If we can raise our kids to be kind--even when angry--we've done well. Time for some FHE Fun!
Opening Song: #308 Love One Another
Opening Prayer: By invitation.
Emergency Prep Tip: During the past eight weeks over at Meridian Magazine, we've been creating a 72-hour kit that can help sooth your family's nerves during a tragedy or disaster. Do your kids know where the kits are stored? For a few minutes during tonight's FHE, pretend you need to flee to the car. With a stop watch, time how long it takes for each person to grab their 72-hour kit and get in your vehicle. Once everyone is in the car, give high-fives and solid congratulations for a good first-time effort. But remind them: DURING A FIRE DO NOT GRAB ANYTHING. JUST GET OUT. Let them know 72-hour kits are for disasters other than fires. (You may also want to practice a fire drill so that the children can understand the difference. Here is an excellent link to help you know what to do! )
Devotional: Devotionals are a great time for individuals in the family to share a spiritual "ah-ha" moment from the past week. You may want to pre-assign this periodically. It can be a beautiful time as family members become accustomed sharing deep spiritual feelings with each other. Over time this brief moment can become more and more spontaneous.
* scriptures for everyone
* crayons or markers
* cookies already baked
Read out loud the following quote from Elder Robert D. Hales:
"Parents have a sacred duty...to teach [their children] to love and serve one another" ("Strengthening Families: Our Sacred Duty", Ensign, May 1999).
Explain to your children that serving others helps prepare them for the time when Jesus Christ will judge them (see "Lesson 27: Parable of the Sheep and the Goats", Primary 7: New Testament). Let them know you have a responsibility to lead them and teach them about service. Ask them what they would do in the following situations:
* They see a younger child who is thirsty but can't reach the water.
* They know a child who hasn't been to church for several weeks.
* They know someone who doesn't have enough to eat.
* They see someone who doesn't have a warm coat, and it is very cold.
* They know someone who has been home for a long time with an illness or disability (Ibid.)
After listening to their ideas, explain that the family will be serving a secret someone during tonight's FHE. Pass out family members' scriptures, the paper, and the crayons (or markers). Invite them to work in teams to find a favorite scripture story. Have one person write the scripture reference on the paper and read the story to the other person. The second person draws a picture of that scripture story. (Each team may need to go to separate areas, because the activity may get noisy.)
Once everyone is finished with their team's work, briefly share the results with the whole group. Then explain the family will be visiting a widow in the ward (you may want to ask your Relief Society president in advance who to visit). The purpose for the visit tonight is to bring your family's illustrations and to share the stories and happy smiles with someone who may be feeling lonely. In addition to sharing artwork and scripture stories, make sure to bring already-baked cookies (or another treat the individual might enjoy--do make sure to check for allergies).
As you drive to the person's home, let your children know that one of the best things you can do when angry or when sad is to make a goodie--or create art--and take it to someone lonely or sick. The Lord sees the efforts and blesses the person who serves.
Before going into the widow's home, invite your family to notice the feelings that come after visiting with someone who may be lonely or sad. Bear your testimony as to the importance of serving and how it prepares us to meet the Savior one day.
On the way home, sing as a family "I Am a Child of God," after talking about how each person on this earth is a child of God and needs to feel loved. Service is one of the best ways to do this!
Closing Song: #301 I Am a Child of God
Closing Prayer: By invitation.
Refreshments: In lieu of refreshments this week, give hugs and let your children know how much you enjoy them. Make an extra effort this week to spend 15 minutes more of face-to-face time than you normally do with each child. They need you in their lives and need to know that you love them! Surprise them with your own personal random acts of kindness throughout the coming week--it will be more delicious than any homemade or store bought treat!
Struggling with your teens? C.S. Bezas' book is an essential help for parents and youth leaders. Powerful Tips for Powerful Teachers teaches you how to create powerful change. Visit your local LDS bookstore or get your copy online here.