Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Preparing Our Children for General Conference

It's General Conference time! Yay! It's so wonderful that we have this opportunity to be spiritually fed by our leaders, but how in the heck do we teach our little ones to sit still and listen? I always look forward to general conference, but I also dread it a little just thinking of how I'm going to keep my crazy four year old entertained through it all. I don't have the magic solution, but here are some ideas that hopefully you'll find helpful.
  1. Have a bowl of yummy treats you don't usually keep in the house (like mini candy bars). You get to eat a treat after every talk you/your child listens to without falling asleep or being irreverent. This one's great for adults too! I know I'm looking forward to some chocolate!
  2. Print off some LDS coloring pages for your little ones to color. Here's a link that will take you to the church's free coloring pages.
  3. I found a cool blog called LDS Coloring Pages. One of the posts had some fun conference activities.
  4. Make some fun family traditions that help make general conference something to look forward for the kids. My family used to have a big breakfast of Swedish pancakes on the Sunday morning of conference. We only had them twice a year, so it made conference really fun and exciting. I'm going to start that with my little family this year.
  5. For FHE teach your kids about the Prophet and Apostles. Click here for the lesson on prophets in the nursery manual. Teach them "Follow the Prophet" from the primary songbook. If you had your FHE lesson on something else this week, just have another one. There's no rule that says you can only have one family night a week.
  6. There was an article in March's Ensign on preparing children for general conference. Some of the ideas included: having older kids write what they learn in a journal, talk to your kids every day about how exciting it will be to hear the prophet, complete chores the Friday before, look for conference games and activities in the Friend, and more. Click on the link for the full article.
My final tip is to remember that the best way for kids to learn the importance of General Conference is through your example. You don't have to feel ike you have to prepare a million activities, so don't get too overwhelmed. If they see it's important to you than it will be important to them. I know this from my own experience. My parents didn't really do much. Aside from the Swedish pancake thing, the only other thing they did was turn conference on every T.V. and radio in the house, so you could here conference from almost every room in the house. We knew we couldn't play with friends. We knew it was important. I remember one conference when I was very little, probably four or five. I was playing with a toy, and my mother asked me stop playing for a minute because the prophet, President Benson then, was speaking. I remember thinking that he must be important for me to have to stop playing with my toy. I think that's when my testimony of the prophets began to grow, and it was because my mother's example.
Please share any other tips for preparing our kids for general conference, and I hope you all have a wonderful conference weekend.


Kim said...

Those are all great ideas. Another thing we have done that my kids have really enjoyed is we give them each a paper with different Gospel words listed (pictures for non-readers). Then they make tally marks for every time they hear the word. It makes them listen. It has worked pretty well for us.

Kim said...

I got this link from by friend's blog- it has packets that you can print off for different ages of kids to do during conference.

Marianne said...

Thanks Kim!