Need to belong to the group
Need to feel of worth/be understood/feel like you are worthy
Need to feel your uniqueness is needed/you are appreciated for your uniqueness in the group.
How does encouragement help fill those needs?
Class member: You can fill them yourself instead of needing to get them from somewhere else.
We are trying to create that fountain from inside to tell you that you are good enough and am I still part of the group. When we use encouragement we are trying to create within ourselves the feeling of worth. That is the principle of Divine Nature/I am a Child of God.
When these needs are not met it creates contention. If you praise instead of encourage the children are comparing themselves to each other. It’s all ‘what about me?” We have to create this experience that it’s about others and I’m safe with that. I am having my basic needs met so I can reach out.
Taking our families out of competition! If there were men in this class they would be on edge. Men think competition is good. Competition has a place. For men in the business world it can be motivating. When we are competing with each other in our families it’s not good. Competition between siblings or husband/wife it’s not good. Women will say I’m not in competition with my spouse. How often do you think “I parent better than he does.” How often do you think, “You can do FHE better.”
Everything in your child’s world is competitive. The world treats your children like a pendulum. On one end it’s competitive. You try out for the ball team and don’t get it. The teacher puts a chart on the wall and you see where you are in comparison. There are so many things in school in the world that they function in that’s competitive.
Who is the most popular? The skinniest, smartest, most athletic. You know who the cheerleader is. You know who the football captain is. They feel that. There is a social structure out there based on competition. This is based on product…Praise. You are the best and you are the best.
The other end of the pendulum is “No child left behind”. Everyone on the team gets the trophy. You just have to come you don’t have to play well. You don’t have to do anything and you are getting a trophy because you are alive…You are nothing and you are the best.
Do you see the 2 ends that our children are living with?
One creates quitters and a huge sense of entitlement. You went to school, ate breakfast, and came home. You’ve had such a hard day so you don’t need to anything. You don’t have to do anything and you are wonderful.
The other side creates a picture that if they are not genetically they are the most beautiful. They didn’t do anything to be beautiful. You have some kids that work just as hard in athletics and they won’t be as good because they weren’t blessed with the genetics.
Both ends create the feeling of not having worth or being part of the group.
You have a child that puts forth effort and work hard, but they aren’t taking the college classes. How does that child feel? They feel like who is of worth. The smart kids are of worth and I’m not. They feel like they need to tear down the smart kids to make myself feel better. “They are just brown nosing the teacher.” We need to feel value.
Class member: The girls that are really good we would rip apart…”Oh she is Molly Mormon.”
Let’s bring it into home.
Example…You have 3 sons. You married an athletic man. One of your sons genetically is big and buff and athletic. He loves football and is the star. The other son inherited a gorgeous voice and sings and is in choir. That Dad starts talking about everything in football and their stats. They talk it up. That’s good for Dad and son to share something. Choir concert comes up. Dad says…Ok when is your concert? Where is it at? Ok we will go. The boys are saying “Dad likes you better than me.” That’s probably not truth.
Truth does not matter. Their perceived truth is their truth!
Even though you say we love all of you. They perceive that you are more excited about one thing rather than the other they feel one is more loved than the other. We have created competition.
What if you say to your little people…Let’s see who can get dressed first. Generically speaking you will have one child that is quick to obey and you will have a happy dawdler. You have created the winner and the loser. The same child wins everytime. As this is repeated you create that feeling in children that I’m better than you are. How come they are always so slow? “We are always waiting for Jamie. Can’t you hurry? Let’s see if it can be you tonight.”
We need to learn how to be interested no matter what. It’s not about us. It’s about them.
Experience: Spencer was the football star. Carson was very musical. They were equally fabulous in their own rights. There wasn’t competition in their home. They are standing in the hall and talking to a Young Men leader. This good intentioned Young Men leader says “If you were old enough to date which one would you want to go out with. Spencer the football star or Carson with the music.” No one wanted to answer. It was good intentional, but the competition was created there.
We have to stop putting our kids in competition. That competition is the heart of contention.
In the Book of Mormon after the Savior came there was a period of peace because there were no ‘-ites’. Equality breeds peace. Inequality breeds contention. That is the circle of pride.
The key is to take them out of competition that will take them out of contention.
Ezra Taft Benson’s “Beware of Pride”
You should read this once a year. You need to read it often. President Benson said this is the universal sin. We all suffer it. This sin you see in others but you don’t see in yourself.
Class member: We were talking in Hebrews that was over and over is ‘harden not your hearts’. When I think of hard hearts she pointed out that we put a wall around our heart to protect it because we were hurt.
