zil

Honoring the Sabbath with Little Children

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So, I mentioned something about this in @Sunday21's thread, and thought I'd see if anyone here as ideas.  A mom of 4 (8yo boy, 6yo girl, 3yo boy, 1yo girl) asked about honoring the Sabbath with these 4 kids in her house.  She talked about struggling to "fill the whole day with worship" when the kids "won't have it" for that long.  :)  There wasn't enough time left in RS on Sunday to discuss this in detail, and I'm not sure RS is the place to come up with a list of activities anyway.  I've suggested she start a discussion on our ward facebook page, and I figure the more ideas the better, so...

At the end of our lesson, I boiled it down to this:

Quote

Isaiah 56:4 For thus saith the Lord unto the eunuchs that keep my sabbaths, and choose the things that please me, and take hold of my covenant;

Isaiah 58:13 ¶ If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words:

14 Then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.

When trying to decide whether something was OK, consider whether you're doing it for your pleasure or because it pleases God.

It was my assertion that simply being a mother and trying to raise your children in the gospel pleases God.  Therefore, if you need to clean up a spill (something that can't wait until tomorrow), or if you spend the day on things like teaching your children gospel things (even in the form of play or games), surely God would be pleased by that.  But I guess this generic isn't helpful to her and she would like more concrete ideas, so I thought I'd ask:

Anyone got concrete ideas she can try to help her family keep the Sabbath when she's got these 4 little ones with 2-second attention spans?

(Not having kids of any age, ever, and not remembering me at those ages, I dunno, but I could guess at making or buying games that teach the gospel - but each of those will only be good for so long, ditto any scripture reading or scripture videos / coloring books.  Still, a long list to choose from might help...)

Thanks for any ideas I can share with her!

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Disney movies are your friend when straight worship gets to be too much.  Particularly Prince of Egypt and the one about Joseph.

(They were allowed in my mission for missionaries, I am calling them as Sunday appropriate).

Star Wars might also work, since it has Spencer W. Kimball in it (Yoda).

Edited by DoctorLemon

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28 minutes ago, zil said:

She talked about struggling to "fill the whole day with worship" when the kids "won't have it" for that long. 

Thanks for any ideas I can share with her!

First thought that came to my head is this... "kids won't have it for that long".  My response to that is kids will have it for however long I say they have it.  That's why I'm the parent.

 

28 minutes ago, zil said:

It was my assertion that simply being a mother and trying to raise your children in the gospel pleases God.  Therefore, if you need to clean up a spill (something that can't wait until tomorrow), or if you spend the day on things like teaching your children gospel things (even in the form of play or games), surely God would be pleased by that. 

Second thought that came to my head is this... A mother is not an entertainer.  It is not her job to entertain her kids.  Her kids should know how to entertain themselves.  A mother's job is to provide appropriate tools and resources for the kids to learn/play on their own and provide guidance, supervision, and teaching moments.  In my house, we have everyday things (books, toys,  movies, the great outdoors, etc) and we have Sunday things (books, games, movies, etc. etc.).  Kids know the difference.  Usually, Sunday is family visit day.  This is when my kids spend a lot of the day outside of church with their cousins.  The cousins are Catholic and have a different idea of what Sabbath observance entails.  For example - eating dinner at a restaurant is a fine Sabbath activity for the Catholics.  Also going to the beach.  We do those activities with the family.

Not cleaning a spill on a Sunday is, in my opinion, Pharisaical.

 

 

 

Edited by anatess2

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3 minutes ago, anatess2 said:

First thought that came to my head is this... "kids won't have it for that long".  My response to that is kids will have it for however long I say they have it.  That's why I'm the parent.

Second thought that came to my head is this... A mother is not an entertainer.  It is not her job to entertain her kids.  Her kids should know how to entertain themselves.  A mother's job is to provide appropriate tools and resources for the kids to learn/play on their own and provide guidance, supervision, and teaching moments.  In my house, we have everyday things (books, toys,  movies, the great outdoors, etc) and we have Sunday things (books, games, movies, etc. etc.).  Kids know the difference.  Usually, Sunday is family visit day.  This is when my kids spend a lot of the day outside of church with their cousins.  The cousins are Catholic and have a different idea of what Sabbath observance entails.  For example - eating dinner at a restaurant is a fine Sabbath activity for the Catholics.  Also going to the beach.  We do those activities with the family.

