When we say ‘don’t slam the door’ we think they are hearing ‘close the door quietly’.
All of us are focused on the negatives not the positives.
You cannot build a positive if it is built on a negative!!
If you want to produce a positive family we have to teach and train in a positive way.
Think about these 5 questions….
- What do I want my family to look like?
- What things do I need to do to make that a reality?
- What things do I need to stop doing?
- How can I help my family become united in what we want to become?
- How can I help each member of the family feel important and needed?
Class member: Last night for FHE I asked my kids ‘if we were the best possible family what would we be.’ They kept saying all the things we needed to stop doing. I asked them what positive things we could do to help our family. We are going to pick something to work on each day. This week I think we should pick 1 act of service for each person in the family each day this week. It was hard to get them to not look at the negative and focus on the positive.
Class member: I have a friend who works in the prison with the hardened criminals. They do what they do because they don’t know what to do. They want a specific result, but they don’t know how to get that result. The criminals don’t like the response they get, but they don’t know what to do to get a different result. We need to fill them with what ‘to do’.
It’s interesting to watch how many times you are saying the negative instead of teaching them what we do want them to do.
Class member: I have a 7 yr old girl and 3 yr old son. They were playing well together and I felt like I needed to tell them they were doing the right thing.
We need to teach our children what they are doing right and how they need to be. Our children need to have the big vision to see what they are actually going for.
Mormonad “Without a Goal”
We have to develop a system in our home so they can see if they are improving and so we can see if they are improving.
Heavenly Father presented a plan. We had a vote on it. If we didn’t know what it was we couldn’t have made an opinion on it. Heavenly Father put that plan in order. Heavenly Father spiritually made the plan.
When you build a house there is a separate sheet for each thing…plot, foundation, electrical, framing, etc. The inspector checks to see that everything is right because the plans are on sight all the time. They can look at the work and make sure it is up to grade. If it isn’t right they red tag it and they have to fix it and have it reinspected before they can go forward with any other building.
Heavenly Father did that too. He created everything spiritually before he created them temporally. Heavenly Father is our prototype. We need to parent in a way that has never been seen before except in how our Heavenly Father has parented.
President Boyd K. Packer said…
“The ultimate purpose of the adversary, who has great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time is to disrupt, disturb, and to destroy the home and family. The family is safe within the Church. We are not in doubt as to the course we must follow. It was given in the beginning, and guidance from on high is renewed as need may be. The distance between the church and the world set on a course which we cannot follow will steadily increase. Some will fall away into apostasy, break their covenants, and replace the plan of redemption with their own rules.”
Ensign April 1994 “The Father and the Family”
Stop listening to the voice of the world. Satan has his voice everywhere. Just because someone in the church tells you it’s right you still need to receive the confirmation of the Holy Ghost to see if it’s right for your own family.
You have to stop being reactive parents. You have to create the plan you want in your home. This plan is based on positives not negative rules.
Spencer W. Kimball “Doctrinal Insights to the Book of Mormon”
“We must strive at times to focus on the basic purposes of the work so the mere busyness does not create the illusion that we are effective when we are not.”
Joseph B Wirthlin “Follow Me” April 2002
Sometimes we feel that the busier we are, the more important we are—as though our busyness defines our worth. Brothers and sisters, we can spend a lifetime whirling about at a feverish pace, checking off list after list of things that in the end really don’t matter.
You bond with who you spend your time with. If your kids are always gone from home then that is who they are bonding with. It is the Doctrine of the Family.
Organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing; and establish a house, even a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory, a house of order, a house of God;
What are the verbs? Organize, prepare, establish. Scriptures are given in a list. They are given in lists as to order of importance. The first verb is “Organize”. Usually we tend to just go establish. I’m just going to tell you what we are going to do. If you start backwards it will not work. You have to do it frontwards to make it work.
How do you organize something?
My daughter in law has everything color coordinated. She organizes things. Everything is folded nicely and neatly. Sometimes my organization and order are more general. The pot goes in the kitchen.
You can’t organize your family around your family plan if you don’t have a family plan. The goal “Get back to the Celestial Kingdom” so we will just obey all the commandments. We need to have something that we can build on that is very specific. It needs to be as specific as the house the plans. It has an action to it and we can see progress. You don’t get to be a dictator. The family needs to have input in what the house/family look like. We each put in our ideas and we create something for everyone. It’s not an event to come up with it. It’s a process.
