Finding Balance for Busy Families
By Alan on Apr 01 in Blog tagged activities, after-school, balance, busy, eating, Family, learning, options, over scheduling, parents, simpler, sleeping | Comments Off
Finding Balance for Busy Families
Kids have lots of options for activities these days, but an overscheduled child can go from busy to burned out in no time.
by Emily Graham
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It starts with the best of intentions. Your daughter excels at music, so you enroll her in piano lessons. The next year, she picks up the violin and joins the soccer team. She asks to join her friends in scouts, then wins a spot on the academic quiz team.
Family dinners become a thing of the past as you shuttle her from one activity to the next. Homework takes up the rest of the evening, leaving her little time to play or unwind. Mornings are frantic as she rushes to find homework, athletic gear, and sheet music before the school bus arrives.
You tell yourself it’s worth it to help her get into a good college. But no matter how much energy she has now, an overscheduled kid runs the risk of burnout by the time she’s ready for college.
“Sometimes we equate the number of activities with good parenting,” says Kathleen Kendall-Tackett, a University of New Hampshire psychologist who has authored books on parenting and home organization. “Colleges are looking for kids that are well-rounded, not manically overscheduled.”
The hectic pace is hard on parents, too. The pressure parents feel to maximize every opportunity for their children may leave moms and dads feeling inadequate and cause them to derive less satisfaction from parenting, the American Academy of Pediatrics has found.
By contrast, numerous studies have shown that families who eat dinner together report stronger relationships and better grades. According to a 2006 study by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University, kids and teens who eat dinner with their families at least five times a week have a much lower risk of substance abuse.
Weighing the Options
If your family is overscheduled, you can ease some of the pressure by finding ways to simplify your daily routine, whether it’s cutting back on extracurricular activities or getting more organized at home.
First, think about your attitude toward your child’s involvement in activities. Do you feel pressured by your peers to meet a certain level of participation? Do you push your children because you don’t want them to miss out on opportunities you didn’t have, even if they aren’t interested? The AAP urges parents to evaluate which activities are appropriate based on a child’s needs, skills, and temperament and to preserve time for children to play and hang out with family members.
Parents should listen carefully to what their children want to do and let them follow their passions rather than of imposing other expectations, says Mimi Doe, author of Busy but Balanced: Practical and Inspirational Ways To Create a Calmer, Closer Family. “For some kids, this pressure to get involved is coming from their parents rather than their desire to try things out,” she says. “They just said they like the piano, and you’re picturing them at Carnegie Hall.”
Instead of thinking about getting an advantage for your children in the college admissions process, she advises parents to focus on creating a manageable family schedule. When considering each activity, think about the time, cost, and transportation involved as well as how it will affect you and your kids. Consider setting limits on the number of activities each child can participate in before the school year starts. Many families limit each child to three activities—one artistic, one athletic, and one social.
Doe encourages families to create more balanced lives based on their own values. If parents feel it’s important to eat dinner together a few nights a week, arrange the schedule to try to make it happen. It’s important for parents to set predictable times that they’re available to listen to their children, she adds, whether it’s taking a walk together after dinner or talking for a few minutes before the kids go to bed.
“It’s really critical that before the school year begins, families consciously craft the best schedule for them,” Doe says. “You want to be proactive, not reactive to what comes home in the backpack.”
The Simpler Life
As you cut down on outside activities, set aside dedicate time for the family to be together. Taking a few minutes to relax after getting home can lower everyone’s stress levels and help family members to reconnect after a busy day, Kendall-Tackett says: “A lot of times, people get home and immediately dive into meal preparation, and it tends to be one of the worst hours of the day.”
Streamlining household routines can also make time at home more relaxed, she continues. (See “The Morning Rush” below for ideas to make your morning easier.) You don’t have to reorganize your whole house or overhaul your whole life. Keep spaces that you use every day, like the kitchen counter or home office, free of clutter. Focus your efforts on cleaning the areas in your house where things tend to gather, such as at the bottom and top of staircases or on the dinner table. Keep things where you use them so you don’t have to search the house just to find a pair of scissors. If you have to spend time rummaging through drawers looking for frequently used items, clean out the junk.
Once you create a pocket of organization in your house, it’s likely to spread, Kendall-Tackett says. “The goal is not to be hyperorganized for the sake of it, but to make it easier.”
