Sister Tanner says that the gospel is true.” It needs to become yours.
Class member: I told my husband about the home teaching. This young man goes all the time…every Sunday and during the week. We should be thankful for what we have. 12 families to visit is a lot.
Class member: The thing I liked was talking about regular every day things we do that are traditions. When I drop my kids off to school they have to come up with an adjective for the day…”Marvelous Monday”, “Thrilling Thursday”. Now the carpool kids are getting involved in it too. It was a good reminder that these little quirks are traditions that the kids love. It’s ok to be a cheesy mom.
It will be their memory.
Class member: One of the ladies talked about their tradition of going over the apostles and learning about them. It becomes ‘their’ apostle because they know who they are.
You could have the kids do a report on whichever apostle they choose. It sticks a little better if they have to look it up and teach it to the family.
Tell me about General Conference…
Class member: The class before you had shared to get an Ensign from Conference for each of the kids. Then one of the talks was about the Hiawatha Tunnel. We took our kids there this summer. I’m so excited to get those individual copies for the kids.
Be sure on the front you put their names.
Class member: You told us to write down questions and listen for the answers. So I did that with my kids too. My oldest is 7. We had some serious ones. My 7 year old wants to see if “hell” is a real place. After each speaker and each session we asked…”Did you find the answer to your question?” I have a folder for each of them.
Class member: We made it all 4 sessions with binder activities.
Class member: We’ve done Conference Bingo for years. This year I decided to change the tradition a little. This time I had the treat associated with a word from their question. I loved that I wasn’t being interrupted. You go get the ones you heard during the song or at the end. It made it a lot nicer for me. They enjoyed it too.
Then what? Then what are you going to do?
Class member: I didn’t realize that the Conference traditions really sat with them. The Wednesday before Conference my 11 year old came to me. It was so exciting to him that he wanted to invite our neighbors. They aren’t LDS. They said they would love to. They came on Sunday morning. We did the tradition that he knew. They came. It was a great session. Their kids were younger. My son makes a big nest and plays legos in his nest. The 2 friends jumped in the nest and played with him. Your question “What then…” what then do we do with our neighbor. For our family it is to keep this family engaged in Christ.
Class member: They gave so many things to apply right then…Ponderizing. That was a good take-away right then.
Yesterday I sent out emails to my three 14 year old grand-daughters. I said, this is my ponderizing scripture for the week, let me know what yours is. We will check back on Sunday. I'm trying to start a new tradition with them.
How many of you have your scriptures on the fridge? That was the first thing to write it down.
Class member: After we heard about ponderize I told my kids we should do that. Then the thought popped into my head that we have already been doing that since March. Our family is memorizing the Proclamation on the Family. We have been talking about it and discussing it since then. I told my family that we have already been doing this for 6+ months. That we were doing it right. The Proclamation is scripture from our living prophets today. We plan to keep going.
It is imperative that you pull things out from Conference and let us know that we are doing most things right, but we can improve on a few things too. It is critically important that you build them up and validate that they are doing a whole bunch right.
Class member: My 9 and 8 year old didn’t want the little ones around being noisy. They were taking notes word for word. She started getting a little teary eyed. When the Spirit enters the room she gets defensive. We were able to identify that it was the Spirit. Family Night came and my 8 year old wanted to share her testimony. My 9 year old said she didn’t want to share. I said You have a testimony of Conference. That is your testimony by taking notes. The actions you are taking is your testimony that you love Conference. Her actions were her testimony.
What lesson is that a perfect example of? Helping your children understand, recognize, and feel comfortable with it.
You as Mom’s are doing so many things right of yourselves.
MORE TRADITIONS THAT HAVE BEEN SUBMITTED....
(Sara) One of our assignments was to ask our kids what their favorite traditions were. Every Christmas Eve we do a "Shepherd's supper". We sit on a blanket in the living room and have simple things to eat that the Shepherd's could have eaten back when Jesus was born. 2 of my kids told us that this was their favorite. I was surprised. They used to complain about it. But with persistence it became one of their favorites!
