Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Strengthening the Family- #1 Home Environment

"No other success in life can compensate for failure in the home"
David O. McKay
I have been doing a lot of thinking about my little family lately and what steps we can take to strengthen it. Shortly after Buddy Bear was born we purchased the book "25 mistakes LDS Parents Make and How to Avoid Them" by Randal A. Wright, but only last week did I pick it up and start reading it. It is an excellent book with so many good insights that are applicable not only to LDS parents but all parents looking to strengthen and protect their families.
Not to spoil the book (because I think it is a must read) I am going to give my take on each of the principles taught- The first principle
A persons home is a reflection of who they are and what matters to them-
Several years ago we had a neighbor in a serious accident- He had been the only one home and his family who had been out of time was headed straight to the hospital. We stopped by their home shortly after the accident to check on their pets and make sure everything was ok. One thing in particular stood out to me- a set of scriptures open on the dining room table, with a marking pencil beside them. They were out- being used- showing that they were important to him.
I thought of my own scriptures tucked away neatly in a drawer- all to often pulled out only when I remembered to grab them on my way to church.... What did that say about the value I placed upon them? Our Book of Mormon now sits on our kitchen table- it still doesn't get read every day but we are much more likely to remember to read when it is out and available
What is important to your family?
The things that are most important to me- the things I want to teach my child(ren) to value are
1) Our Family 2) The Gospel 3) Freedom/Our Nation 4) Outdoors 5)Literature/Reading
How does your home reflect what's important to you?
The choice of pictures and artwork in your home reflects much of our values and whats important to you- Just as a member of Peta wouldn't display a gun rack in their back window- we should display that which reflects our values.
Pictures in our home include of our family, Christ, the Sacred Grove, George Washington and other historical leaders, The Proclamation on the Family. We also have pictures of the outdoors, animals, and of course lots of little black bears as well as bookshelves full of good books. Like most things of course there is always room to improve.
Buddy Bear's room for example is decorated top to bottom in cute little black bears and pine trees- which is both cute and fits what we value- but does it communicate what we value the most? I am sure that adding a picture of the Savior and/or temple in his room would even further communicate the values that we want him to strive for.
Children seem to readily value that which their parents do- Almost without fail if you find parents who are very involved in sports- or music- their children are too. We learn what we live with. I think that if we start with our children when they are young not only teaching them our values but surrounding them with little reminders they will be much more likely to value those same things in their lives.

* My Blog Post Series "Strengthening the Family" is based on my personal thoughts from reading the book "25 Mistakes Parents Make and How to Avoid Them" by Randal A. Wright

1 comment:

Michelle Burk said...

Thanks for this post. I am teaching YW sunday about strengthening their home and family, and have been frustrated on what direction to go. I googled around and was sent to your blog.
Your thoughts were right on. After reading your post, I'm going to ask them all what their homes look like, at that moment. What would their rooms say about them if someone were to enter it while they were at church. What would they find? Brilliant. Thanks for writing! It's exactly what I was looking for.