Class member: When you build you have to build to the uniform code. The Lord tells us how to have the structure be strong. We have to keep going back to the code to see that we are building it right.
Take this question to your FHE. You need to ponder it before you take it to family counsel. So does your husband.
Why do you need a family mission statement? It becomes the visual. The mission statement includes 2 parts. 1st part is what do you want your family to look like? What do you want your family to be?
When my children were growing up I would ask them what it meant to be a Tanner? They would say we work hard, really hard, and it means that we are spiritual. It means we go on missions. We get our Eagle Scouts. It means we have a lot of fun on backpack trips. They had a vision of what it meant to be a Tanner.
Your children should be able to say…”This is what our family stands for!” It gives them a sense of belonging and purpose.
2nd part is “What do we have to do to make that happen”?
You have a list of nouns and a list of verbs. Then to make it a statement you mesh those two.
Example: With permission, President Cobb of the Kuna Idaho Stake Presidency shared his family statement and motto…
Family Statement: “Our home will be founded upon the principles of faith, prayer, order, respect, love and gratitude. As a family we will go to church together, have family home evening together, eat together, read scriptures together, work together, pray together, and play together. As we do these things, we will have a Christ-centered home where the Spirit is present.”
Family motto is: “Be there!”
It is a list of “to be’s” followed by the list of “to do’s”.
He shared that when his daughter went to college and called home feeling lonely, he counseled her to repeat their family mission statement each evening and she would feel more connected to them. She did and it worked.
As a family, come up with a mission statement. Copy it and post it in your home. Recite it together. You relate those things back to your family mission statements during FHE.
It’s fun to have a family motto. Something that is short.
Decisions determine destiny!
“And we lived after the manner of happiness”
We can do hard things.
Have a family cheer that you do after family prayer. It can be simple or it can be longer.
Class member: Whoever says the pray say together we ‘pray’ together we ‘play’ together and because of that we will ‘stay’ together.
If you have younger kids as they get older you can ask them if there is something missing or something you would like to add to it.
Class member: We have friends stay with us from out of town. Right after family prayer the family put their hands in and said…“We will do our part with a happy heart.”
These are ways to identify and see what it means to be in your family! That is what will bond them to your family. Our kids need to bond in the home and be strong together.
Class member: I read an article and it said if you don’t want your children to stray then teach them their family history. They don’t need to find it elsewhere.
Class member: What would you recommend for a blended family?
Leave out the name or hyphenate the name. Say “in our home” that means anyone that is in our home. It’s hard to help blended family come together. You can help them say “While I’m here within these walls” this is what our vision needs to be. They get to help create what that safe place will be.
Class member: Does it matter the ‘verbs’?
You can say “we are” that’s stronger, but you can say “we want to be” lets them ‘become’.
Class member: To sign our we have a picture of our hands ‘watermarked’ behind our family mission statement. I feel like I want it to expand outside the walls of our home when they leave for college. My husband wrote the family mission statement. We have had it every since them. It’s evolved, but when we ask our kids if they want to change it they don’t want to change anything. We have made a family symbol now.
Tracy (my daughter) he family uses the scripture “If all men were like unto Moroni the gates of hell…” (Alma 48:187 their motto is “Let’s shake some hell!”
We need to create a sense of order than comes from a set routine. You have to look at this as ‘how can I make it work’ instead of ‘it can’t work because…’. Some of you came in just frazzled and everyone is always needy. You take control. You are going to create order. I don’t mean be bossy and powerful. The Lord’s kingdom has order. You can’t get baptized when you are 7 ½. It’s very dependable and concise way.
As you establish order you will wipe out arguments along the way.
“Cease to be idle; cease to be unclean; cease to find fault one with another; cease to sleep longer than is needful; retire to thy bed early, that ye may not be weary; arise early, that your bodies and your minds may be invigorated.”
If you are weary it means you go to bed earlier. If you arise early your bodies and minds will be invigorated. General Authorities get up at 4am because that’s when their minds are invigorated.