Even with the best of intentions, though, changing the family dynamic takes time. Don’t expect to meet every goal right off the bat, especially regarding home organization. Kendall-Tackett and Doe both urge parents to let go of the idea of being a perfect parent and resist feeling guilty if the house is less than immaculate.
“Give yourself permission to step off the fast track,” Doe says, “trusting you’re giving [your children] the best gift: being present in their lives without being exhausted.”
The Morning Rush
Your morning routine can have a huge effect on how you feel the rest of the day. Instead of getting out of bed earlier to do everything, family psychologist Kathleen Kendall-Tackett recommends trying the following tips to save time.
After dinner, prep breakfast food and make lunches for the following day. Have your kids lay out their clothes before going to bed.
Avoid last-minute surprises by asking your kids what items they will need for the following day’s activities. Have them gather everything together in the evening.
Keep spare school supplies accessible and in a designated area.
Set aside an area for each family member to place items they will take to work or school the next day. Have children check that they have everything the night before so they’re not looking for lost homework in the morning.
Have healthy, self-serve food on hand for breakfast.
Organize bathroom drawers and cabinets so you don’t have to search for the items you use every day.
Is Your Family Overscheduled?
Organized activities can help children gain skills and self-confidence, but too much structured activity can contribute to anxiety, stress, and depression in children and cause kids to become self-critical perfectionists, reports a 2006 study by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
“You don’t get to know each other because there’s not time to just really be,” says family psychologist Kathleen Kendall-Tackett. “You’re just interacting between activities.”
Ask yourself these questions to help determine whether your family is overscheduled:
Do your children enjoy their extracurricular activities? Do you enjoy them?
What does the activity accomplish?
Is it being done out of habit?
Do you feel like your kids need to be in activities because everyone else is, too?
Do your kids spend so much time in activities that you don’t know what else is going on in their lives?
Emily Graham is a senior editor for School Family Media. She lives with her family in Oklahoma.
What Are You Watching And Putting In Your Mind?
By Alan on Jan 19 in Blog tagged abuse, child, children, conscience, evil, good, Jesus, media, mind, movies, parents, pornography, pray, responsible, scriptures, teach, time, train, TV | Comments Off
What Are You Watching And Putting In Your Mind?
When we are not doing what we know we ought to be doing and when we are not living the way we know we ought to live, we have a tendency to be unhappy. And make no mistake about it, we know when we are not doing what we ought to do because every one of us has a conscience. We are born with the Spirit of Christ, and we know instinctively what is right and what is wrong when it comes to our personal behavior. It offends that spirit when we allow ourselves and our values and standards to be manipulated by aesthetic propaganda in behalf of Satan’s lies.
Not all film or television or publishing or music is evil, because you and I both know that that is simply not true. There is much that is good in the media, and it can be a wondrous and marvelous thing and a blessing in our lives. But some of it is evil; there can be no other word to describe it.
In the media today, I think we would have to say that evil influence has a far more dominant influence than has the good.
We are in a war!
Our Heavenly Father and his beloved Son Jesus Christ have given a plan for us and our children, and we have the responsibility as parents and leaders to teach and protect all children throughout the world. Success will come as we become more expert and more able to harness the wonderful technology that the media has given to us and our families.
When we watch media we engrave certain thoughts on your minds and we carry it with us as we walk through life. Lets give the Lord equal time and share our thoughts, our time, our talent, and our attention. I know that we are all very busy with school and work and social responsibilities. This is a critical time in our lives when we are establishing a foundation for our families and our careers. There are many demands for our attention, and our time is limited by a wide variety of constraints. But as we learn to manage our time, be sure that we give the Lord His portion.
Establish a time and place to study the scriptures on a daily basis, even if it’s only for a few minutes at a time. Pray regularly. Serve others faithfully. Those of you who are beginning your families, start now–even when your children are infants–to spend meaningful time with your family at home where good lessons are taught and pleasant family activities are shared. In the great scheme of things, these things take so little time. But the long-term benefits to you and to your families are infinite and eternal, and they will do much to prepare you and your children for the steadily increasing challenges of the future.
These are the last days. As has been foretold by God’s holy prophets since the world began, they are challenging times, and they are going to become even more challenging. So wherein is our safety? Where is our peace? Where is our joy? Where is our inner security?