Not cleaning a spill on a Sunday is, in my opinion, Pharisaical.

Thanks, anatess2!  IMO, someone who is also a mother can say this kind of thing to a mother, so I can forward these thoughts along as one mom to another.  (Whereas someone who is not a mother herself really can't give advice like this - for various reasons...)

(The bit in bold made me laugh - this is one of my recollections from childhood.  I can't say I know one way or the other how any given parent does things these days, but I'm not sure why that is a problem, only that I've heard that at least for some, it is a problem.  The one thing I learned when training to be a school bus driver1 was that if you say it, you'd better do it, because if you don't, the kids will never take you seriously.  I wonder if too many parents threaten and don't follow through - not that this is necessarily relevant to this topic.)

1Just to get a stamp in my international DL before going to Moscow (turned out, they'd stamp anything in an international DL, regardless of of what kind of US DL you have; still, it was helpful).

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4 minutes ago, zil said:

Thanks, anatess2!  IMO, someone who is also a mother can say this kind of thing to a mother, so I can forward these thoughts along as one mom to another.  (Whereas someone who is not a mother herself really can't give advice like this - for various reasons...)

(The bit in bold made me laugh - this is one of my recollections from childhood.  I can't say I know one way or the other how any given parent does things these days, but I'm not sure why that is a problem, only that I've heard that at least for some, it is a problem.  The one thing I learned when training to be a school bus driver1 was that if you say it, you'd better do it, because if you don't, the kids will never take you seriously.  I wonder if too many parents threaten and don't follow through - not that this is necessarily relevant to this topic.)

1Just to get a stamp in my international DL before going to Moscow (turned out, they'd stamp anything in an international DL, regardless of of what kind of US DL you have; still, it was helpful).

In my opinion - and this is an opinion I formed from the way my mother raised me as well as the way my grandmother raised my mother - one of the big mistakes modern parents make these days is the rush to appease the child.  

I was just observing a lovely young couple in my ward (they are truly a lovely couple in their early 20's at this time, the wife is pregnant with their 2nd child, the first child just turning 2).  The little boy sat down in the pew, was very reverent through the opening prayer and then started fidgeting and trying to run down the aisle.  The mother immediately grabbed some hard book and tried to entice the child, he wasn't having it... so she apologetically put the book in the bag and scrounged around for another thing to appease the child.  Nothing worked, not even the fruit loops and the kid started whining loudly so the Dad took him out to the hallway.  This problem is not going to end, it will become worse, unless discipline is imposed.

I did not have too much of this problem with my children because I don't play the appeasement game.  When they are at church they are expected to behave.  The church bag is there for them to use but the church bag is not there so they would stop whining.  Whining is not tolerated in my presence, bag or no bag.  My grandmother and my mother both has this "look".  My grandma's is different than my mom's but you know it when you see it... it's that look that unequivocally states - I am displeased.  I grew up fearful of displeasing my mother and disappointing my father.  I've had the belt used on me, I've knelt down infront of the altar with my hands stretched out to the sides carrying a book on each one.  Those do not compare to the devastation I felt when my father told me when I was in high school - "You disappoint me".  That was like my world just got ripped from underneath me.  Anyway, I developed my own "look" with my children.  And that's all I need for them to stop misbehaving.  They would immediately stop the noise and quietly go through the Church bag for something they want to do.  Of course, I had to work on this for quite a while - longer with the first kid than the 2nd - but eventually I got to that point.  I'm almost 50 years old now and my mom can still give me that "look" and give me the heebie jeebies.  I haven't had to use that look in a while with my teenagers but I'm fairly certain it's just as effective now as it was then.