Write down 2 favorite traditions. These can be VERY simple. One can be a holiday. The other a non-holiday. All of the best ideas are shared. If we don’t have time to share at the end we will post them to the blog to share.
Family traditions define us. They make us feel a part of something. I think about how I was raised and then I think about how I was raised. We were raised camping. We were backpackers. We always worked on the subdivision, we hunted, and we backpacked. My mother did not going backpacking with us. We were all required to take hunter’s ed. My Dad put all our names in for the draw. If your name was in for the draw and it was drawn you went.
We lived where my Dad’s parents lived. They were non-tradition people. They were late. Tanner’s were late to everything! It was supposed to start at 6 and it was 8 and nothing happened. My Mom was livid. She bowed out and said I will not do that anymore. My Dad was not involved in the tradition process nor the parenting process. He was a master parent for teenagers. He did the work and play traditions.
I remember when I was about 10 my Mom starting ‘this’ and beginning to change. She didn’t do logical consequences. She was a yeller. I remember as things began to change. As I watched her determine what she wanted to do in our home the husband was 100% supportive, but not involved.
I married a guy that came from a divorced family and his Dad was not in the home. My thought process is…I’ll be able to do what I want as I parent because that is what I saw. I have a husband that really wanted to share input. I didn’t know what that looked like. I had to really change my philosophy because in our family the Dad wanted to have input.
When you get married and you unite those parenting styles and traditions. A lot of times you create your own. Sometimes we hold on to ones we like. We need to create some of our own that create us as a family.
I wanted some of the same ones I had growing up. I wanted backpacking. I had 3 boys, but my husband didn’t have that father-figure and backpacking wasn’t his thing. He liked it but it wasn’t a natural thing for him. You have to create your own. It doesn’t matter what it is, but that you do something.
President James Faust said,
Sometimes traditions are intentional and sometimes they just happen.
Don’t let traditions just create busyness for you. They need to bind you together
Traditions are important to defining us as a unit.
If there is nothing that makes your kids feel part of your family or that you belong they are going to go find it somewhere else…another family, friends doing things you don’t like (but they feel loved and accepted). They are going to find a place to feel included.
In the scriptures the Lamanites talk about the wicked/foolish traditions of our fathers. Do we have any of those in our family?
Class member: My father would say…”You kids…” things he would say when he got mad.
Swearing is a tradition that kids hear and grow up with.
Class member: I was raised on a farm and some of that language wasn’t brutally bad. But those things that are common, but not good in another family environment.
When you get into society those things defined you.
Everything we do teaches things.
One of the traditions I saw in the Stake Young Womens. We had 4 girls that got married out of the temple. We went and visited with them. They said, “You are always saying how important it is to get married in the temple, but my parents never go to the temple.”
Are we creating foolish traditions when we say, “I need to go visiting teaching/home teaching the last day of the month.” What kind of traditions are we teaching our kids after we come home from church on Sunday and talk.
Class member: The envy and having bad feelings about someone that is doing good things. You need to be happy for everyone. Make everything a learning experience instead of tearing others down.
There are so many things that create habits and traditions in our home. How often do you smile in your home? Are you optimistic or pessimistic? Be careful what you are teaching. Do we have a tradition of being Scouters? Paying tithing? Serving without complaining? Going to Relief Society Meetings? FHE? Scriptures? Mutual?
4 kinds of family traditions….
Something that happens everyday. How do you greet your kids when they come home from school everyday? I used to send the kids to watch at the window and greet Dad. That was one of my husbands favorite thing.
What do you do at bedtime? My Mom will talk about how bedtime should be the best time of the day. It’s never the best time of the day for me. I’m done with kids. I love you, goodnight. Don’t mess with.
Everytime when we came home from school my Mom would be in her sewing room, reading her scriptures, listening to elevator music. What are you doing when your kids come home from school?
We live in a different world. It doesn’t hurt that we grew up clear out away from neighbors. Now we are all really close together.