Safety, peace, joy, and security are found only in the life and mission of Jesus Christ, the Son of Almighty God. We must embrace His teachings, give up all of our sins, repent and do all that is in our power to do to come unto Him in a true spirit of discipleship, knowing perfectly well that it is through His grace that we are saved, even after all that we can do. And as we give ourselves to Christ, fully and completely, we find safety, peace, joy, and security in Him.
Does that mean we will not have turmoil or personal problems or sickness or family challenges or employment difficulties? Not at all. But it does mean that if our faith is anchored securely in our testimonies of Christ, we will be able to cope with whatever adversity comes our way, and we will be able to do so in a positive, faith-promoting manner. If we keep the eye of faith focused on Christ, we gain a broader view and an eternal perspective, and with that we can understand adversity from within the context of God’s eternal plan for all of His children. And we can find comfort in this life in the eternal safety, peace, joy, and security that He promises.
“Train up a child in the way he should go;
and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”
For The Family
Nathan Osmond Is In The Spotlight
By Alan on Nov 07 in Blog tagged Chistmas gift, example, fireside, Jsus, love, Nathan Osmond, Osmond, parents, talk | 1 Comment
Nathan Osmond Is In The Spotlight
In The Spotlight” is a fireside talk, which Nathan originally recorded for his parents as a Christmas gift. Nathan shares his love for his Savior, Jesus Christ and the importance of being a good example to others.
Living By Example
By Alan on Aug 19 in Blog tagged child, children, choices, example, Family, Jesus, love, parents, prayer, the way, work | Comments Off
“I’d rather SEE a sermon than hear one any day!
I’d rather one would WALK with me than merely point the way.
The Eye’s a better pupil, more willing than the ear.
Fine council is confusing but EXAMPLE always clear.
The BEST of all the preachers is the one who LIVES his creed.
For to see good put in action is what everybody needs!
Considering the attributes of Jesus Christ should quash the pride of the self-satisfied person who thinks he or she has no need to improve. Even the most humble person can take hope in the invitation to become like the Savior.
A song written for children captures how this can happen:
“I’m trying to be like Jesus; I’m following in his ways.
I’m trying to love as he did, in all that I do and say.
At times I am tempted to make a wrong choice,
But I try to listen as the still small voice whispers,
“Love one another as Jesus loves you.
Try to show kindness in all that you do.
Be gentle and loving in deed and in thought,
For these are the things Jesus taught.”
The Savior has prepared the way through His Atonement and His example. And even the children who sang that song knew how.
Love is the motivating principle by which the Lord leads us along the way towards becoming like Him, our perfect example. Our way of life, hour by hour, must be filled with the love of God and love for others. There is no surprise in that, since the Lord proclaimed those as the first and great commandments. It is love of God that will lead us to keep His commandments. And love of others is at the heart of our capacity to obey Him.
Just as Jesus used a child in His mortal ministry as an example for the people of the pure love they must and could have to be like Him, He has offered us the family as an example of an ideal setting in which we can learn how to love as He loves.
That is because the greatest joys and the greatest sorrows we experience are in family relationships. The joys come from putting the welfare of others above our own. That is what love is. And the sorrow comes primarily from selfishness, which is the absence of love. The ideal God holds for us is to form families in the way most likely to lead to happiness and away from sorrow. A man and a woman are to make sacred covenants that they will put the welfare and happiness of the other at the center of their lives. Children are to be born into a family where the parents hold the needs of children equal to their own in importance. And children are to love parents and each other.
My hope today is to suggest some choices which may seem difficult but that would assure you that you have qualified for there to be no empty chairs in your family in the world to come.
First, I give counsel to husbands and wives. Pray for the love which allows you to see the good in your companion. Pray for the love that makes weaknesses and mistakes seem small. Pray for the love to make your companion’s joy your own. Pray for the love to want to lessen the load and soften the sorrows of your companion.
I saw this in my parents’ marriage. In my mother’s final illness, the more uncomfortable she became, the more giving her comfort became the dominant intent of my father’s life. He asked that the hospital set up a bed in her room. He was determined to be there to be sure that she wanted for nothing. He walked the miles to work each morning and back to her side at night through those difficult times for her. I believe it was a gift from God to him that his power to love grew when it mattered so much to her. I think he was doing what Jesus would have done out of love.
Now I give counsel to the parents of a wandering child. The Savior is the perfect example of persisting in love. You remember His words of comfort to the people among the Nephites who had rejected His earlier invitation to come to Him. He spoke to the survivors of the destruction which came after His Crucifixion: “O ye house of Israel whom I have spared, how oft will I gather you as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, if ye will repent and return unto me with full purpose of heart.”
