In society there is LOTS of competition. If someone things you are beautiful it’s because there are a lot of others that are homely. You see commercials on TV about losing weight, lose wrinkles, etc. All of these things are to make you better than someone else. It’s not to make you better, but it’s to make you better than someone else. In order for there to be a winner there has to be a loser.
Husbands usually more than Mom’s are wanting to get kids started in sports at age 4. What is the purpose of it? It’s because somewhere deep inside the parent says if you start at 4 when you are in high school you will be the star. You will be so good and everyone will want you on their team.
Kids go to school and get grades. Some child can read really well and who is the teachers pet. The one that can read. This is a natural part of this world. If you have been called as a 6 year old primary teacher. You are brand new and don’t know anyone. One is a little girl in a pretty dress, with cute hair and who are you drawn to?
I went to the grocery store and I have a very cute boy…drop dead gorgeous. I take him with me and people will say ‘He is so beautiful! He is such a good looking child!” They focus in on this child when you have 4-5 others in here. The others are feeling not adequate. Silence says that they aren’t adequate. None of this is intentional.
Our focus has to be “I mean….to build you up.” We have to change what is going through our brain. I mean to take you out of competition. They live in this world. They aren’t going to get out of it. In the business world it is merciless. We have to make home a very safe place! It needs to be a place to make them all equal. One does make me happy. One does make me mad. They are not the same, but they have to feel equal.
We have to figure out what this competition is and what it looks like in our home. What does it look like to have it gone and how do I get it gone. We have to understand it before I can help you get rid of it. This is a spiritual topic. It has to be felt. The Spirit has to teach it to get inside of you. You really need to get this vision. It’s very powerful with boys…it’s for girls too, but definitely girls.
4 Nephi 1:15-17
15 And it came to pass that there was no contention in the land, because of the love of God which did dwell in the hearts of the people.
16 And there were no envyings, nor strifes, nor tumults, nor whoredoms, nor lyings, nor murders, nor any manner of lasciviousness; and surely there could not be a happier people among all the people who had been created by the hand of God.
17 There were no robbers, nor murderers, neither were there Lamanites, nor any manner of -ites; but they were in one, the children of Christ, and heirs to the kingdom of God.
Take that verse and put it in your home and tell me what it means.
If I want to get the love of God into my children it comes from how they feel like you love them. If you correct everything they grow up not feeling like they are good enough. When we get older we feel like Heavenly Father feels the same way. Getting the love of God into the hearts of children is getting that into the heart of your children so they feel love.
Class member: I was always compared to my brother. Look what he can do. As I grew up I had this resentment and felt like I was a worthless child. After coming to your classes I know that I’m the one that has to begin to heal those deep wounds. I have to teach my children that I don’t love one of them better than the other one. It’s not that she hates me she just doesn’t know what to do. She is sick.
With this example and understanding what this would be like in your home. They all were happy and lived with everything in common. Listen to the verse about what happens….
4 Nephi 1:24-26
24 And now, in this two hundred and first year there began to be among them those who were lifted up in pride, such as the wearing of costly apparel, and all manner of fine pearls, and of the fine things of the world.
25 And from that time forth they did have their goods and their substance no more common among them.
26 And they began to be divided into classes; and they began to build up churches unto themselves to get gain, and began to deny the true church of Christ.
Now look at your kids. Are they divided into classes? Try to look at them 3rd person. Someone looking at your family. Do your children feel like life is not fair? You love someone more than someone else. Someone else gets more than someone else.
Example: One child shows you their project and the other 2 are saying look at mine. In their hearts they are saying if I can’t get you to interact with me then I’m not good
"Beware of Pride" President Ezra T. Benson April 1989
I think everyone of you need to read this once or twice a year. I think you need to memorize from it and know what it says. It’s the talk that President Ezra T. Benson. In this talk he talks about the Nephite people going through righteousness and wickedness.
3 times in the D&C he warns about pride. One of them being Emma in D&C 25.
"Pride is essentially competitive in nature."
"Beware of Pride" President Ezra T. Benson April 1989
That’s why it’s critical to get competition out of our home. Pride is the source.
Enmity towards God and our fellowmen is pride. Enmity means opposition.
- Fault finding---you to your children, your children to you (tattling)
- Back biting
- Living beyond our means
- Withholding gratitude or praise that could lift another.