One of my brothers would eat all the butter right off the top.
I work on smiling more. I’m happy, but I don’t just smile. One of my sons Spencer, my oldest boy, would say, “What’s wrong?” Nothing. Because I wasn’t wearing a smile he thought something was wrong. I have had to really work on it. He is now on a mission. He is the same way. He feels like something is wrong if you don’t smile.
Family prayer…do you have it morning and night. We would have family prayer at dinner time. We would kneel at our chairs. Every night that was family prayer.
Family Home Evening---weekly. Do you do it? I think FHE are really important. We talked about getting a cell phone in case I had to contact him on campus. Now you guys can do FHE at the click of a button. You can get ideas so quickly. I have a historical collection of FHE books. Let your kids use those tools to teach FHE.
Rites of Passage—When do you get your ears pierced? When is your bedtime? Do you let them date before they are 16?
Class member: I work with the YW and a Mom called and said my daughter will be 11 in 2 days. Can she come early?
Wall of Fame---She had pictures down the hall. She had our baby pictures on one wall. She had lots of pictures of things we were doing.
My daughter saw my YW Medallion. It has her senior picture with a drape. Her daughter said, “Mom why are you dressed immodestly?” I have never hung it on my wall.
Everyone had pictures on the wall.
Each one of us fight over who was the favorite. Each of us truly believe we are the favorite. She has made each of us feel like the favorite. That is my Mom’s best accomplishment.
Missionary Plaques and Eagles….The first 2 got their Eagles and then the rest of the pictures were hung up with blank spaces for their pin and patch.
Backpacking, working on the subdivision, birthdays….unique to your family. Do you play music together?
Class member: When you were talking about mixing traditions in your family. My family bonded with video games. For them that is how they bonded. They talked while they bonded. Marrying into a family that did that was different. It’s hard for me to play a video game and make it bonding. You need to be open to their family traditions and make it work.
I have a girl, 3 boys, and 2 girls. You want them to play together. My kids play the Wii together. My big boys will play the Wii with his 2 younger sisters. The other thing I have had to allow in my home…my kids play dodgeball in the house. You know those squeegee water walls. They run through the house pelting each other with the balls. Don’t break something, but still do it. That doesn’t always look like what we think it will look like.
Family Reunions? Do you have them? Are you kids part of the planning of that?
Summer Vacations? Do you go to Grandma’s house every year?
We did BYU football games. That was something he could do with the boys. I ruined that one. I said, if you are going to spend 6 hours in the car with one son you are going to have the birds and the bees talk with them. Here is a list of things you will discuss. My oldest son came back and said I am never going back to another football game. It turned out to be a great experience.
How do you introduce that to your kids? One on one at an appropriate age. I took my girls overnight.
Some families go skiing, running, biking. Do some play things as well as some work things.
Class member: I went to St. George with my in-laws. My niece who is newly married into the family. My sister said you have to bring tennis shoes everywhere you go. I married into a bunch of runners, hikers, exercisers.
You learn very quickly what they do. When you visit as a family you fall back into that trend when you go visit home. My brothers still have wrestling matches on the floor because that’s what they did.
Do you play board games?
Family Service Projects---When you take a meal to someone. Do you get your kids involved? Let them see and feel joy in serving. I always make my kids do a once-a-week attendance…mowing lawns for service…not to be paid. My girls you want to learn to make bread. Who would you like to take it to this week?
We grew up by a church garden and we had to go weed regularly. You can do family search names and take them to the temple? What is the attitude during youth service projects? Help foster that in your home. You will probably not get that’s such a great idea, but at the end those are very tender memories for them.
My son has 9 home teaching families. I have been on my knees several times trying to decide if we should move. My boys having 9-14 people on a home teaching route is normal. My son goes home teaching every week. We have an assisted living place. He was so mad that they took this little lady off his route. He is still going to go every month.
Mission statements, family mottos, family cheers---It makes your kids feel like they belong.
