I can count on two hands the times we have had a “scheduled -sit down- opening prayer-finish with a desert” family home evening. Family home evening doesn’t work for us.
Shift work, a 24 hour business and the kids activities- We are hardly ever all together at the same time.
Our family is important to us though and we have had to make the most of family time. Family moments. Family seconds. We try to take each moment and use it as a time to teach.
We somehow came up with the motto… “When I do good, I feel good. When I do bad, I feel bad.” We have learned as a family:
Use Teachable moments - Any opportunity to teach about God and the Plan of Salvation in ordinary moments. When the kids are arguing, when they’ve had a bad day, when they have questions. When they want to wear something inappropriate or they see their friends doing things we have taught them not to do. When they make mistakes. When they succeed. If we don’t teach them at the moment – the time is lost.
Family time - When the kids were young we read them bible stories at bedtime. We went park hopping. Parent and Child dates and interviews. Playing board games. Helping with homework. Library dates. Bike riding together. Walking. Playing basketball in the gym. Doing service for others.
Family prayer – We pray at every meal. Every night in family circle and listen to them have their bed time prayer. Prayer before they leave for school.
Family Scriptures – We have always made a habit of reading bible stories as part of their bed time routine. Sometimes we make up stories and have them fill in adjectives and nouns. The stories get wild and crazy and we laugh together. As they have learned to read we allow them to sit in bed and read the Friend magazine and they read from them every day after school for 20 minutes as a requirement for reading for school. We have gotten into the habit of reading the scriptures at dinner time. It’s also fun to listen to stories on tape. On Sundays we watch living Scriptures to help keep the Sabbath day Holy. The kids use Sunday to write in their journals or write letters to family members.
The family table. The rule is we sit down and eat together – no eating in front of the tv or in their rooms. It provides time to be together, pray together and read scriptures. The table sits in the middle of our front room and is the center of our family activities.
Teach with the spirit. Pray for opportunities to feel the spirit. Opportunities to serve others. Opportunities to learn about God – who He is and how His plan works. Provide them with experiences to gain a personal testimony and have a real relationship with Jesus in their life.
Distractions, Clutter, Too many activities, Use what you have. We have had to get rid of television, internet and all electronics. We have made a chore chart and they have to work together and as a team.
Family. Isn’t it about time?