- Selfishness—We think about it being ‘I want’, but this selfishness is not to gather possessions it is weighed on the scale of ‘How does it affect me?” Can you feed the missionaries tonight? How does it affect me? I’m sick and tired of picking up your coat. We aren’t training them we want them to fix it because it is affecting me.
- Self pity—children and adults
- Value the opinion of the world more than we value God’s opinion. It’s better to be popular among their peers. You give a really good lesson. You feel good about it. That’s the spirit telling you that you did great. Not one person comes up to you to tell you that you did a good job. By the time you get home you are beginning to question whether it was good. We become dependent on outside strokes to make us feel good. People pleasers fit in this category.
This is a sin that can be seen in others before it can be seen in yourself. We justify our indiscretions because we have a good reason.
Pride doesn’t accept counsel or correction well.
Those are all conditions of pride. As you look at your home do you have pride there? The question then is how do we get rid of it? We want to take it out of our home. Pride is competition. Our goal is take competition out of our home.
President Benson said the antidote (cure) for pride is humility.
How do you know if you are getting humble? The Savior was the most humble person on the earth. He was strong. It was righteous strength. For me, as I think about trying to teach humility, I think there are elements you need to plug in.
Just think for a moment, you are not allowed to feel bad about yourself. How often do we create an experience in our home that is creating competition?
Example: You have 2 children. One is involved in music, one in sports. Your husband is involved in sports. You support both kids…music recitals and games. ‘Oh you have a game this weekend? How many yards did you get last time? I love the tackle.” That is the conversation with your sports son. Now you go to the choir son. “Yep the whole family is going there to hear you. It was a really good choir.”
Do you see how your children are viewing that? Mom and Dad like you better (sports). Mom & Dad just come to mine because they have to. You are unconsciously putting them into competition. You are going to have to learn more about the choir and get involved. You have to talk to that child and ask questions. When you are involved you are saying “I care”. When we talk about equlatity it’s giving equal concern and support. You have to give the same time and energy.
Question: What about when the other kids are saying they don’t want to go?
Answer: You mirror the enthusiasm you want them to learn. You can say “You bet! We are all going to this and we are all going to the football game on Friday night.” You haven’t distinguished one over the other.
Example: Whoever gets their jobs done first….. Whoever gets good grades…. Whoever gets dressed for bed first….
You are using the wrong words and need to use the right words to build them. When we take our kids out of competition they stop fighting as much. We fill both emotional bank accounts. Use praise & encouragement. Make them serve one another. You love whom your serve. Give them opportunities to feel the Spirit and serve ech other.
Question: We started something in FHE when we do family business…Does anyone have anything to celebrate or share this week? Did I institute competition?
Answer: No you didn’t do anything wrong. Be mindful of it. Generically speaking you have one child that does good things all the time. It because a toot my own horn thing. You have another child that may not be that outgoing. If you have one that is doing more than the other you need to create the balance. It would be better if you could say, “I want you to watch each other and tell us what you saw in your siblings that they did good.”
Ways to teach humility (Teaching them to live outside themselves)
Teaching gratitude is the process of giving them less and help them to earn things themselves. They will take better care of them.
Between now and Thanksgiving start writing something good. It’s just to retrain minds. In the beginning they will get stuck. You might have to help them. You need to find things you are thankful for. They will start looking for things. Before family prayer each night pause for a moment stop and say, “What can we thank Heavenly Father for?” They are noticing things to be thankful for. Try to have them not be repetitive.
Class member: We did something similar usually in our morning prayers. We have the kids think about….Does anyone have a game today? A test today? Something they are struggling with? They are looking outside yourself.
Class member: In the September issue called “1,000 things to be thankful for”
Our children look for the negative in the day. You need to encourage them to tell you all the things that went right. They need to learn to create a balance.
I challenge you to study the Atonement if you really want to learn gratitude.
2. Create win-win situations in your home.
Example: We are going bowling as a family. If we get 150 points as a family we all go to ice cream.
Example: When everyone gets ready for bed we will read a book.
Question: If one person can’t keep up with that situation is that creating competition?
Answer: If you get done with your part then we all go help the team. You will always have one that gets done faster than the other one.
Question: What if you have a 10 year old who chooses to wait and not do their job because they know you will have someone help them?
Answer: If it’s habitual then leave and say we will be back in an hour. I hope that you will make it next time. Create situations where he has to finish the job.
