Weekly Thoughts and Tips

December 2012


New to the Friend in 2013

By Marissa Widdison
December 28, 2012

The Friend will kick off 2013 with several fun changes to the magazine. Here are some things to look forward to:

  • A new series called “On the Trail” that features church history sites. Each month, children can add a new icon to the the map from January's magazine.
  • A new series called “I Hope They Call Me on a Mission” that gives children tips on how they can prepare for missionary work now.
  • The NEW Adventures of Matt & Mandy!
  • A new format for stories for young children.
  • A picture of a modern-day prophet on the inside of the back cover each month.

Have a wonderful new year! 

Another Birthday to Celebrate

By Jan Pinborough
December 21, 2012

In the hustle and bustle of Christmas, it's easy to let the Prophet Joseph Smith's birthday slip by without notice. This year, December 23 falls on a Sunday, and your family might enjoy taking a “tour” of Joseph Smith's birthplace in the December Friend. For a meaningful family home evening, you could role-play the story of the First Vision, like the family did in the story “A Special Guest” from the December 2010 Friend.

Love Softens Hearts

By Erin Sanderson, Primary General Board
December 14, 2012

I don’t know if we realize how powerful love can be when we are trying to teach or influence children or anyone else. It is such a wonderful motivator. Persuasion, long-suffering, gentleness and meekness, love unfeigned, kindess and knowledge greatly enlarge the soul.

There’s a lesson in Teaching, No Greater Call that talks about this principle. On page 31 we read, “As we show love for those we teach, they become more receptive to the Spirit. They become more enthusiastic about learning. Often, they awaken to a renewed sense of their eternal worth and a greater desire for righteousness.”

If we want to influence learners for good, we should not merely love to teach; we should love each person we teach.

Life Skills for the Family

By Tiffany Lewis
December 7, 2012

Bishop David H. Burton taught, “One of parents’ most important responsibilities is to teach their children to work. Even young children can begin to experience the benefits of working when they are involved in household chores and in service to others.” (“The Blessing of Work,” Ensign, Dec. 2009, 44.) Teaching our kids how to work is not only important now, but it also helps prepare our kids to be successful adults.

One way we ensure our kids are really learning a chore is by giving them a new “big” chore every year. It’s on a rotational basis, so each child keeps the chore for a year before rotating. Our big chores are: vacuum the entire house, clean all bathrooms, mop kitchen floor and wash windows. When our toddler is older we’ll add him into the mix. This system has worked great because our kids are given an entire year to develop a specific skill. Plus, they always know that Friday afternoon is Big Chore Day, and there are no surprises. We do a similar thing on a weekly basis, rotating smaller chores such as emptying trash cans and wiping down bathroom counters.