Wednesday, February 6, 2019

For the Strength of My Youth

You might remember that last year we spent a number of weeks in family home evening studying the different topics addressed in For the Strength of Youth (which is a guide for standards that youth and all of us should follow to remain spiritually strong & happy!)

One of the things that came out of our discussions is the idea that my children need to let their friends know what their standards are, and that they need to start gathering friends around them NOW who want to live good standards as well, because in the coming years a lot of kids will start to decide how they want to live.  So now is a good time to start building friendships with those who want to support them in righteous living and vice versa.

We realized that as parents we need to actively help them form those friendships and practice keeping the standards in our home with their friends before they have to do it on their own out in the world. (We also need to do this because we just recently moved here and they need opportunities to keep solidifying friendships outside of school!)

To that end we started having "game nights" where they invite their friends over to socialize in our home.  As parents we give them something fun to do and something to eat and then give them space from us and the responsibility to be good hosts and hostesses and uphold our family's standards.

The first time few times we did it, the kids mostly played games.  Another game night we had was so silly and fun and ended with kids doing back flips in my living room!  I really thought, this was so delightful...and a new experience for me, as a parent of tweens.

So, last week, I wanted to have another fun evening for my kids and their friends, but wanted to do something other than a game we decided to have an art night, and it was a huge success.

My kids weren't too excited to paint on canvases because we had just recently done that, so I got the idea from my Art Camp Teacher sister to make "wearable art".  We used the art of Tiff Manuell as our inspiration to make clutches.  Using some canvas material that I already had on hand, the girls painted directly on the canvas material.  When it dried, we sewed them into little clutches or pencil cases.

It's really neat to connect with friends who are so kind and good and to see these girls (and boys) building each other up in friendship and making good choices together.  I could see that these friends had just as much by way of kindness, thoughtfulness, and tenderness to share with my children as I thought we had to share with them.  That is a blessing!

I will be looking for more fun ideas to do on "game night" in the future, so if you have any suggestions, leave me a comment, please!  Thanks!

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