Archive for November 24, 2012
To state the obvious, parents play a crucial role in their children’s lives. They serve their children as teachers, chefs, administrative assistants, launderer, house cleaner, transportation manager, moral conscience, landscaper, mentor, and trainer of all these areas as well. I’m sure we could add to this list of parenting jobs. However, we can reduce many parenting roles into two jobs: meeting our children’s needs and allowing them to take risks. Let me explain a little more.
Parents strive to meet their children’s every need—physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual. Notice, though, that parents meet their children’s needs, not their every want and desire. For example, these items are wants and desires, not needs (children can live without them):
2. I am thankful for the humor in my family. I love to see my wife and children laugh, even if it means laughing at me sometimes. I am thankful for laughter in my family. I am not sure my children are as thankful for “my humor” as I am thankful for their humor. Being the only male in an all-female household does lead to some humor differences…or, as my daughters might say, “humor challenges” on my part. Yes, I love the humor, joy, and laughter we share as a family. 3. I am thankful for music in my family. We all enjoy music. Sometimes we enjoy serious music. Sometimes we enjoy playful music. Sometimes we enjoy downright silly music. We sing songs, play songs, make up songs and lyrics. I’ll let you in on a little secret—when my kids were smaller, I even danced with them while the music played…but don’t tell anyone.
4. I am thankful for mealtimes with my family. I often work evenings so we don’t get to eat dinner together as often as I’d like. However, we do eat together as often as possible and that means we generally eat three to five major meals together a week. I enjoy those times of sharing conversation and food.
5. I am thankful for my daughters’ cookies. They make awesome chocolate chip cookies. Those cookies taste best when fresh out of the oven, warm and melting in your hand. Of course, the preparation includes eating some raw cookie dough and trying to sneak an extra spoonful when my daughters tell me not to. I am thankful for my daughters’ cookies.
6. I am thankful for play in my family. We love to play. We enjoy playful conversation, playful interactions, and playful games. I have to say, I am not the most competitive person in the world, but I do enjoy playing games with my family and friends. “All I want to do is to make them smile, if it takes just a little while…” Usually, when we play a game everyone ends up smiling, laughing, and having a good time.
7. I am thankful for our arguments. Yes, they happen. When I think about it, I am thankful for them. As much as I find them frustrating at the time, those arguments and disagreements bring us closer. We learn about one another. We learn how to have disagreements while still loving and sharing love. We learn how to resolve disagreements and keep the love. We learn what is really important and what is not so important. We learn to love one another. Yes, I am even thankful for our arguments.
8. I am thankful for closeness in my family. We share a lot of love in our family. Sometimes I come home from work and find everyone in my room lounging on the bed and sharing time together. I don’t even have a place to sit down. But, everyone shifts around and makes room. I pretend to grumble about it, but really I’m thankful that we can all sit in the same small room and enjoy one another’s company. We share a closeness that means the world to me.
9. I am thankful for my family’s faith. We love our Heavenly Father. We love worshipping our Savior. I am thankful for the times we can do that as a family. From the time my children were small, I have found no greater joy than to worship as a family. My whole family desires to do that…and for that I am thankful.
· Share awe-inspiring stories with one another. Tell your family members about something awe-some that you experienced. This could include something you saw, something you heard, or something you read.
· In all of these events, take pictures so you can re-experience this awe at a later time by simply reviewing the pictures and talking about the event with one another.
· You can also seek out awe-inspiring videos to share with your family. It’s fun to look and fun to share.
· Worship together. Christian families have the opportunity to experience awe in their worship of an awe-inspiring Father. Take the time to seek out aspects of God that produce awe and share those with one another. Combining the last two points, I’d like to share this video with you…an awe-inspiring video. So, gather the family around and share a time of awe. Enjoy the benefits of sharing this awe with your family.