Friday, September 14, 2007

Part 3: Family Home Evening Lesson Outline

Now that you know the basic foundation for the program here is an outline to help your children understand exactly how you will train each other for happiness. The idea is, that instead of arguing and disobedience, choosing to obey, and being disciplined will result in more happiness -which is its own reward. An obvious reward for obedience (using this system) is that everyone will go to bed on time and not have to miss out on family time.

Every time a person chooses disobedience or arguing, that person will take five minutes off of their bedtime. They will recognize their behavior, admit it to the parent, and promise to try and choose better. At the end of the day, one half hour before the earned bedtime, they will begin the bedtime routine. After that time (the half hour before the bedtime) any (each) act of disobedience will result in five minutes off for the following day. If a person goes to bed other than the regular time, that person will not get a story or other bedtime 'perks'. Prayers will be said, the parent will tell the child (at least five) things they did right and tuck them in. If a child goes to bed before dinnertime, they will still go to bed, and when dinner time has come, they will get a sandwich and a glass of milk. They get out of bed only to re-brush their teeth. They only go potty if they get permission. Any "pretending" adds five minutes off the next day.

Every bedtime should include prayers and mom and/or dad sharing (at least five) things the child did correct during that day, reinforcing the good behaviours and letting the child feel forgiven and accepted.

If mom and dad goof up, say a naughty word or whatever you decide, there is a spot on the chart for you to take responsibility for your mistake as well. At the end of the week the children get to decide how to spend those minutes, as a family, with you.

A chart that should be laminated and used with a dry wipe marker to mark off the five minute increments for disobedience. Each person in the family will have their own colour, mom and dad can share colours if you want. Place the chart low enough on the fridge so that every child can mark on it and "read" it easily. An example chart will be posted after this. When you make up your family's chart try to make it so that any non-readers can understand the concept clearly by observing the illustrations.

A key to the success for this system is that you will train yourself NOT to argue or debate with your children. Never. You are the parent, they are the children. You train them, not the other way around. Later, in their teen years they can discuss points, but in tones that are rational and with respect and obedience without argument to your final decision. Your children will not be robots without opinion, but rather young adults who can discuss and accept the will of wiser parents with trust. In turn you may even find they have a great reason and change your opinion due to their self control and good use of language!

Always pattern your parenting to that of Heavenly Father and you'll do fine.

Most all other questions should be answered in the following outline. However, if you come up with a question, feel free to ask away and I will try to explain it better.

Family Night Overview

Opening Song: Choose the Right Way CS 160

Opening Prayer:

Scripture: “ And ye will not suffer your children that they go hungry, or naked; neither will ye suffer that they transgress the laws of God, and fight and quarrel one with another, and serve the devil, who is the master of sin, or who is the evil spirit which hath been spoken of by our fathers, he being an enemy to all righteousness.
But ye will teach them to walk in the ways of truth and soberness; ye will teach them to love one another, and to serve one another.” - Mosiah 4:14-15

Ask each family member to tell of a time when they felt really happy.

Explain that Heavenly Father and Jesus want us to be happy all the time. When we look at the times when we are happy it is usually when we are obedient and following the commandments of God. Commandments are like God’s rules.

Our home also has rules. What are some of our rules?

When we follow the home and family rules we are happy.

Satan does not want our family to be happy. He has come up with a plan to make us sad. It has a name: Contention. (3 Nephi 11:29) Contention means to argue or fight with each other, to use mean voices and angry words. When we disobey the family rules it makes Satan happy and God sad. It makes us sad too. We are Heavenly Father’s children; we feel the same way Heavenly Father feels when we obey and when we do not obey. We do not want contention in our home; we want to feel happy inside.

Our bedtime rule is that the children go to bed at 7:00 so they can have a good night sleep and wake up happy and ready for a new day.

Let’s talk about a new rule to help make us happy. It is a choosing rule. You will get to choose for yourself to obey or disobey.

