Weekly Thoughts and Tips

October 2014


Making One-on-One Time

By Tiffany Lewis
October 31, 2014

Father sitting next to a son's bed

Some of my favorite memories from childhood are of getting strawberry ice cream cones with my dad. Growing up in a large family, that one-on-one time was such a rare treat. We’ve tried to continue that tradition in our family by taking our children on special outings when occasion and budget permits. But sometimes the informal one-on-one time can be just as meaningful. If I’m running an errand, I’ll take one child with me, which allows for some personal time to talk and laugh together. We also try and make bedtime meaningful. My husband or I will sit by each child’s bed so they can share with us the last thoughts of their day. This doesn’t always work out, but when it does, it is a cherished time for us and our kids. That quite space allows children to open up and share concerns or thoughts that might not otherwise have been shared in a hurried, crowded space.

Using Stories to Start Tough Talks

By Marissa Widdison
October 24, 2014

Red-headed girl holding a pebble up to her eye

Sometimes it’s hard to start a conversation with kids about sensitive subjects. There are Friend stories that can help! In this month’s magazine, for example, there’s a story about a girl who doesn’t like how she looks. Her mom helps her realize that her physical features are just one small part of who she is. Think of the children you know. Would any of them benefit from you sharing this story with them? 

Reading stories together can create an environment where children feel open to asking questions or sharing their own experiences related to the topic. Remember that you can find child-friendly stories about many topics—including pornography, bullying, and disabilities—on this page. Who knows what impact a little reading coupled with a meaningful conversation can have in the life of a child?

Seeking to Obtain the Word

By Reyna Aburto, Primary general board
October 17, 2014

Woman studying a manual

A friend of mine recently shared the following experience: “Years ago, I was called to teach the older boys in Primary. My first reaction was that this would be an easy assignment—all I needed to do was glance through the lesson and look for the activities that were recommended for my class. But after a couple weeks of doing this, I realized I had been mistaken.

“So I began studying the Primary manual lesson for myself, seriously considering each of the scripture references and General Authority quotes. At first, I had my personal concerns and needs in mind, and I was pleasantly surprised at the spiritual experiences I received by studying the manual this way. Then I began to look at the lesson with my students in mind. I wanted them to have a similar experience. Once I did that, I began seeing significant spiritual growth in some of my Primary children.”

President Ezra Taft Benson said, “The sequence to possessing the power of God in our teaching [is:]… Seek first to obtain the word, then comes understanding and the Spirit, and, finally, the power to convince” (Teaching, No Greater Call, p. 14).

If we are going to help children understand and live a gospel truth, we first need to learn and live it ourselves.

General Conference Blocks

By Jocelyn Christensen
October 10, 2014

General Conference blocks

I loved the “Special Witness” cards put out by the Friend this last month. They are so handy. You could print or cut them out and use them as a memory game, or in lots of other ways. I decided to use them—and some 2x2 wood blocks I had lying around—to create Conference Blocks that my kids made to use before, during, and after general conference.

I prepared by wood blocks by lightly sanding the edges. (I had my children do this with me, which they enjoyed!) Then I cut the cards into 2-inch squares to fit the blocks and glued them in place. We also glued pictures on the blocks to remind us of teachings from recent general conferences. I coated the blocks with glue to protect them, and then let them dry.

Voila! These blocks can be used in so many ways to review the teachings of the prophets, and they are just right for little hands.