Weekly Thoughts and Tips

October 2012


Handling Fears Effectively

By Jocelyn Christensen
October 26, 2012

Recently, I noticed that my son was experiencing a lot of new fears—from natural disasters to bad guys and ghosts. I really wanted to help him, but I was unsure of the right words to say.

I found the answer that my son and I needed in the September 2012 Friend, in which Elder Russell M. Nelson teaches us how to keep from being afraid when scary things happen in the world.

He counsels us to combat fears by focusing on our faith in Jesus Christ, to pray to our Father in Heaven—who will always hear us—to keep all of God’s commandments, and to rely on His protection when we do so.

Now when my children wake from a bad dream, express concern over something that they hear on the news, or are simply afraid of the dark, I can teach them that faith, prayer, and obedience can help them overcome their fears!

Daily Teaching Moments

By Michelle Garrett
October 19, 2012

Teaching, No Greater Call is a great resource for the home as well as church meetings. Part D: “Teaching in the Home—Teaching in the Family” includes a section on how parents can take advantage of unplanned moments to teach their children gospel principles. This includes responding to children’s questions and worries, discussing ideas that are presented to them through the media, and helping them learn from their mistakes.

The manual also suggests using the scriptures to answer the questions your children may have from day to day. For example, instead of telling your children that you don’t do certain things on Sunday “because I said so,” you can turn to Doctrine and Covenants 59:9–16 to help them discover why the Sabbath is an important day to the Lord.

It only takes a little effort to pay attention to your children’s experiences and turn them into valuable teaching moments. 

Mealtime Conversation

By Tiffany Lewis
October 12, 2012

We all know that mealtimes are important for connecting our families. They are also a good time to learn manners, empathy, listening skills and the art of meaningful conversation. Over time we’ve tried several different tactics for focusing the dialogue at dinnertime. Sometimes my husband and I will come to dinner with a specific topic we want to discuss. Or one of the kids will ask a question that we think would lead to a good dinnertime conversation. We’ve done weekly themes, like love or honesty that we discuss at mealtimes. Lately we’ve started a “word of the day.” We pick a character trait, like dependability, a religious word like repentance,  and announce it at breakfast. We challenge our kids to think about it and notice it in every day life. Then we report at dinnertime.

Coloring Page Creativity

By Marissa Widdison
October 8, 2012

One of the new features of this website is that you can find lots of Friend coloring pages in one place. Here are some fun ideas for using these pages in new ways:

Cut out the main section of the pictures, color them, and use them as visual aids in singing time.

Use parts of the pictures as reminders of daily goals on a chore chart. 
Cut out individual people in the pictures doing different things—gardening, having a picnic, praying, singing, etc. Color them, cover them in contact paper, and tape the pictures to jumbo-sized popsicle sticks. You now have a set of characters to use in a puppet show!

Encourage imagination by printing out a few pictures showing different scenes. Have someone in the family choose a picture at random. As a family, make up a story about the people in the picture, allowing each family member to contribute a sentence or two. When one story is done, you could choose another picture and start all over again.

And, of course, you can always print out a bunch and staple them together to make a coloring book!

It’s Conference Time!

By Marissa Widdison
October 4, 2012

There are a lot of great resources currently posted on ChurchofJesusChrist.org to help children get the most out of conference this weekend. One that I especially like is the "Activities for Children" page on the General Conference website. This page provides a printable notebook, coloring pages, and games—including seven different versions of the "Conference Squares" cards, which my family likes to cover with jelly beans! This and other conference-related stories, activities, and media can be found by going to "Resources by Gospel Topic" and clicking on "General Conference."