The story of the prodigal son gives us all hope. The prodigal remembered home, as will your children. They will feel your love drawing them back to you.
Pray for your careless and disobedient children; hold on to them with your faith. Hope on, trust on, till you see the salvation of God. You can pray for your children, love them, and reach out to them with confidence that Jesus reaches for them with you. When you keep trying, you are doing what Jesus does.
Now, here is my counsel to children. The Lord gave you a commandment with a promise: “Honor thy father and thy mother, that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.” It is the only one of the Ten Commandments with a promise. You may not have parents that are living. In some cases, you may not feel that your parents are worthy of the honor and respect of their children. You may not even have ever known them. But you owe them life. And in every case, even if your life is not lengthened, its quality will be improved simply by remembering your parents with honor.
For all of us it may be hard to see in our lives an increasing power to love and to see ourselves becoming more like the Savior, our perfect example. I wish to encourage you. You have had evidences that you are moving along the road to becoming more like Jesus. It will help to remember how you have felt, at times, like a little child, even in the midst of cares and trials. Think of those children singing the song. Think of the times you felt, perhaps recently, as those little children did singing, “I’m trying to be like Jesus; I’m following in his ways.” You will remember that Jesus asked His disciples to bring the children to Him and said, “Suffer the little children to come unto me, … for of such is the kingdom of God.” You have felt the peace of a pure little child at times when you have tried to be like Jesus.
You have felt it in your family when you asked the pardon of your spouse or forgave a child for some mistake or disobedience. These moments will come more often as you try to do the things you know Jesus would do. Because of His Atonement for you, your childlike obedience will bring a feeling of love of the Savior for you and your love for Him. That is one of the gifts that is promised to His faithful disciples. And this gift can come not only to you alone but also to the loving members of your family.
I hope you will go out today looking for opportunities to do as He did and to love as He loves. I can promise you the peace that you felt as a child will come to you often and it will linger with you. The promise is true that He made to His disciples: “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you.”
None of us is perfect yet. But we can have frequent assurance that we are following along the way. He leads us, and He beckons for us to follow Him.
HE IS THE WAY!
Henry B. Eyering
For The Family
How To Survive In Enemy Territory
By Alan on May 18 in Blog tagged act immorally, adversary, agency, Apostle, Atonement is like an eraser, be clean, Bod K. Packer, cheat, choose, communication with Heavenly Father, enemy territory, entertainment, entitlement, gender, guilt, Holy Ghost, How to survive in enemy territory, in homes, infiltrated the world, influence of God, Jesus Christ, language, lie, pain, parents, pornography, prayer, pre-marital sex, righteousness, same-sex marriage, scriptures daily, self-control, self-dicipline, spirit, steal, tatoos, teasing, temptation, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the media, think a prayer | Comments Off
How To Survive In Enemy Territory
You are growing up in enemy territory. When you become mature spiritually, you will understand how the adversary has infiltrated the world around you. He is in homes, entertainment, the media, language — everything around you. In most cases, his presence is undetected. Pornography is just one example.
There are things that are the most desirable and of the most worth that youth can do to stay strong, even in enemy territory.
For young men and young women the process is the same. Discovering how the Holy Ghost operates in your life is the quest of a lifetime. Once you have made that discovery for yourself, you can live in enemy territory and will not be deceived or destroyed. No one will ever make a serious mistake without first being warned by the promptings of the Holy Ghost.
It is through using the Holy Ghost as a guide and protective influence that individuals are able to do good and stay away from harm.
You can quickly learn to follow the promptings of the Holy Ghost. This power of revelation from the gift of the Holy Ghost operates on principles of righteousness.
The important role of righteousness is in keeping the lines of communication with the Spirit open.
You cannot lie or cheat or steal or act immorally and have those channels remain free from disruption. Do not go where the environment resists spiritual communication. You must learn to seek the power and direction that is available to you, and then follow that course no matter what.
Here is a “to do” list for the youth with things individuals can do in their lives to have the direction of the Spirit.
Most of the time, your prayers will be silent.
“You can think a prayer.”
Parents and teachers are oftentimes concerned about the day that their children or youth are left on their own. It is through understanding that the influence of God is always there, that youth are able to have extra strength in their lives.
