Thursday, April 12, 2012
The kids were fighting again. They can get pretty nasty to each other when they fight. One of them says something mean, then the other one cries, then the first one makes fun of him for crying, and so forth. Sometimes it's such a circle of viciousness that it's hard to back track to where it started in order to discuss a better way of handling the situation, which is what I try to do when a fight gets out of hand. Often, I try to let them handle it on their own.
But there they were, fighting about something so trivial I can't even remember what it was anymore. We were sitting down to dinner. Both my husband and I are so tired of the fighting and bickering and the general atmosphere of contention. Why can't they just be nice to each other?! I know, they are learning how to have self control, how to ignore inflammatory remarks. Heaven knows, my husband and I still are working on those qualities, we're just further along in the process.
My husband started it. A conversation about being a member of a family and what the responsibilities are of each member. How to make a family and a home a happy place. He talked to them about temples and how they are quiet places of contemplation where you can feel the Spirit and love of Heavenly Father. He asked them if they wanted that kind of peace in our home. They agreed that sounded like a wonderful idea, so we talked that night at dinner about how we could make that happen.
The Family Declaration was born. We talked about what each of us should commit to doing in order for our home to be a place of peace, like the temple. We talked about what goals we had and how to accomplish those goals. And then we asked the kids if they would be willing to commit to working on these goals together as a family.
My husband and I then typed up a declaration. We used the talk, "Sacred Homes, Sacred Temples" by Elder Gary E. Stevenson from the April 2009 General Conference as a springboard for our idea. We also used the hymn, "Home Can Be a Heaven on Earth" and the primary song, "I Love to See the Temple." We typed up our declaration, printed it on nice paper and signed it. As soon as we get our new family pictures done in a couple of weeks, we are going to get it custom framed with our declaration and The Family: A Proclamation to the World and hang the whole thing above our piano in our front room. So far, it has been wonderful serving as a reminder to our children (and to us) of how we should treat each other and learn to get along better in our family.
The King Family Declaration of Strengthening Our Family