Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Attributes of Christ

Todd and I went to a special HFPE last night and it was Debbie Forrest (she used to be in Bob and Sue's ward--her husband was killed in a car accident while he was bishop in 2000). Anyway, she has taken the Character First program that several cities have implemented, and turned it into something wonderful that we can use in our families, to work on our character, and help us to be more like our Savior, one characteristic at a time. There are 49 character qualities, and their definitions that you put into a notebook for each member of your family. Then, each week on Sunday night, you introduce the quality for that week, and talk about the definition, and also the opposite. Each person writes down goals for the week to improve that quality in their own character. Monday is a family night lesson on that attribute using scriptures, or quotes from prophets, or whatever you want to use. They even suggested using Preach My Gospel on page 122 & 123 where it says "Developing Christlike Attributes", then goes on to give 8 steps to follow to study and develop each attribute. Obviously some will be harder than others, but this is part of the challenge. "Patience vs. Restlesness"--boy that will be a BIG one for me! And how about this one: "Punctuality vs. Tardiness"--oh MAN! You get the idea.

She talked at length about using these attributes to mold and shape our children into children of character, helping them to follow the Savior, and to be more like him. She challenged us to make 10 positive, praising comments to our children for every negative one--HARD! But they need to feel our love, and our Savior's love in their lives! It's hard enough for our youth to live in this wicked world, with evil all around them, and then to have to come home to negativity and criticism. We need to be careful that we are BUILDING character in our children and recognizing the good that they do--not TEARING down their self-worth, and self esteem. I really felt the spirit in this meeting, and felt a need to change the way I speak to my children, and to my spouse. Most importantly, I felt a need to try to recognize in my children the gifts of the spirit, and the strengths of character that they have already been given, and recognize them more often for those strengths instead of grinding away at them for their weaknesses. After all--don't I have more weaknesses than all of my children put together!!??

I would challenge you all to take a look at this program, and see if you think it is worth your time! I really think it is a great way to recognize that all of our children have different strengths and weaknesses, and we as parents can work on building our character together as a family. If you are interested, leave a comment, or email me, and I will email you the contents of the folders you can make, and you can also go to the website for more information, although, I'm not sure you need to buy any of their materials, unless you just want to make it easier on yourself in researching each character trait. They do have a great poster of all the traits and the definitions for pretty cheap--and also a pocket guide you can buy for $1.00 for your children to keep with them. They also have a page with tons of free downloads to help you. Somehow, I think we will learn more by doing it on our own, and putting in the time and effort to study each trait. I think I will assign different children to do some of them as well. Think of it--49 family nights--DONE!

1 comment:

Heather said...

Tami, your were inspired to post this for me! I would LOVE to have that! I'm always trying to figure out something to help our family. THANK YOU!

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