Sometimes it is hard for young people to confide in their parents. You can always have a direct line of communication with your Father in Heaven. Do not allow the adversary to convince you that no one is listening on the other end. Your prayers are always heard. You are never alone!
Part of being clean is following the Word of Wisdom (no smoking, tea or coffee, drugs or stimulants) and taking care of one’s own body. It does not promise perfect health but that the spiritual receptors within you might be strengthened. Stay away from tattoos and similar things which deface your body. Do not do that which would dishonor yourself, your parents, or your Father in Heaven. Your body was created in His image.
Unworthy people can be uncomfortable in the presence of someone who is virtuous. You must not be embarrassed by the teasing they might get from others around them because, in the end, many will understand and respect them for their values.
Another important topic is that gender is set in the pre-mortal world.
You always have a choice to follow the promptings of the Holy Ghost and live a morally pure and chaste life, one filled with virtue. If you try to uphold and defend and live in a so-called pre-marital or same-sex marriage situation, God will not stand idle if you indulge in immoral activity. To permit such would be to make light of the very serious and sacred foundation of God-sanctioned marriage and its very purpose, the rearing of families.
Just as Adam and Eve had the ability to choose for themselves, so do individuals today.
You have that same agency. Use it wisely to deny acting on any impure impulse or unholy temptation that may come into your mind. Just do not go there, and if you are already there, come back out of it. ‘Deny yourselves of all ungodliness.’
Do not tamper with the life-giving powers in your body alone or with members of either gender. That is God’s standard, and it will not change. As you mature, there is a temptation to experiment or explore immoral activities. Do not do that!
Are you are doing all in your power to overcome immoral conduct, however difficult that may be?
The key word is discipline — self discipline. The word ‘discipline’ comes from the word ‘disciple’ or follower. Be a disciple/follower of the Savior, and you will be safe.”
If you are guilty of serious mistakes, it is “never too late, as you probably have been taught at home and in church about the Atonement of Jesus Christ.
The Atonement is like an eraser. It can wipe away guilt and the effect of whatever it is that is causing you to feel guilty. Guilt is spiritual pain. Do not suffer from chronic pain. Get rid of it. Be done with it. Repent, and, if necessary, repent again and again and again until you — not the enemy — are in charge of you.
Because life is a succession of trials and errors, it is important for all to repent often.
This will bring you lasting peace that cannot be purchased at any earthly price. Understanding the Atonement may be the one most important truth that you can learn in your youth.
If you are associating with others who drag you down instead of building you up, stop and change company. You may be alone and lonely at times. The important question may be asked then, ‘When you are alone, are you in good company?’ If you are doing something that you know is wrong, stop it. Stop it now.
Unwinding a habit that you have allowed to entangle you can be difficult. But the power is in you. Do not despair.
It is through choosing to repent that individuals are able to receive a testimony and know that the gospel of Jesus Christ is true.
You are not ordinary. You have a very special life. You are exceptional. You were born at a time and in a place where the gospel of Jesus Christ can come into your life through the teachings and activities in your home and the Church.
It is through doing what one knows to be right that individuals will bless their own lives, as well as their posterity.
Do not squander these years of your youth and religious instruction. Learn that which is of most worth. It will bless you and your posterity for many generations.”
We warn the youth about entitlement.
They expect that everything will be freely provided for them. If that pattern is in your thinking, get rid of it. If you want to be happy, you must pay the price through obedience. The restraints that you face against wrongdoing are an enormous protection for you.
Once individuals have self-control in their lives, they will not need to be told what to do all of the time, and will find their way and know where they fit in.
Some of you are floundering about and struggling to find what you will do. It does not really matter what you choose to do for a living. What matters most is what and who you will be. You have the guidelines to know that. Remember, the Spirit is always with you to teach you. Do not fear the future. Do not fear what is ahead. Go forward with hope and faith. Remember that supernal gift of the Holy Ghost. Learn to be taught by it. Learn to seek it. Learn to live by it. Learn to pray always in the name of Jesus Christ. The Spirit of the Lord will attend you, and you will be blessed. We have deep and profound faith in you.
The most important ‘great things’ are the great things that have happened in the lives of millions of students over the years as they have been willing to do some small things. Small things like attending class and studying the scriptures daily and then living the principles of the gospel in their daily lives. As they have done these small things, great things have been brought to pass in their lives.
From a talk by President Boyd K. Packer of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as he spoke to the youth of the Church.