Birthdays---My favorite holiday. I feel like birthdays are the one time you can make them feel like king or queen of the day. It becomes important for the other siblings to make them feel important and what they love about them. I made chair backs and place mats. When we were in college I wanted to make birthdays a big deal. For every birthday we are going to get 1 roll of crete paper and you have to use the whole roll. You do not have to do very much. Don’t feel like you have to do a ton of work.
Everybody writes a ‘love note’ and it goes in the back of the pocket of the chair for them to read at night.
My 17 year old son said his favorite is the birthday chair. You get their pillows and blanket of their bed. You decorate the recliner. That’s their birthday chair. The hard thing with kids when they get older. You don’t always celebrate their birthday on their birthday. My birthday chair isn’t done. My kids do that for each other.
Red plate, birthday table cloth. When we open the present we have to say what we love about that child. Birthday survey. It’s amazing to see how much they change over the year. It’s a great journaling tool.
Class member: I have a book that I trace their hand and their foot and write their stats in. I also write them a letter each year and put it in the book with it.
Class member: We do a ‘welcome to FHE’ and ‘are their any announcements?’ We have a family calendar planning on Sunday.
Class member: Weekly tradition…we do pizza and movie night with our family on Friday night. We did it randomly and was on bedrest for 4 months. We try and find something that my husband and I have both seen, but the girls haven’t seen.
Class member: We do first and last day of school pictures. I started making a little banner and balloons run through at the front door. We also have streamers and balloons on the garage door.
It doesn’t matter how old they get don’t think they out grow them. You had better do them.
Class member: Everyone says rose bud and thorn. Best part of the day and worst part of the day. This forces them to really think about the day. I want them to look for the good in the day.
We took our kids on a walk around the block. We put a candy in their mouth and a rock in their shoe. It was amazing how many complained about the rock even though the candy was there. It is all about what we focus on. We do that yearly.
Class member: When my daughter was a baby she was really fussy. I was trying to figure out how to calm myself down. I would start singing church songs. She is almost 4. My 17 month old boy and now my 4 year old does the singing. I always sing songs at bedtime.
Class member: My kiddos are happy kids. I’m not a smiler every time. They are happy and after school I ask them how things go. They always have an answer for the best time of the day. I have decided that there are hard parts and that they have to work hard. It is opposite for us. It’s hard, but not too hard. We want them to know they can do hard things.
Class member: Last year for Christmas we rotate through names. My brother got each of us our own bowl with a message from him in the bowl. “Sammy you made me want to have a baby.” One night I was dishing out chili and forgot to check which bowl belonged to who. Whoever’s bowl you have you get to say 3 nice things about the person.
We do Olympics. Nothing brings the Spirit for your country like overcoming hard things. We hang both flags…Olympic & US flag. We keep a metal count on our wall.
Class member: When you know people struggle or have losses you love them more. What happened at General Conference President Monson we saw it and we all felt it. I think the Lord showed us something and that helps us feel more love for him right now. In Priesthood he has stood strong the night before.
President Monson have a wheelchair just outside the door.
My children struggle with being cheerleaders for each other. We are jealous when others do something great. We need to teach them to see outside themselves.
We have ‘Stella’ for our reunion. Every 2 years we have this picture. It is such a homely picture. My brothers took a little picture of her in their pocket that was their girlfriend. Every reunion you have to submit your embarrassing moment. Stella has to hang in a place where everyone can see her for 2 years.
My Dad got her because they have goat heads everywhere. He was using round up. It got clogged. He took the tip off and started siphoning it. 2 days later he had sores all over in his mouth. He has “Stella” for this next 2 years.
My Mom is a decorator. Keep it simple. Teach your kids to be grateful. What has happened in this room that we are thankful for. Decorate for holidays. It makes them feel like they are important things.
Patch Adams “Perhaps we expect too much from holidays and not enough from everyday life.”
I have a brother that has a ‘what I don’t know’. You can celebrate every day of the year. He looks for reasons to be happy.
