Weekly Thoughts and Tips

August 2016


Share YOUR Thoughts and Tips

August 26, 2016

Little girl

What tips do you have for fellow parents and teachers? You’ve spent years adapting lessons, wrangling children, and developing areas of expertise—now please share your wisdom with the rest of us! Topics can include anything from teaching Primary and holding FHE to coping with special needs or getting your kids to eat veggies. Send your thoughts to us at friend@ChurchofJesusChrist.org and include “Weekly Tips” in the subject line. We will be in touch and may use your submission for a future post on this page. Thanks for sharing, and for all that you do to bless the children of this world.

Back-to-School Kindness

By Marissa Widdison
August 19, 2016

Two cards

Some families are gearing up for a new school year right now, and that means lots of changes—new teachers, new classmates, and a new daily routine. To help kids get ready to return to the classroom, why not have a “Back-to-School Kindness” family night? You could read stories from the Friend about kids grappling with decisions at school, such “Did You Hear about Shara?” in the August 2016 magazine. Then brainstorm ideas together about how your kids can show kindness in the upcoming school year. Use these ideas to write empowering statements on colorful notecards. Finally, listen to happy music as you hang them up around the house where your kids will see them every day. This bit of effort can help fill your children’s head with positive thoughts so they can put their best foot forward this school year!

“Rise and Shine!”

By Maryssa Dennis
August 12, 2016

Mother fixing little girl's hair

I am not a morning person. And I wasn’t a morning person when I was a kid. If your kids are anything like I was, getting them ready for church or school on time might seem impossible. So here are a few tips to help reluctant risers greet the day with a smile.

1. Prepare what you can the night before. Pack lunches, set bags by the door, and lay out clothes ahead of time. Let your kids help. Who knows? Maybe that super-awesome dinosaur t-shirt they picked out will turn their sour mood around.

2. Make sure they get to bed on time. There’s no substitute for a good night’s sleep!

3. Wake them up with a happy good-morning song. My mom made up a song that went like this: “We’re gonna say hello to Maryssa, Maryssa, Maryssa. We’re gonna say hello to Maryssa. Say hel-lo! One more time!” She repeated the song over and over until I got up. And it was such a peppy little ditty that it was hard to be mad at her, even though I wanted to be. Try it with an upbeat Primary song, or take a leaf out of my mom’s book and make up a silly tune!

4. Make a yummy breakfast to motivate them. It’s got to be easier to get up when you know there are waffles waiting for you, right?

5. Give them reasons to look forward to the day. “Remember, you have Show and Tell!” “You get to see Ryan at Primary today!” In the grogginess of morning, your kids (and you) might need a little reminder that good things are ahead.

“Can I Help?”

By Kim Reid
August 8, 2016

Mother and son cleaning dishes

“Can I help?” When your young child says these magic words, you might be tempted to say no. But letting little ones help is an important step in teaching them to serve others. Here are three more benefits. First, little ones are excited about mirroring Mommy and Daddy, so it’s an ideal time to build the habit of working together. Second, children who help feel capable and valued as contributing family members. Third, the whole family will have more time to do fun things together. So answer that next offer to help with a smile and a “yes.” You’ll be giving your child positive experiences with helping and serving! Here are five tips for letting young children help.

  • Keep unbreakable dishes in easy reach so children can put them away. Or let them sort clean silverware.
  • Give children their own scrub brush or sponge. While you are cleaning, they can “clean” with plain water.
  • Let them sift, measure, and stir while cooking. Put the mixing bowl within reach on a tablecloth or plastic bag.
  • Ignore mistakes. Resist the urge to take over or redo an imperfect job.
  • Point out successes and express thanks.