3. Use the language of love and respect.
Avoid sarcasm. Our children are raised on a this. Humor is a put down. You have the quickest come back and the nastiest things to say. We cannot have put downs in our home. They can’t belittle or make fun of family members. Some of us as parents are pretty sarcastic. We need to watch what we say. Help your children acknowledge when someone did something well.
Example: Each one of you…what did you like about this paper? You show the family the paper and have them validate one another.
They are raised on the thought that if they say something good about someone else then they aren’t good.
Question: When they do put down another person…when they say, “I’m never so good.”
Answer: Back them up…I know you are good, but what do you think is good here. Give them the opportunity. Encourage them to follow through. I learned that a long time ago…yes you did when you were in second grade.
Have them give encouragement to each other if they are in the same activities.
4. They need to serve one another.
We don’t want to teach our children to be helicopters for siblings, but they can serve each other in kindness. “Do you want me to help you clear off the table tonight?”
One family cut out handprints and left a “Helping Hand” when they helped someone.
Look at, ponder a major service project that your family can do at Christmas time for someone else. It’s service within the family.
It’s not to be paid. Babysitting for someone going to the temple. Our children need to be taught that they are not paid for everything. You do it because someone else needs something.
Teach them to write thank you notes. They need to send hand written notes. They should send notes of appreciation. They should send a note to Primary or YW leaders, to bishop, to grandparents. It’s teaching them to appreciate.
Have one a month have a family hero…pick out an ancestor, study their life, put up a picture, character traits…look at other people and gain positive attributes. We are allowing ourselves to learn and grow from them.
If you have teenagers and have someone outstanding in the ward talk about their good characteristics…pull it out and seek to put it in their lives.
You mothers have to change the way you allow yourselves to be served. Accepting service is not very comfortable for you. When someone wants to come in and serve you, you will say “I’m good.” You deny someone else the opportunity to grow. Your gift to them is a grateful heart.
Example: What can we do to help you? I’m fine. We are good. What an opportunity lost. They had meals brought in 2 nights. She had someone in the ward that came up and said let me come clean your bathrooms. The lady said, “I’m coming to clean your bathrooms.”
What a gift of love, but it has to be received! We need to teach our children to be good receivers as well and doers.
Class member: A friend of mine did something that really touched me. I said to my kids “Someone did something for me today. It really touched me.” The kids need to see that it has an impact on your life.
5. Make use of PPI’s. Personal Progress interviews.
We sit down with our children and help them evaluate their personal progress. Help them set personal goals. They should do the talking. You should do the supporting. You may not use them for lecture series or corrections. They feel comfortable with you. They should start at age 2. It is time when you have one on one with them. A 2 year olds attention span is about 2 seconds. You hug them and tell them you appreciate them picking up the toys. You evaluate the things they are doing well. You should have a regular time (fast Sunday afternoon) to talk to you. It’s great when Dad’s do it. Dad won’t do it…you see if you can get him to do it with you. Don’t make it a guilt trip. It makes them start looking forward to it.
Help them set goals through asking questions. Help them keep them small enough so they are attainable. Small goals need to lead to big goals. We need to set goals and stick with them. That is where they can look at themselves and feel good about themselves because they accomplished something. They need to validate themselves from the inside out. It needs to be positive, return and report, set goals, & regular.
Help them evaluate….
- What did you think you did really well with this week?
- After working on this goal would you do something different?
- What did you learn from this experience?
- Let me tell you what I think you did really, really well….The way you called all the girls when you were organizing that activity was great.
Class member: Stephen Covey teaches one on one with each individual child. That has done more to fill their buckets. They get 2 hours. Pick 2 or 3 things that they want to do. Go to the park, go for ice cream, movie that the 15 year old wants to see.
When they each have their own one on one time they aren’t competing for your time and attention.
Class member: My husband is super busy. If he is going to run to the parts store and grab a kid to go with them. He’s starting to see that too. It can be just a couple minutes and it means the world to them. If you don’t start this time with them young they won’t be able to talk to you when they are older.
It takes them out of competition with each other.
Class member: 6 year old…driving to Horseshoe Bend….We talk about rivers bending. She says rivers don’t bend. Everything is a conflict. The competition is between us.
She is saying that she is the parent so she is right. It’s not about being right. We think it is. I am right and I’m going to teach you and you will do what I say. Does it matter that is where it came from? What do you think you would have called it? Start using questions rather than fighting. If you take the wind out of her sails you can disengage. It is hard!
"The Lesson: A Fable for Our Time" by Carol Lynn Pearson