“We invest in our youth. We know of your worth and potential. I speak as one who has seen the past and would prepare you for the future.”
Parents, Get Your Act Together – From Mayor Of Philly In Church
By Alan on Dec 16 in Blog tagged get your act together, kids off street, parents, pull your pants up | Comments Off
What’s on my mind?
“O be wise; what can I say more?” Jacob 6: 12
Parents Are Responsible To Teach Children About God
By Alan on Dec 04 in Blog tagged about God, baptism, be like Jesus, Book of Mormon, eternity, faith, family home evening, Fathers and Mothers, fight and quarrel, gospel learning, home, Jesus Christ, love one another, Obey the commandments, parents, sin be upon parents, teach their children, The Holy Ghost, understand repentance | Comments Off
Fathers and mothers are responsible to teach their children about God, their Heavenly Father . They should show by example that they love Him because they keep His commandments. They also need to be taught about Jesus Christ who is the Son of God and their Savior who gave His live for all mankind and makes it possible for all to live again.
Parents should also teach their children to pray and to obey the commandments. Inasmuch as parents have children that teach them not to understand the doctrine of repentance, faith in Christ the Son of the living God, and of baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands when eight years old, the sin be upon the heads of the parents.
As parents come to know God and strive to be like Him, they will teach children to love one another. In the Book of Mormon, King Benjamin explained: “Ye will not suffer your children … [to] fight and quarrel one with another.”
The home is the most important place for gospel learning. No other organization can take the place of the family. Spending time each week as a family in a family home evening together will help protect our families against the evils of our time and will bring us abundant joy now and throughout the eternities.
“Strengthening The Family – Spiritually”
Family Values: The Importance Of Strong Family Bonds
By Alan on Nov 17 in Blog tagged choices, cycle, dysfunctional family, Family, family values, Father, find refuge, Generation, hugs, important, influence, legacy, loved, meals together, molded, mother, parents, positive, potters clay, relationship, rituals, security, self-image, strong family, strong family bonds, The Family, values | Comments Off
As a potter molds clay to form a beautiful creation, so does the strong bond of family and good values. Family bonds are a link to our beginning and a guide to our future. Early influences are fundamental to our individual development.
We all want to “belong” and feel accepted. A sense of belonging is derived from the strong bond of family. Family is where our roots take hold and from there we grow. We are molded within a unit, which prepares us for what we will experience in the world and how we react to those experiences. Values are taught at an early age and are carried with us throughout our life.
A close family bond is like a safe harbor where we find refuge. From trusting that someone will pick us up when we fall, as a toddler, to someone being there for us as we experience the storms in life – family bonds help to instill trust and hope in the world around us and belief in ourselves. Rituals of bedtime stories, hugs, holidays and daily meals shared together, provide a sense of warmth, structure and safety. These rituals and traditions, not only create memories and leave a family legacy, but create our first path in life – one that is positive.
Our very spirit can either blossom or wither within the family unit. When we don’t have the security and influence of strong family bonds early in life, the ground work is laid for an emptiness, that is often sought to be filled, through destructive venues. If one isn’t loved as a child, they may later seek love and acceptance in a way that brings them harm. There is a deep yearning to fill that hollowness, residing in the heart and soul, from never knowing what it’s like to be loved, accepted and appreciated for “being”.
There can be long-term effects from living in a detached or dysfunctional family. The cycle is often repeated through generations. Children often grow up believing this dysfunctional unit is normal and they may gravitate toward people and situations that mimic the dysfunction they were accustomed to.
A healthy relationship won’t be easily recognized because it’s foreign to someone who hasn’t lived within a close and loving family. Often drug and alcohol abuse or domestic violence is repeated, whether by a learned behavior or an escape from behavior that was poured upon an innocent child.
A child may have poor self-image, isolating themselves from peers at school or holding anger and pain inside. This not only affects the emotional well-being, but also physical well-being. The poor self-image may be with them throughout life, causing an inability to make positive choices or be close to others. It’s hard to succeed in life when the core of your being has never been nurtured. Healthy development begins before we are born by the choice parents make for the path their children will follow.
Strong family bonds help us to thrive in all aspects of life. Lack of these bonds can lead to forever seeking that something which is missing. Don’t take the value of family bonds for granted. You can mold a beautiful creation for today and the generations that follow!
“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.“ Prov. 22: 6
We Encourage Families To Have Music In The Home.
