I was so frustrated that my kids just didn't seem to get along at all, constantly picking on each other and fighting, and more disturbing to me, just didn't seem to care about each other. Both of my boys play soccer, so I used an Family Home Evening to talk to them about playing on a team. How does it feel when one person always has the ball and doesn't share it? Can you make goals if there's no one there to pass the ball to? etc. Once they got the idea that the only way to win the game is to work as a team (I'm condensing this obviously) then I explained to them that our life on earth is like a game. What's our goal? The celestial kingdom. We have to get there together as a family, because it's no good to win the game if you are by yourself. then I said if this is a game, who is the other team? Well, obviously that's Satan - his team is going to try to stop you from "scoring goals" through temptation, trying to get you to ignore the right things to do. And he's going to try to score his own goals, too - he gets a goal when we fight, when we don't work as a team. I then made a soccer field on a piece of paper, laminated it, and wrote "our team" vs. Satan's team and hung it on our fridge. We keep score of the "game" by giving our team points when the kids share, say nice things to each other, etc. Satan's team gets a point when they bicker, throw a tantrum, are selfish, all of those things that would make Satan so happy to see our family doing.

It has worked so incredibly well for our family - my husband and I are constantly looking for the good things and rewarding them, instead of just being relieved that the kids aren't killing each other! :) At each Family Home Evening we check the score and if we are winning, the kids get a special treat, then we erase the score and start over. (Dry-erase marker wipes off of lamination.) One week the score was so close and one son was in a BAD mood, so we held Family Home Evening early that night so we could stop keeping score because ten more minutes and Satan would have won! I think the basic concept could translate well into a sharing time, because most of the school-age kids understand the teamwork concept, but haven't necessarily applied it to regular life.




 

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