That heart is shut off for one reason or another.
Do you see any of these attributes in your home? Attributes of pride (Syllabus pg 47)
“Another major portion of this very prevalent sin of pride is enmity toward our fellowmen. We are tempted daily to elevate ourselves above others and diminish them. (See Hel. 6:17; D&C 58:41.)
The proud make every man their adversary by pitting their intellects, opinions, works, wealth, talents, or any other worldly measuring device against others. In the words of C. S. Lewis: “Pride gets no pleasure out of having something, only out of having more of it than the next man. … It is the comparison that makes you proud: the pleasure of being above the rest. Once the element of competition has gone, pride has gone.” (Mere Christianity, New York: Macmillan, 1952, pp. 109–10.)”
We are going to try to change the percentages of the pride.
What do you think tattling is? It is pride. I am going to tattle so you think I’m good and they are bad. This is what pride looks like on a tiny little level.
Class member: My kids handle things themselves…physically…I kind of enjoy it that way because I don’t like the tattling thing. My husband tells them to come tell us when something is wrong.
There are 2 options for having them come tell us. One is teaching (discipline). I want you to come tell me so we can problem solve and teach you how to do it in the correct way. Two is the tattling. I as the adult will intervene and solve what’s wrong. Is it bad for them to tell you what is wrong? Not if you use it to teach.
“Before you tell me what they did I want you to tell me 3 good things about them.” You are trying to change the mindset. You must tell me your part in it not just his. You walk them through and teach them to resolve. “You can’t say the same things you said before.” Take them out of competition.
Class member: I am dealing with this with my youngest coming home and telling me what everyone at school tells me what to do. She is always telling me everything that is wrong. It’s what they see around us. What we do sitting in sacrament meeting thinking that our kids would never do that.
You have to train and teach them to tell you 3 good things that students in your class specifically did. You are trying to help her look for the positives in students rather than the negatives.
Class member: I read an article about saying you should never force your children to say “I’m sorry in the moment.” It was more of a feeling.
That is in the discipline lesson…They have to get through anger before they can feel sorry. We will teach them to look at their feelings and how it creates feelings in others and how you take care of that.
Example…These 2 boys were fighting. They were 13 & 14 years old. They are fist fighting. She called her brother and took them out to their uncle’s back yard to dig out dandelions with a spoon. They can drink from the hose. They can’t come in the house for anything. They worked out in the hot sun in 100 degrees for 5 hours. They worked together and liked each other, but didn’t like Mom.
See if any of these things are in your children or you.
- Fault finding/critical
- Backbiting—it’s being sassy.It’s coming back with pin pricks.Mothers/wives will add a little prick at the end of something.
- Living beyond our means—coveting beyond our means.
- Withholding gratitude and praise that might lift another.We think someone is good, but we think we aren’t going to tell them because they are so stuck up.
- Being jealous of another’s…husband, car, hair, children,(“I wish…”)
- Selfishness---Is not just about wanting stuff.It’s taking everything and how it affects me.How come I’m the one that has to rake the leaves?How come I’m the only one that does the dishes?How come I have to give up what I want to watch for what you want to watch?It’s taking your personal temperature.
- Self pity—How come I have to do 4 and they only have to do 3.Mom’s are in that too. Women tend to emotionally hit self pity.
- We value the judgment of the world more than we value the words of the Lord.—How many of you know that they shouldn’t pair up until 16, but they ‘aren’t dating’.Whose judgment are they valuing more? I know I should keep the Sabbath day holy, but so and so is having a party.
Some of you are a big sucker for “It’s not fair!” How come they get to stay up? How come they get a new backpack and I don’t? That’s not fair!
The Lord does not treat us fairly he treats us ‘uniquely’ and treats us according to the needs we have.
A child wants to say you treat everyone the same. The Lord’s feeling of fair is I treat you uniquely. I see your needs and we meet your needs.
“When children compare themselves to each other they say they want equality.
2. If you have trouble with comparison then emphasis individuality. Don’t say “come on kids come and eat. Individually they contribute and are worthwhile. If you have ‘kid for a week’. One child gets ‘date night’ with Mom & Dad. Saturday is ‘date day’. You can individually tell them that they are important and they take turns. They learn that they are ok because it will be their turn soon.
3. Teach your children that you won’t even try to treat them the same. If a brother see the reward and wants it you can say the reward is for something in her life she is working on. Let me know what you want to work on and I will think of a reward for you as well.
4. “Everyone is doing it.” This is a way to manipulate you. Remind them that your child is different and has different values than their friends. As parents we decide what our rules are. Everyone else is not doing it.