By Alan on Jul 17 in Blog tagged career, church leaders, encourage, enjoy, Family, good music, hobby, love at home, music, parents, perform, risky, talent, teacher, we encourage Music in the home, work hard | 3 Comments
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The Osmond Boys First Television Show
(Because they love music.)
Many a young individual and families have come to me and my family, seeking advice as to whether they should pursue their musical talents towards a career. We get tapes and CD’s of new songs with the request: “Let me know what you think.” Some parents think that entertaining together is a good way to keep their family united and intact. A typical question from a caring parent would be, “My daughter or son, is very talented and wants to get into the entertainment business. What would you recommend?”
(Osmond Brothers with Father George. (1962) with (L) Jerry McPhie (NBC-TV) and (R) Val HIcks (Arranger)
After 50 years of performing, I probably would agree with my Grandfather Davis and recommend to that parent that you Don’t! My Grandfather saw us perform one night on the early Andy William’s TV Shows and said, “It looks to me like this is an easy way to make a hard living! And, it is.
I don’t want to discourage those who are gifted in the arts because the Lord loves music and dance. Our Church leaders like Elder Packer said, “We encourage parents to include musical training in the lives of their children.” He also said, “The Spirit of the Lord influences or is influenced by the art[s].”
Joseph F. Smith said, ”Everywhere we go among our people, we find sweet voices and talent for music. I believe that this is a manifestation to us of the purpose of the Lord in this direction toward our people, that they will excel in these things, as they should in every good thing.”
D&C 25:12 “My soul delighteth in the song of the heart; yeah, the song of the righteous is a prayer unto me, and it shall be answered with a blessing upon their heads.”
There are they who add a lot of joy in others lives because of sharing their talents. But, should they do it as a living?
Donny, Jimmy and Marie Osmond early days.
Seriously, don’t let your daughter or son go after the entertainment industry until you have prayed about it and you feel good about answering the following questions:
“What do you want to do with your talents?”
To be a teacher and share with others?
To just do it for the enjoyment and love of music? A Hobby?
To develop and launch a career?
To influence others with your talent and music messages?
Make sure of the reasons why you want to be an entertainer. Are you in it for the Money? Fame? Influence? To share your Talents? Feed Your ego?
Once that has been decided, it will be easier to make a recommendation. I would ask you to consider the risks that you will be taking as a family and the sacrifices that will be made in your family life. Are you willing to pay a price to achieve that success. What will you give up? What are the risks?
To Teach others - Music is a wonderful art. It is a “medium” that helps carry a message to the heart. It Inspires, enlightens the mind, heals infirmities, brings peace, and reminds the spirit self of sweet values, hope and courage. It builds confidence, opens up one’s creativity, It can enhance one’s I.Q., entertains others, is self fulfilling. Teaching others these crafts as a teacher can be an enjoyable effort and a fun job.
For The Enjoyment - As a Hobby? Yes, I love music. It is fun to do. Our Mother, Olive, taught us to read and play music and our Father taught us to sing.
There are few things that feel as good hearing someone else sing a song that you wrote. My brother Merrill & I remember how we felt when we were at a disco in Japan many years ago and we heard a Japanese group sing our song we wrote: “Down by the Lazy River”. We were even more excited to know that it was being done in a foreign language . . . They sang it a little differently though . . . They sang it as: “Down by the Razy Liver”!!! It was a great feeling to hear though!
If you want to perform music, do the best kind. I feel good when I perform the RIGHT kind of music. Notice I said right? The Wrong music can make one feel lousy.
Although much is said in the scriptures about praising the Lord with music, there must be discernment, since not all music is praiseworthy or suitable for worship. Laman, Lemuel, and the sons of Ishmael and their wives “began to make themselves merry, . . . to dance, and to sing, and to speak with much rudeness . . . ‘ (1 Nephi 18:9. )
And in the Old Testament Amos warned Israel that because of their wickedness the Lord did not want ‘the noise of thy songs,’ nor ‘the melody of thy viols.’ (Amos 5:23. See also Amos 6:1-6; Amos 8:3.).”
There are many references in the scriptures, both ancient and modern, that attest to the influence of righteous music. The Lord, Himself, was prepared for His greatest test through its influence, for the scripture records in Mark 14:26: ‘And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives.’
Our Apostle, Elder Packer said: “Parents ought to foster good music in the home.”
The First Presidency of our Church has said, “Music has boundless powers for moving families toward greater spirituality and devotion to the gospel. Latter-day Saints should fill their homes with the sound of worthy music.”