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26 minutes ago, zil said:

The one thing I learned when training to be a school bus driver1 was that if you say it, you'd better do it, because if you don't, the kids will never take you seriously.  I wonder if too many parents threaten and don't follow through - not that this is necessarily relevant to this topic

+1. Following through is a huge pain in the neck, and many parents don't. That's a fatal mistake. You must ALWAYS follow through on consequences. On those occasions you don't follow through, you must retract the threat (preferably beforehand) and explain why you were out of line in saying that -- then don't make that same mistake in the future. Parenting 101.

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5 minutes ago, anatess2 said:

My grandmother and my mother both has this "look".  My grandma's is different than my mom's but you know it when you see it... it's that look that unequivocally states - I am displeased.

:) Interestingly, I have such a look too - it works well on adults.  Never had children on whom to test it.

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7 minutes ago, Vort said:

+1. Following through is a huge pain in the neck, and many parents don't. That's a fatal mistake. You must ALWAYS follow through on consequences. On those occasions you don't follow through, you must retract the threat (preferably beforehand) and explain why you were out of line in saying that -- then don't make that same mistake in the future. Parenting 101.

Full disclosure: I have failed Parenting 101 numerous times. But I do learn from my mistakes.

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Anyway, if she's looking to boost up her Sunday tools, these are one of my kids' favorite Sunday toys growing up... they can play with this for HOURS.  It's not unusual to find them asleep on the carpet in the middle of a Nephite versus Lamanite battle or some BoM story recreation.  They liked burning Abinadi every Sunday.

main-image2.jpg

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2 minutes ago, Vort said:

Full disclosure: I have failed Parenting 101 numerous times. But I do learn from my mistakes.

As have we all.

That's the crazy thing about being a parent, isn't it?  You're not required to pass a Bachelor's Degree on parenting to become one.  And then you really don't know if you did it right until the kid leaves your house and becomes either a successful young adult or a serial killer...

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1 minute ago, anatess2 said:

or a serial killer

You seem to have an unnatural obsession with serial killers - if you wake up to learn your husband is a serial killer, if your kids leave the house and turn into serial killers...  I'm beginning to wonder if you're about to make an appearance on one of those true crime shows with video footage that always looks like it was filmed in the 1980s.... ;)

(Meanwhile, now I really want to play with the Lamanite / Nephite army figures. :D )

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15 minutes ago, zil said:

You seem to have an unnatural obsession with serial killers - if you wake up to learn your husband is a serial killer, if your kids leave the house and turn into serial killers...  I'm beginning to wonder if you're about to make an appearance on one of those true crime shows with video footage that always looks like it was filmed in the 1980s.... ;)

(Meanwhile, now I really want to play with the Lamanite / Nephite army figures. :D )

My brain is too simple.  I can't think up anything worse than being a serial killer.  Not even a cereal killer.

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Non-parent chiming in...there are different ways to worship and praise the Lord. Singing songs can be one way to improve Sabbath day worship. Practice being reverent, putting together quiet toys/games to use during next week's sacrament meeting or props/whatever for the older ones to help plan FHE. I have an app on my iPad that allows you to make puzzles out of personal pictures that might be good for a screen time reward. Make something, like a card or a picture, to give to their teachers next week. Just do similar stuff that you do on the weekdays, but put extra emphasis on how it can make you think Gospel thoughts. (Coloring a picture of a hippopotamus can help us remember that God created all animals, for example.) 

 

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Honestly, if LDS parents would do this ONE SIMPLE THING, it would alleviate 95%+ of all children-misbehaving-in-the-chapel moments:

When you take your children out to the foyer, DO NOT LET THEM PLAY OR RUN AROUND. Make sure they learn that being in the foyer means sitting with arms folded, staring at a wall. Don't be mean about it, don't say anything nasty, simply sit the child on your lap and don't let him/her get up and do anything. Just staring at a wall.

The foyer should be the very last place the child wants to be at on Sunday.

It works like a charm. Even the most recalcitrant child will learn after six or eight consecutive weeks of spending sacrament meeting folding his arms and staring at the wall that he would much rather be in the meeting, playing quietly with his book or whatever.

