When my daughter asked me about the veracity of Santa Claus, I told her that I like to pretend that Santa Claus is real because it is such a fun thing to imagine. She seemed fine with that. Although we continue the Santa tradition in my household, I sometimes question the wisdom of speaking untruths to my children, even if it is fun to pretend the magic is real. My husband and I have chosen to give our children their main Christmas presents as gifts from us, so that they understand that we parents are the ones who worked and saved to buy their presents, while Santa only delivers stocking stuffers.Read More
About three weeks ago, I was asked to prepare a talk about teaching children to understand, based on a conference address by Cheryl A. Esplin, Second Counselor of the General Primary Presidency. Sister Esplin taught:
Teaching our children to understand is more than just imparting information. It’s helping our children get the doctrine into their hearts in a way that it becomes part of their very being and is reflected in their attitudes and behavior throughout their lives. -Cheryl A. Esplin Reference 1
Sister Esplin spent a good portion of her talk discussing spontaneous teaching moments but also reminded us that:
Just as important are the teaching moments that come as we thoughtfully plan regular occasions such as family prayer, family scripture study, family home evening, and other family activities. -Cheryl A. Esplin Reference 1
With four very young, lively and unpredictable children, there is quite a bit of spontaneity in my life. And chaos. So it is ironic that I was asked to emphasize teaching children to understand through these non-spontaneous teaching tools like family home evening and family scripture study.
My husband studies the economics of happiness, among a variety of other economic fields. I never forgot one thing he shared with me years ago — that the first year a couple has a baby is often the least happy year of a couple’s marriage. Sad, but I can see how that can be the case. Because babies require so much care, couples are often exhausted, and they often feel like the other partner isn’t doing his or her fair share. But what is a “fair share” when one partner is employed full time and the other isn’t? What is a “fair share” in the evenings and at night when both partners are home?Read More
During the past several years, I have rarely had a spiritually enriching experience at sacrament meeting. I am too distracted because I share a pew with the rowdiest people in my congregation. I sit with this irreverent lot because I am their mother. As I wrestle with my naughty children, I frequently fantasize about dropping my kids off at a nursery/primary/daycare/something-else-age-appropriate instead.
On the other hand, I know there are reasons for including the children in sacrament meeting:
- There is a certain inclusiveness about convening the whole congregation in one room.
- If childcare were offered, some adults would have to miss the meeting to provide the care.
- Some people have said that children bring a special spirit to the meeting. (I do not think these people were referring to my children, specifically.)