YES, Music is enjoyable and fulfilling. It has opened up opportunities for our family with memories that few get and that will never be forgotten. From this video that you watched, you can see that if you start your children at a young age, music will continue to be in their lives. They will find their voices and learn pitch and to be in tune. They will develop and become better mentally as music is very much mathematical.
Musical Note: ”Music is a lot like being spiritual. One has to really “listen” in order to be “in tune” and “in harmony” with one another musically, just as it is with the Lord and in listening to the voice of the Holy Spirit. “
For The Family
Developing Close Relationships With Our Teens.
By Alan on Mar 08 in Blog tagged be calm, caring, close, concerned, consistent, early years, honest, limits, open language, parents, praise, protect, relationships, supportive, teenagers, teens, watch | Comments Off
In an era of increased drug use, teenage pregnancy and youth suicide, it’s little wonder that most parents are very concerned about their teens. Very often they ask: “How can I protect my teens from these things?” An important key is to develop close, caring relationships with teenagers.
Teenagers who have close relationships with their parents are less likely to use drugs, abuse alcohol or become pregnant out of wedlock. These teens are more likely to adopt the beliefs and values of their parents. Teens who are close to their parents resist peer pressure better and are less likely to commit crimes.
How do we develop close relationships with our teens? Here are some ideas from experts in adolescent development.
Be honest. Adolescents are developing their thinking abilities. They want to know the reasons for everything, and they expect consistency from their parents. They are critical of the parent who is dishonest or two-faced.
Be open. Adolescents want to be able to talk with their parents, but they also need their privacy and independence. The adult-adolescent conversation needs to be two-sided, with both people sharing their thoughts and feelings. Adolescents want to know if, as adults, we are struggling over the same concerns they are. If we are doing most of the talking, we’re talking too much.
When it is your turn to speak, watch your language. Sometimes we talk to teens in ways that say “you would be OK if . . .” or “we will love you more if . . .”( . . . you go to church, clean your room, get good grades, etc.).
We order, warn, nag, threaten and preach to our teens to try to teach them to be more responsible and more sensible. However, this can backfire and actually encourage our teens to be less responsible and less sensible. Teens are more likely to be responsible and follow our wishes if they feel accepted. Speaking politely conveys acceptance. For example, we can say, “I’m sorry to interrupt you, but . . .” or “I realize you may not want to, but it would help me so much if . . .”
Also, catching teens doing the things we want and praising them for it fosters feelings of acceptance. For example, instead of praising them for “a nice report card”, say “You’ve done very well in art and science. You must really like those subjects.”
Be calm. Adolescents like to try out their arguing skills. If you get angry and yell or scream, this is an ideal time for them to practice. Avoid getting into power struggles and arguments with your adolescent. If you talk calmly, your child can see you as in control of the situation.
Set clear and consistent limits. Younger children abide by the rules set down by the parents just because they are rules. Adolescents are more likely to question the importance of the rule and why there has to be one at all. You should respect your child’s need to have the rule explained. Take time to explain why this rule is set and allow time for negotiation of certain rules such as curfew. However, don’t hesitate to say when something is not open to negotiation, such as riding in a car with kids who have been drinking or taking drugs.
Remember that growing up means becoming independent. In situations where your child’s well-being is not in danger, you may need to accept that your child makes choices you wouldn’t have made. Or that your child has behaved in ways that you don’t approve. That’s independence. Your child may temporarily dress weird or follow a strange hairstyle trend. Your teen is showing individualism and independence from you. Try to overlook some of the outside appearances and concentrate on the inner strengths of your teenager. When teens plan a party, leave the planning to them and don’t interfere unless asked or unless the plans become unacceptable to you.
Be supportive. Independence does not mean isolation. It means establishing a different kind of relationship with parents, not terminating it. Almost all adolescents say their parents are the most important people in their lives. Adolescence is a time when you are needed–when teens are trying to figure out who they really are.
No matter how frustrated you may feel at times, your teen needs you as a base of support, as much now as during the early years of life.
For Further Reading:
The Ten Basic Principles of Good Parenting
by Laurence Steinberg
You and your adolescent: A parent’s guide for ages 10-20
by Laurence Steinberg
Children, Youth, and Families Education and Research Network (CYFERNet) - Search Parenting of Teens
Real Families Real Answers
For The Family