Class member: When I was growing up my Mom & Dad had huge family get together. My parents split and divorced and my new Mom’s family it was a big deal, but everyone was LDS. I got married and my husband’s family does nothing. I thought we should do something. I do not let my little kids stay up until midnight. We start at 5pm. They pop a balloon every 30 minutes and it’s an activity or treat for every hour until midnight, but they don’t stay up until midnight.
Class member: The adults get together and play card games. We let the kids run amok.
We stay up way past when we should. We eat so much junk and then the next day we set goals.
Focus on goals! This is a great time to start. Be finishers. Follow up with your kids. Check back in April and October. We have boxes with our kids names on them. We have a date that we check in the box and see what they have done. Don’t be a teacher of goals and then never follow up.
My brother does birthday…what was your biggest accomplishment, what do you want to accomplish for this next birthday.
Class member: Between new years and Valentine’s we celebrated Ground hogs day. We have breakfast for dinner. We have sausage because it’s “Ground hog”.
Class member: It think it’s those that don’t have ‘expectations’.
I started making some kind of thing. Over Christmas break she spends the break writing down 14 things she loves about each of her kids. She cuts them off in strips and the 14 days leading up they get a new one each day.
We have always drawn names and do valentine’s for each other. Make them posters and present them. They hang in their room every month.
You can do a formal dinner.
St. Patricks Day…
Wear green, green breakfast
We need to teach our children to be grateful for them. We need to show our children that it’s a great opportunity to show them that it’s the best part of our life. Do something for your children to show that you are grateful to be a mother.
Class member: I have a Mother’s Day journal, but I have the kids come in and I ask them questions.
Class member: 4th of July is huge in my husband’s family. The 4 year old were up past midnight. There was candy everywhere. It was a week long celebration. It’s amazing how much they catch on.
Have your children research why we have that holiday.
We do Christmas calendars. We have to send pictures in every year. My Mom started this when my brothers were on missions.
Pick a family to do something anonymous. When we do a family my parents don’t give us the money. Something to wear, something to play with, and a treat. We had to earn the money ourselves. We had a FHE and go shopping and then come home and wrap. After dark Christmas Eve. It took us 1 ½ hours to set up at the front of the cul-de-sac. They had this porch that was the door. You opened the door and it was right there. We put all the presents on top of it. One of my brothers had to crawl under the trampoline and then book it out of there. By far these are the best Christmas’s.
If you want to really feel the season I challenge you to do something hard with an investment from them with time or money. Those feelings are so permanently ingrained in me it is forever what Christmas is about.
We do a nativity. We build a nativity with a different type of thing…legos, play dough, poster board, wood. We keep them up every year. We are doing a lego nativity. We will send each of our missionaries out of legos. We have done food nativities. Rock people one year.
We draw names. We write a love letter. We do Mr. Peeps. This is the first year that all my children know. It was heartbreaking for her. My 11 year old thinks it’s going to be the worst Christmas ever because there is no one to move it for.
Some people have a hard time feeling like they are lying to their kids about Santa.
The Truth About Santa
I feel that traditions are simple and powerful.
Priesthood Ordinations—pull your kids out of class to see them ordained.
We do mission books. We get to read letters from missionaries all the time. I expect a good letter from my kids. Don’t sound like you are on vacation. I was training them what a good letter is. We have these books that have their call. We print off the emails and it will be your journal.
We don’t have farewells anymore. What do you do to make them feel important?
How do you open their call?
You can have one recorded father’s day blessing. (per Boyd K Packer) We always did that the night before we got married.
You may need to simplify some of your traditions.
Have a birthday party for Joseph Smith! We are told he has done more for mankind save it be Jesus Christ yourself.
Class member: When our cycles hit for the very first time, it’s a horrible experience. What I wanted to do for my daughters I wanted it to be awesome. When you have your first period you get to celebrate “Woman’s Day”. We plan it and we make it big. The boys in the family don’t know what it means. After it was over we spent the whole month planning. We planned pedicures, manicures, and ate out twice that day. Now her little sister we talk about how she gets to have it. Only women get to go on this. Now my daughters get to have a beautiful experience that I wish I had.