What is your inventory on texting, Pinterest, Facebook, watching TV, videos, computer, novels? Idle time are things we choose to do sometimes that are unproductive. Everyone needs down time, but down time shouldn’t be wasted time. You can have down time and still do something uplifting. Spend 10 minutes in the scriptures before your kids get up. Try it for a week and see if it’s a different experience. It’s the principle of you taking control instead of just reacting.
Anytime there is change your family will complain. They like what’s familiar and they like what is easy. Incorporate their help if they are older to establish the routine. There is no right way.
Class member: I have a testimony of getting up early. It changed my day in a big way. My 9 year old got up earlier. He does his homework and chores before school. Even after school was so much easier.
Little people need to ‘see’ it. Make a list or a chart.
Example: They need a time to get up. Greet them dressed.
We learn to love who we serve. The bond between the children will become greater.
Class member: I have a son that leaves at 6:30am. I have another son that leaves at 7:30pm and he thinks he should be able to sleep another hour. How do you get this to happen without creating more problems?
Take the 13 year old out for ice cream. Say, I know you have some problems with this. I can understand that. It’s got to be a challenge. I feel badly about that. What do you think we can do to make it different? It’s important to have family prayer in the morning. You being open to listen to him will change his heart faster. You can’t dictate, but you can solicit their help with solving the problem. Having scriptures is not the option. You need to have family prayer in the morning. Lay the doctrine on the table and then ask ‘How do you think the best way is to make it happen?’
Class member: What if you don’t have help from a spouse?
I didn’t. 10 years my husband was inactive. The key is you never ever criticize or condemn them to the children or to them. It has to be your gift to your children and your gift to your spouse. If you can do that and they don’t feel like you are nagging on them chances are they will turn around. It’s hard! It’s possible with the Lord.
You need to make part of your daily routine to SMILE! Smile at your children when they come home. Learn to smile. Tell your face that you are happy and thankful for your family. Make greeting them a habit. When they come home from school you go to the door. You greet them and touch them. ALWAYS!!! You meet at the cross roads. This is your children and your spouse. They need to know that you missed them and you want them there. There needs to be a physical touch and a smile.
Rites of Passage:
You start scouts, get baptized, start dating at a certain age. We have nothing in our society that says they are growing up except for a driver’s license. You only need a few of them and they need to be established in concrete! Be careful what your rites of passage are. They need to be sure!! The reason is you will make it for the first one and you want to give them that privilege a little bit early and it invalidates the first one. If you make them don’t break them.
Ideas: You establish your own because you have to enforce them.
Girls wearing makeup---If you establish the age of 13 and you have someone who is 12 and everyone at school is doing it. You say, “You can as soon as you are 13. We will go get some make up and learn how to put it on.”
If you allow make up on your girls please teach them how to put it on.
What age you get your ears pierced?
When you were allowed to not take a nap…. Once they went to school they got to not take naps.
At a certain age you can cook.
What happens by having a few. Then when the Lord says no dating until 16 they don’t push against it are less because they already understand rites of passage.
Once in a Lifetime Events:
You need to decide what do you want to do for high school graduation. What do you want to do before they open mission calls? Do you want to do something special the night before they leave for their mission? Do you do something special the night before they get married? Is there a special father’s blessing they need that night. What are you going to do when first babies are born in their families? They won’t forget. Make sure you do them.
- Family mission statement, motto, and cheer. Think about it. Start to move on it.
- Looking at weekly organization…examine how family prayer, family scriptures, and FHE are going and what you can do to improve them.
- Read one of two conference talks. Elder Larry Lawrence “Courageous Parenting” OR Elder Joe Christensen “Rearing Children in a Polluted Environment” Write the counsel given to parents in these talks.
- This coming Saturday is the Women’s session of General Conference. Between now and that session formalize a question that you would like to take about marriage, children, family or your own personal spirituality. If you do so prayerfully it will be answered. The Spirit will give you the answer if you go prepared.
I give homework because there is a difference between knowing and becoming. I want you to become different. That’s why you came to class. Every week I will give you homework. You can do it or not do it. If you want to enjoy the Spirit of the Lord helping you change you have to do something to be willing to have the Lord walk with you. He will empower you and will change your heart. You will be a different parent in 10 weeks than you are today. It will show the Lord you want to become. He will empower you to change.