The Boden catalog arrived this week, and it was on my floor as I walked around my bed to make it this morning. So I picked it up and flipped through it. There was a page with a very fit, young “mother” (at least she…
Month: July 2013
Julia made some fabulous breadsticks the other night! She found the recipe online and tried it out on us. We think they are as delicious as the real thing from the Pizza Factory restaurant! Way to go, Julia!
Here is the recipe for Skewered Breadsticks (aka Pizza Factory Breadsticks).
The other morning, Anna came into our room very early. She walked in and climbed into bed between us. Then, when we were both kneeling at separate sides of the bed saying our prayers, she whispered, “Is anyone done yet?” Whenever I can, I love…
It can be really frustrating to have a child disobey, but it wouldn’t be a typical motherhood without children disobeying at some point. What do we in our home when that happens?
Everything depends on the situation. There are so many good ways to teach children obedience. I have had a million experiences, I bet, by this point. And I’m not sure I’ve handled most of them very well! But sometimes it can help just to hear how one mother handles one situation just to get an idea of how you might. So here is just one example of how we handled one situation. (We’ll see if it was good later on down the road….)
We had a typical experience last night. Some of our children broke some family rules with regards to media use, honesty, and bedtime. The natural consequence was that those children and I didn’t get to bed until 1 am. Since I wake up naturally very early (sometimes 4 am, but thankfully today it was 5:30 am), getting to bed at 1 am is a bummer. For those children, it was also a bummer, since they still had to get up at 6:45 am.
Natural consequences are a welcome aid for teaching and learning obedience. But it can also be helpful in families to have other consequences as well to aid in “learning through experience the wisdom of being obedient” (President Monson, April 2013).
In our family, we have family rules, so this morning, one of the consequences I chose for our family was to review those family rules. After scripture study, I pulled out a recently revised edition (i.e. updated this morning!) of our family rules and we read aloud 1) WHY we have rules and why we have to obey them, and 2) WHAT our family rules are. (We talked about our consequences for disobedience but didn’t read over them.)
I know. Sounds like a rotten way to start the day. Actually, it wasn’t SO bad…
It was fast! It helped having had scriptures first, since we at least had felt the Spirit a little. And I wasn’t mad at them going into the review. (That was a miracle!)
After our little review, I had the children who had chosen to break the rules stay behind for 2 minutes after the other children went out of the room. I handed them a copy of President Monson’s talk and asked them to read it and share something from it with me later, whatever they felt inspired by, as well as one are they felt they could improve. We had a nice exchange, and we all were smiling and laughing together. Another miracle!
Today before scriptures, I carried out the other consequences that the children chose when they disobeyed: I disconnected the cord from the TV and put it in a locked spot to be returned in a few days. And I changed the children’s passwords on the computer so that media time will not be accessible today without my knowledge. In our home, loss of media privilege is the consequence for misuse of that privilege. (They all know that.) It makes my job harder, but I believe in consistency and consequences.
We’re a typical family with normal parents and children who are all still learning the value of obedience. Obedience isn’t valued at large in today’s society, but in our home, we know it is a critical element of a successful society, so we’re going to keep working on it.
My goal is to try to teach obedience not only through example, but as calmly and kindly as the Savior did when he was on earth. I’m still learning how to do that. I feel grateful for Heaven’s help when I try to do it. I need heaven’s help as I keep trying.
Happy Obedience Teaching,
P.S. Lane wasn’t mentioned in this story because he was out-of-town on business last night. Thankfully, he is back today! My heart goes out to all you single mothers who are trying to do all this teaching on your own. You are in a far more challenging circumstance than I!
P.S. At this point in my parenting experience, I know that simply reviewing rules doesn’t mean children are going to obey them. You have to review and review and review and review….But I have seen that having standards and teaching/reviewing them means that children are more apt to live up to them. Children, in their hearts, really do want to be good and happy, just like us as parents! When they learn that the two are inseparably connected, barring unusual circumstances, they will get there. I really believe that.