Of course, you don't spend the whole meeting out there (unless you have to keep taking him out). You spend the number of minutes in the foyer that correspond to twice the child's age. (For some children, the age would be a more appropriate number of minutes.) I actually didn't even do this after the first few times; I spent two or three minutes with the child, then as much more time as it took him/her to calm down and sit quietly for a minute or so. Then I asked if s/he would rather go back in, and if s/he could be quiet and reverent.

I remember one particularly bad Sunday when I had taken my daughter out twice, and she started fussing loudly, so I picked her up to go out again. She shrieked (to the enjoyment of the congregation), "NO, DADDY! NOT THE FOYER! NOOOOOO!!!" My daughter was definitely my hardest for this particular thing,  but within a couple of months, she was mostly fine.

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On 2/26/2018 at 12:41 PM, anatess2 said:

And then you really don't know if you did it right until the kid leaves your house and becomes either a successful young adult or a serial killer...

Are those the only two options?  Because I'm really wondering about a couple of mine.

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On 2/26/2018 at 11:23 AM, zil said:

Anyone got concrete ideas she can try to help her family keep the Sabbath when she's got these 4 little ones with 2-second attention spans?

Read together as a family.  Read wholesome stories.  If kids don't want to read, tell them they can play quietly in the same room.  But they can't disturb others who are listening.  They will end up listening anyway even if they think they aren't.

Scriptures.  Church manuals.  Family journals.  We have a journal from my wife's g-g-mother.  I am awed each time we read that book. She had such faith and so many miracles in her life.  There is something special about the family I married into.  Little Britches, Jane Eyre, Little House Series, Pollyanna, Anne of Green Gables, Ranger's Apprentice, Cochise, Childhood of Famous Americans, GA Henty stories... The list goes on.  Many wholesome books that teach good principles.

Videos are ok too. Living Scriptures and Church videos.  We'll also have family cooking.  Cooking is part of our family culture.  So, we make it a point to cook dinner together on Sundays. "Let thy food be prepared with singleness of heart..."

Hopefully the father is not too tied up with meetings.  He should be having PPIs with the kids fairly often.  The 8yo and even the 6 yo are prime age to start having them.  The 3 yo may need to start as well.  Not that he's going to get a lot out of it.  But he'll at least learn that it is something that is done in the family.  By the time he gets older, he'll just be used to it.  I've got enough kids that I can do part of the family each week and it seems I'm always interviewing a couple kids each week and they don't think it's very often.

Part of the PPI can be what the 8 year old is doing for Faith in God.  The 6 year old can talk about what songs they learned and you can go over what the songs mean.  You can ask either of them about the Primary theme, the scripture of the month, etc.  If the 3 year old doesn't remember it from primary, what a great opportunity to reinforce those ideas into the child's mind and confirm it with their father's testimony.  Even if a 3 yo doesn't understand the concepts, he can feel the spirit of his father's testimony.

If dad isn't available, then much of the same type of thing can be done by mom.  If both have time-consuming callings, then they really need to work on their scheduling because this type of thing is important.

Also, there are some games that are scripturally based that may be appropriate for Sundays.  We once had a game called "Book of Mormon Journey."  I think we played that a lot for FHE.  But it would have been ok for filling up time on Sundays.

Hope this helps.

Edited by Guest

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On 3/11/2018 at 12:04 AM, Carborendum said:

Are those the only two options?  Because I'm really wondering about a couple of mine.

Yes, those are the only 2 options.  If they don't end up as serial killers, pat yourself on the back.  You've been a success.  :D

 

 

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1 hour ago, anatess2 said:

Yes, those are the only 2 options.  If they don't end up as serial killers, pat yourself on the back.  You've been a success.  :D

I guess a couple of mine are going to be serial killers because they may not be successful adults.

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I think sometimes we forget that children that age lack long attention spans, and as a society, we demand they function on our schedule whatever it be. I think this is wrong regardless if I Am Your Mother. Children, especially 5 and under range, are still learning how to observe what’s around them — register it — and regulate things like restlessness etc, etc. I think understanding that their brains are still developing is key, and having patience with them, and gradually introduce them to situations and expectations you’re needing of them. 

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