“My Day to Be Special,” Ensign, Apr. 1983, 67
My Day to Be Special
As parents of six small children, we have found it a real challenge to help each child recognize that he is special. Realizing that many discipline problems can be alleviated if a child feels good about himself, we came up with a plan that works well for our family.
On Sunday, after our family time, the children draw slips of paper telling which day of the coming week will be their “special day.” Each child gets one day a week, with the Sabbath designated as “Jesus’ special day.” A child whose special day it is gets the following privileges:
1. He alone, with mom and dad, sits in the front seat of the car if the family travels that day.
2. Whoever has Wednesday or Thursday is assured of accompanying dad to his church ball game or practice.
3. If an errand to a store is necessary, the “special child” gets to go with mom or dad.
4. Prayers on the food may be given by the child that day, or he may choose someone else to say it (under father’s direction).
5. If there is an extra piece of dessert or candy, the special child gets it.
6. The special child gets his first choice of house-cleaning jobs to be done that day.
7. If a choice can be given on what food to have for dinner, the special child gets to make it.
8. The special child is allowed to choose which story will be read at bedtime.
9. If there is a conflict over a television show, the special child is allowed to make the final decision (with parents’ approval).
10. A “love note” is given to the special child of the day, expressing gratitude for that child belonging to our family and complimenting him for at least one act or deed or quality he has that is positive.
11. The highlight of the special day is being allowed to stay up about thirty minutes longer than the other children at night. (If a child has difficulty going to bed and following the rules, his time is shortened on his special day.) The child is given the parents’ undivided attention during this time. He chooses an activity such as being read a special story, playing a game, being rocked in a rocking chair, or drawing with mom and dad. The children who are put to bed earlier are allowed to have their lights on and read or look at books until the special child is put in bed, then all lights go out.
We have found that by having special days, much of the contention is alleviated in our home. It has decreased bickering and complaining and feelings of unfairness; each child now feels more important and secure, and we see more positive behavior. There are still problems, but we can see a wonderful improvement in our home life. Richard Daines and Laura Daines, Hyde Park, Utah