Figuring out how to make scripture study work in our family has been a process of re-creation. We’d try it one way, our children grew, we’d adapt to the growth, they’d grow again, we’d adapt again. The cycle has be re-worked so many times. We also had to adapt to take into account changing work, school, and sleep schedules. No easy task!
In the beginning, we started out reading from the Scripture Stories books.
(For more information about teaching children scriptures, go here.) Then at some point we moved to reading a verse out of the scriptures or helping them to read from the scriptures. When we got to the point where we had enough readers, we had each child read one or two verses. The children who didn’t know how to read repeated one verse after Mom or Dad read it, a couple words at a time, aloud. Then the beginning-reading child would sound out one or two or three of the first words in the verse and repeat the rest, until at some point they could sound out an entire verse. And so forth.
By the time everyone was in kindergarten or first grade, each child could typically read the scriptures aloud. Of course, there were always those weird names or difficult words that we helped them to sound out. But I have to say that daily family scripture study (and individual reading with Mom during the day) really is the reason each of our children became solidly good readers.
Now, since everyone is a reader and we’re in a different stage of life, our scripture study follows this pattern:
- We gather in the kitchen and ask someone to be the leader. (We use to have a schedule for that, but life changes so much, we just went to asking a child each day or doing it ourselves.)
- That person chooses a hymn, unless we’re singing the hymn-of-the-month that day. (I ask each child which hymn they’d like to learn and then put it together in a calendar of one hymn per month. We practice that hymn the first week of each month, and then randomly the other weeks.) We sing together.
- Daddy (or Nate, if Lane isn’t there, or Mom, if Nate’s gone, or the oldest child, if it gets to that point) asks someone to pray. We have an opening prayer.
- We recite the scripture memorization scriptures for that month (printed on the back of our scripture bookmark).
- We open up to where we are reading. The leader chooses who starts the reading and which direction the circle of reading will go. We each read two verses aloud. We don’t stop for questions (typically) or comments until everyone has read. Then the leader asks questions to get the discussion going. We help our younger children sometimes, but they have generally learned from participating what kinds of questions are helpful to discussion: What verse was important to you? Why do you think this verse said “_______?” How does this part apply to us now? What does this word mean? Why do you think this prophet said this? etc.
- The leader wraps up the discussion with his or her testimony or other closing thoughts.
- We all kneel down for family prayer.
The whole process can take as little as 5 minutes or extend to 30 minutes. 30 minutes is rarer because we are usually eating breakfast and hurrying off to school or Lane needs to be leaving for work. (We do scripture study in the morning because this is the time that, at this stage in our lives, we have been able to be the most consistent.)
I think this is my favorite way of doing scripture study because it allows for the most participation and more balance between parents and children. I also like this way because each child learns how to lead a group discussion and to think about what they are reading. The reason for the structure was an answer to prayer: consistent structure helps eliminate contention and confusion, which both are huge detractors to a quick and happy scripture study. It wasn’t very quick or very happy when we were arguing over who does what and when–a really common problem in large families, I think!
The biggest challenge of scripture study, of course, is being able to get sleepy teenagers to scripture study and then to inspire them to keep their eyes open.
Hmm. Still working on that.
The benefits of scripture study are many, and I’ll save that post for another day! Hope this post helped give you some ideas of how you might be able to have scripture study in your family.
Happy Scripture Study,
P.S. Here is a Pinterest page I found with a lot of great scripture study ideas on it! Here’s also a helpful website for scripture study we’ve used before when we set a goal to read a book in a specific amount of time: ldsscripturetools.com. Of course, the lds.org site has tons of ideas on how to make scripture study work for your family. Just google “lds.org family scripture study ideas.” The best idea about creating a family scripture study structure for your family I have is to pray and ask Heavenly Father to help you know how to create a successful scripture study time in your home. My best piece of advice is to remember that no scripture study system is perfect, so just start and keep trying to make it happen, and it will be a blessing no matter how unsuccessful it feels!