Do you think it would help if we started to think carefully about our words and actions? Our words and actions need to be nice. We need to speak nicely to each other, not argue or fight, and to obey Mommy and Daddy without arguing.

Do you think we can choose correctly and make Heavenly Father and ourselves happy all the time?

Here is a special chart that will help all of us learn to choose the right and make changes so that we can be a happier family.

If we choose well all day long, we will get to eat dinner with the family and spend family time until our bedtime. Mommy and Daddy will spend the time right before bedtime helping you take a bath, brush your teeth, and get ready for bedtime. We will share a story, tell you the things you did right all day, say our prayers and sing a song before you go to sleep. That would make us all happy, right?

When we choose to disobey, or uses mean words, or argue, we will lose 5 minutes of the day. This means that we will need to go to bed five minutes earlier. If we choose to disobey the family rules we will go to the chart with Mommy or Daddy and cross off the bedtime by five minutes. We will also have to tell Mommy or Daddy what we chose to do wrong and say we are sorry and try to choose better.

It takes us a half hour to get ready for bed. So at the end of the day Mommy or Daddy will check the chart and when we are a half hour from the bedtime you have chosen, we will come and get you and help you get ready for bed. We will help you take your bath, brush your teeth, and get ready for bed. We will say prayers with you, tell you the things you did right, and tuck you in.

We will not get a story or a song if we choose to go to bed early. If we choose to go to bed before dinnertime, when it is dinnertime Mommy or Daddy will bring us a sandwich and a glass of milk. We will not be allowed to get out of bed without permission; if we choose to disobey then we will lose 5 minutes off of the next day. Even if it’s sunny outside or we are not tired we will need to rest quietly in our bed. If we have to go potty, we will need to ask Mommy or Daddy to get out of bed. If we choose to pretend or be disobedient after we are in bed, then we will choose to lose another five minutes for the next day.

_______will be the red colour, _____ will be the blue, and ______will be yellow. Mommy and Daddy will help you to choose the right. If you argue with Mommy or Daddy you are choosing to lose five minutes.

If Mommy and Daddy use angry words or disobey the family rules they will choose to put 5 minutes on the chart. At the end of the week, we will count up all the minutes. The children in the family can decide how to spend the time with Mommy and Daddy.

Do we think we can change for the better and make us all happy? Do you think that Heavenly Father will be happy with us?

I know that Heavenly Father will be very happy that our family is trying to be obedient and not allow Satan to make our choices.

Let’s begin this tomorrow and see how much we more happy we can be by next week!

Closing Song: Quickly I’ll Obey CS 197
Closing Prayer:

In all honesty, the first day we applied this system, #1 went to bed at 3:30! Wow. Not one of the kids made it past 5:30. It was one of the toughest days of my life! The next day it got better, and the day after that it was great. By the end of week two the kids were only missing bedtime by 20 minutes or so. Eventually, (a few years later) we decided that when a child reached the sixth grade they could go to bed "whenever". It was an easy rule, because they were self disciplined by then. They knew the rules, they knew they had to get up at a certain time, no matter what, so they usually chose well.

This disciplined all of us so well that I can also honestly say that I can count on less than one hand the times my kids talked back to me after we implemented this program. Imagine your teenagers NEVER giving you back talk, never raising their voice to you, and rarely to their siblings. It was years of practice, but it worked.

add to sk*rt


chronicler said...

I can vouch for s'mee's effectiveness in this plan. Other than my own daughters, I'd rather spend time with one of her kids anyday/ They are respectful, smart, self motivated and responsible. And they're fun!!!

chronicler said...

BTW s'mee, You may have said already and I didn't notice, how old was your oldest and how young was your youngest when you started this program?

s'mee said...

#5 hadn't yet been born, #4, being the "baby" was about 2, making the eldest around 8.

You know my math, those numbers could be wrong!

The Pea said...

Very cool. i can see this working with my kids I will let you know in about a week!

s'mee said...

I would be very interested on how it goes for you Pea, please let me know!