To put the world right in order, we must first put the nation in order; to put the nation in order, we must first put the family in order; to put the family in order, we must first cultivate our personal life; we must first set our hearts right.” – Confucius
We’re overdue for our Family Night post, sorry! It’s my fault…I got carried away with all of these Christmas and Thanksgiving posts. But, I’m ready now. What is Family Night?? As explained in a previous post,
“Family Night is a designated night, once a week, where you sit down with your family…have a lesson, an activity, and a treat. It’s a great way to spend time together as a family and teach your children about the important things they don’t learn in school.”
Something I try to regularly impress on my children is how blessed we are to have each other, to have our family. Each person bring something special to our family. Life is more enjoyable and trials are more bearable all through the love and support of a family. We are a team with a goal of improving the world and creating a safe haven (our home) from a world that is increasingly losing it’s way. My family is important, your family is important, families ARE important.
That brings us to our lesson, entitled “Love at Home“.
“The home is the first and most effective place for children to learn the lessons of life: truth, honor, virtue, self-control, the value of education, honest work, and the purpose and privilege of life. Nothing can take the place of home in rearing and teaching children, and no other success can compensate for failure in the home.”
-David O McKay
Get a poster board or large piece of paper to use in the lesson. Also, find a family picture that can be cut up (maybe just print one off the computer). Cut up the picture into a large heart shape and then cut it into pieces, as if it were a puzzle. Save the pieces for use in the activity. Also, have some tape handy to tape it back together.
- Ask your children what kind of negative influences and situations they are faced with when they leave the home…to attend school, go to work, play with their friends, etc. Discuss with them how you would like the home to be a safe haven from all of those things, a place of peace and happiness.
- Ask why it’s important to have a happy home. How can a happy home life benefit people? How might this world be different if everyone had a happy life at home? Discuss.
- Together, come up with a list of things everyone can do to create a peaceful, loving home environment. Write them on a big poster board or paper and afterward, hang it up for everyone to see. Answers might include “playing with each other,” “helping each other,” “giving dad a hug when he gets home,” “helping mom,” “spending individual time with mom and dad,” etc.
- Talk about harmony in music, what is it? Discuss how each of the notes are different but come together to make a beautiful sound. If just ONE note is off…everything sounds yucky.
To relate this to the family, do the following object lesson:
Hand out some pre-made pieces of paper to each member of the family that has some negative phrase, often heard in families and homes, written on it…such as:
“Do it yourself!,”
“You’re such an idiot!,”
“Will everyone just shut up?!?,”
“I’m not going to play with you anymore!,”
“You are driving me crazy!,” etc.
Get some sort of music player and play a lovely piece of music (without words), have everyone listen quietly to the music and enjoy it…for just a minute…and then have everyone read their paper out loud, in the same tone it would usually be said in. Afterward, talk about how those harsh words really ruined the song and mood that was so peaceful. Ask how that relates to the family and life at home? How can ONE person ruin the harmony for everyone?
Have everyone put together the pre-cut family picture heart-shaped puzzle (see preparation, above). Tape all the pieces together. (If you want to wait, order a custom made puzzle, here.) Discuss how every member of the family is important and brings something valuable to the table. They are like a piece of the family puzzle that cannot be complete without them. Each person has a responsibility to not disrupt the harmony and love of the family, but to add to it…make life at home more beautiful. Talk about treating each family member as the important person that they are and re-emphasize how it is up to everyone to create a loving home. Attach the taped-together puzzle to the poster that has all the ideas of things everyone can do to create a happy and loving home.
Make a batch of one of my favorite desserts, Better than Chili’s Chocolate Chip Paradise Pie…get a heart shaped cookie-cutter and cut the bars into hearts! Heat them for 20 seconds in the microwave and top with ice cream and caramel sauce. These will instantly create “love at home!”
Have fun! I would love to hear how it goes!