They individually want to feel special. They really don’t want that item they want to feel special also. We have to take them out of competition.
Steps to Take Children Our of Pride
1. Teach children to be grateful.
Study the atonement. If you want to know how to come out of pride understand in great depth the Atonement.
2. Create win-win experiences.
“When everyone is down we will read a story.” When the first one comes down you can say “Do you want to go help?” This is creating a family team.
3. Use language of love and respect.
This is using please and thank you. It’s greeting them and saying hello and goodbye at the door. Watch how they joke with one another. Today it’s crude and put downs. The humor is at someone’s expense. They can still be using cruel words if they are not using crude words. Kids use “I’m just kidding”.
Class member: How do you stop that?
You teach that in FHE. You teach the principle. It’s all part of chastity….clean words and how you teach each other. You can have clean humor. They don’t realize it. If it’s at someone’s expense it’s not clean.
Avoid sarcasm. It’s cruel! Avoid labels and calling people names. You don’t know the heart of the other person. Those things don’t go away. No name calling. Don’t let them call each other names.
Be careful when your children want to give themselves nick names that are negative.
As you teach your children to pray for one another’s success they get out of competition. They don’t know what to pray about if you don’t talk about what you have going on with their lives for the day. We take each other’s trials and we carry them together rather than making fun of them. Teenage siblings make fun of the little sister with no friends.
5. Serve each other.
On a small scale it means having an older sibling read a story to the younger one. In my case it was having my older boys help the youngest with Math. Help them help each other. If you have one that’s more musical or more athletic have them help a younger child to teach them and work with them to become better.
There is no jealousy or competition. They come together and want to serve each other. You have to create that opportunity for that relationship to happen.
Have children write thank you notes. They need to do that service for others.
They need to serve each other and think outside themselves.
6. Use PPI’s.
To help them set goals. Our kids should compete against themselves. They set goals and then become better. They set a goal and become better. Your responsibility in this is to say, “How can I help you?” I think you did well on this, this, and this. You want them to plan it. Goal attaining is a step by step process. You are going to validate them. What if they decide they don’t want to do it anymore? They can change a goal. It’s ok to try several things. They need to give it a good effort. What about a sport they sign up for? They need to finish it because they were part of the team. If you see them habitually stopping and starting you need to take a goal and help them see it through to the end.
7. Have dinner together as a family.
Use that time to discuss good things. This is talk time. Have good communication during dinner time. You may have to have a jar of questions or play some kind of a game. You create the conversation. You want them all there to talk happy things together. Regularlly!
8. Encourage children to seek and verbalize good in peers.
You will have to ask them questions to help them validate it in someone else. This is contrary to pride. This is opposite of what Satan wants them to do.
9. You have to use positive discipline instead of punishment.
Punishment will put them in competition every time.
10. Teach them the doctrine behind contention.
Who is the source? Satan. 3 Nephi 11:29-30. Look it up in the topical guide.
Class member: My Mom would pull out Mosiah 24:14-15 when we were fighting.
The goal of the spirit of cooperation is…..
1. To be more interested in another’s welfare than your own.
2. To treat others about us with at least as much respect as we would like to receive.
3. Contention is often tied to too much concern about what we are doing.
Today’s lesson is not an event. It’s a process of becoming. In the gospel Adam and Eve when they were cast out in Moses we are told they were commanded to offer sacrifice. The first thing was the principle to obey. First principle is obedience. We tell ourselves (we contend with ourselves) that we will do or we will try. The second law was the law of sacrifice. He went and made sacrifices. He didn’t know why in the beginning….that’s the law of obedience. As you seek to take contention out of your home you may not totally understand it. Will you have to give up something to take contention out of your home? You have to change something in your to take this universal sin out of yourself and home. Next Adam was taught the gospel. In the law of the gospel we learn the ‘why’. We may have to start planting the seed before you feel the ‘why’. As we walk through this process consecration comes next. In the city of Enoch they were righteous because there was no contention. They were of one mind and one heart. The Lord has set the pattern.
Contention started in heaven between Satan wanting to be better than the Savior. He wanted the glory. He came to earth. Cain and Able…Cain didn’t want Able’s sacrifice to be better. What tool is Satan’s favorite tool to cause dissention…contention! If he can keep us in that fight we won’t become of one heart and one mind.
It begins with us. It’s a hard principle. As you seek to apply it your family will be blessed. You will feel the spirit of one-ness coming into your home and the fighting leaving as you seek over a process of time to implement this principle.