“Questions and Answers,” New Era, July 2011, 14–15
Family home evening can be a memorable time to be with your family and talk about serious gospel subjects with just your family. It can be a time to have fun together and learn to love being together. When family home evening is not like this, then the family experience can cause frustration and friction.
What can you do? Being supportive of your parents’ efforts is number one. It is always right to bring your own good attitude. You may not be able to affect the attitudes of your siblings, but you can certainly not copy them. And you can set a good example, especially for younger brothers and sisters.
Be willing to help out with family home evening. You can offer to find games and skits connected to the subject that you can play if you have younger brothers and sisters. Make it fun. Or you can offer to make refreshments and perhaps get other family members to help.
Discussions over your siblings’ attitudes or behaviors at family home evening should be left between your parents and them. The thing you can do best is be a good example, and you’ll find the joy of having family home evening.
If you have younger siblings, you can understand that they have a hard time paying attention. I try to sit quietly and listen so that the others follow. I also try to participate and ask questions. Younger siblings always look up to you. Even if you are the youngest, you can set an example. Since I am now a deacon, I find it so much easier to sit, listen, and set an example for my brothers.
Blake B., 12, Utah, USA
Family home evening used to be the hardest day of the week for my family. We would argue who would do what and how long the stories would be. It wasn’t organized. So we made a chart showing who makes the snacks, picks the song, says the opening prayer, gives the lesson, and says the closing prayer. This helped everyone feel like a part of our family home evening. Now my family looks forward to that day of the week.
Kari T., 15, Florida, USA
There have been so many wonderful experiences for me in family home evening because I was with my family and we had a lot of fun. Come up with a game they’ll enjoy. The best lesson for your siblings right now is that family is more important than anything in this day and age.
Angelena F., 15, New York, USA
Sometimes my siblings seem to not be interested in what we are learning, or they don’t understand it. Other times they just have too much energy to sit down and listen. To help, I like to ask them questions or do the actions to Primary songs with them. Something else I like to do is have a game or activity where everyone is involved and having fun learning gospel principles. Doing these things during family home evening really brings the Spirit and helps it run smoothly. It seems to be more meaningful for everyone when we all contribute.
Ashley F., 14, Utah, USA
If you stay positive and point out the benefits and good things that come from family home evening, maybe your siblings will understand and start to like it. You could even have a lesson on family home evening. Just try to turn their attitude to loving it and looking forward to it. You could do this by being excited for it or planning something everyone would enjoy. Creating fond memories of family home evening would definitely change their feelings about it.
Marissa N., 16, Utah, USA
Try to think of activities or lessons that your siblings will be interested in and want to participate in. Share your testimony of forever families, and explain that sporting events and worldly activities don’t last for eternity, but families do.
Briana I., 14, Illinois, USA
I’ve noticed that as we have made it a goal to start every family home evening and family scripture study with sincere prayer, the Spirit has been more present and we all calm down. Taking a few minutes to pray to the Lord to ask Him for peace and reverence makes us all want to be still and learn the gospel.
Christian M., 19, Washington, USA
You can have your siblings interact with the lesson. Have them answer questions, and give them a hands-on project that they can do and enjoy, whether it’s coloring a picture or playing a game. It’s really easy to make a family home evening lesson fun!
Brooke A., 14, Utah, USA