We have a responsibility to teach our sons about respect for women and girls and teach them how to be aware of their feelings.
What does it mean to be part of our family? Help them feel like they belong. Help them feel like this is what this means. Work…church…are we helping them create good traditions or foolish traditions of our fathers. These are so important to help them feel like they belong. This is part of the fun part. Make it exciting and fun for them.
TRADITIONS SHARED IN CLASS....
(Jackie) We have conference feasts – all sorts of treats we don’t buy. Make Conference nests. Conference Bingo.
To see more traditions or submit your own...click here!
Here is a new Mother's Day Tradition I'm considering doing this year....http://www.carleentanner.com/mothers-day.html
Follow-up: Teaching Children to Feel The Spirit
View traditions others have shared...
Class member: We did a backwards Halloween. We did fondue pretzels and took them around the neighborhood. The kids were really excited.
Class member: I took the idea out of the syllabus about the Halloween Witch. The tooth fairy’s cousin. They have to leave money for the Halloween ghost to trade for a book. It’s like Christmas. They are excited.
Class member: My son is in the mission field. We decided that we will have a second tree and it will stay up and be the missionary tree.
Class member: Made ‘witch legs’ that the kids can move so it looks like she is sitting underneath something.
Class member: We made pillowcases for Halloween. I’m going to expand it and make them for all holidays.
Class member: We make a “Thankful” tree. We say best 3 things that happened for us for the day. We are going to take those things and cut handprints out of craft paper and those get to be the leaves for the tree.
Class member: My son gets a ‘gimme’ attitude. We put the focus on making the goodies and giving them away. We are putting the focus on giving rather than getting.
Make plates and give to firefighters on Halloween.
Class member: Our family has started the tradition of picking a country and doing International Night. We cook something, do a craft or activity, and play a game about that place. For England we had a tea party and made cardboard double decker buses.
Class member: I have a 6 year old. He was in charge of FHE. He wanted to bob for apples. We are going to every year for Halloween. In our kitchen in a canner.
Sister Tanner: We had our teenage boys bob for apples in the bathtub. We had fabulous family Halloween parties. I love the decorations of Halloween. We all got in our costumes. We pushed the table back and put a lantern in our dining room and told ‘modified’ scary stories. We had apple cider.
Class member: For St. Patricks day we do “Legend of the Leprechaun”. The night before they decorate a box and leave it in the moonlight. They have to follow the treasure map to get treasure in their box…lucky charms, green cups, green shirts.
Class member: Christmas tradition…started when I was a kid we woke up at 6am. We tried to open our bedroom doors and we couldn’t open them. All 3 of our doors were tied together shut. We had to figure out how to get out. Our parents door was open, but covered with butcher paper saying…go away. There was a trap. We had to work together to get through. One year everything was gone...tree, presents, everything. Parents left a ransom note. They had to do a lot of things to find the tree including climbing through their parents bedroom window to get to the presents.
Class member: This one is Groundhogs day. We always have ground hog on groundhog day. She put cloves in the link sausages for eyes. Make ‘groundhogs’.
Class member: Last year husband decided he wanted to have a family journal. Anyone that comes they can write a memory about their visit. We put pictures in it.
Class member: At Christmas time you challenged us to do something out of the ordinary. I have a friend that has foster children. She heads up those tree. We decided that we would do that as a family. We collected gifts for the foster kids. All my kids could think about is what those foster kids wanted. We had a goal to fill our truck. We took the cash people had given we bought toys and filled the back of our truck. We talked about the struggles that they have and how good it was to be a family. I have a 6 year old son who picked out a really cool bike for one little boy. He really wanted it for himself, but didn’t ask about it. All my kids could talk about was next year we are going to do it bigger and better. All year they are talking about what they can do with the foster kids.
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.