TEN WAYS TO SPEND TIME WITH YOUR CHILDREN
Ezra Taft Benson
1. “Be at the Crossroads”: take time to always be at the crossroads when your children are either coming or going – when they leave and return from school, when they leave and return from dates, when they bring friends home.
2. “Be a Real Friend”: Listen to your children, really listen. Talk with them, laugh and joke with them, sing with them, play with them, cry with them, hug them, honestly praise them.
3. “Read to Your Children”: You will plant a love for good literature and a real love for the scriptures if you will read to your children regularly.
4. “Pray with Your Children”: Have your children feel of your faith as you call down the blessings of heaven upon them. Paraphrasing the words of James, ‘The … fervent prayer of a righteous (mother) availeth much’ (James 5:16)
5. “Have Weekly Home Evenings”: Participate in a spiritual and an uplifting home evening each week … Make this one of your great family traditions.
6. “Be Together at Mealtimes”: Happy conversation, sharing of the day’s plans and activities, and special teaching moments occur at mealtime because mothers and fathers and children work at it.
7. “Read Scriptures daily”: Reading the Book of Mormon together as a family will especially bring increased spirituality into your home and will give both parents and children the power to resist temptation and to have the Holy Ghost as their constant companion.
8. “Do Things as a Family”: Make family outings and picnics and birthday celebrations and trips special times and memory builders. Whenever possible, attend as a family, events where one of the family members if involved.
9. “Teach Your Family”: Catch the teaching moments. This can be done anytime during the day – at mealtime, in casual settings, or at special sit-down times together, at the foot of the bed at the end of the day, or during an early morning walk together.
10. “Truly Love Your Children”: A mother’s unqualified love approaches Christ-like love.
(To the mothers in Zion, address given at a fireside for parents; February 22, 1987)