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May 14, 2020 | Christlike Parenting

Essential Family Home Evening Talks for Older Kids and Teens

Many of the important FHE issues that I have focused on with my kids have to do with the unique challenges they face in this modern age--particularly those dealing with technology.

By Dina Alexander, MS

Back when my kids were preschoolers, I only had about five minutes to do a “lesson” with them for Family Home Evening (FHE). If I managed to hold their attention for 10 minutes, I patted myself on the back and called myself “Mother of the Year.” However, as they’ve grown older, and their attention spans have improved, I have found that FHE can be an awesome opportunity to set goals and talk about important issues affecting our family, as well as build our kids’ spiritual, physical, social, intellectual, and emotional “accounts.” Sound like the new Children and Youth program?

Preparing Kids for Modern Challenges

Many of the important issues that I have focused on with my kids have to do with the unique challenges they face in this modern age–particularly those dealing with technology. Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles warned, “Be cautious. These same technologies can allow evil influences to cross the threshold of your homes.These dangerous traps are only a mouse click away. Pornography, violence, intolerance, and ungodliness destroy families, marriages, and individual lives. These dangers are distributed through many media, including magazines, books, television, movies, and music, as well as the internet.”

Of course, some of the most important topics for FHE are the basic principles of the gospel are faith, testimony, the Atonement, repentance, etc., but it is also essential to fortify your children by covering the following:

Spiritual Topics:

Kindness: Online, Face to Face,  and Everywhere

Integrity: Online and Everywhere

Gratitude

Teach Your Kids to R.U.N. from Pornography

Creating Your Family Media Guidelines

Emotional Topics:

Learning Positive Self-Talk

Helping Your Child Develop Empathy

Dangers of Pornography for Kids ages 8-11

Dangers of Pornography for Kids ages 12+

Talking with Your Teens about Sex

8 Ways to Start Talking With Your Kids about Sex

Intellectual Topics:

Internet Safety and Digital Citizenship

Understanding Messages in Media

Media Literacy II: Deconstructing Media Images

Talking to Your Kids about Gaming

THINK Before You Speak, Post,or Hit Send

Physical Topics:

Healthy Body Image

Healthy Body Image for Boys

Addiction

Good Touch/Bad Touch

A Master of Your Body: Moving Beyond Good Touch/Bad Touch

Social Topics:

How to Create Healthy Relationships

Using Technology for Good

Standing Up Against Bullying

Teaching our Kids Smart Clothing Choices and Modesty

Dangers and Consequences of Sexting

Positive Communication: Online and Everywhere

If you and your spouse need help creating an awesome FHE, check these out:

How to Have a Family Council

The Ultimate Guide to Keeping Kids Safe Online

We are living in the greatest time the earth has ever seen. These are the days that have been prophesied to come for thousands of years–the wonderful parts as well as the dark spots. It is no accident that we are here on the Earth at this time raising this amazing, strong generation. We have a great responsibility that God has entrusted us with. But we can do this! As Dallin H. Oaks, First Councilor in the First Presidency, said, “Signs of the Second Coming are all around us and seem to be increasing in frequency and intensity. . . . While we are powerless to alter the fact of the Second Coming and unable to know its exact time, we can accelerate our own preparation and try to influence the preparation of those around us. We need to make both temporal and spiritual preparation for the events prophesied at the time of the Second Coming [emphasis added].”

For more FHE ideas, read here.

Looking for a great book with tons of FHE ideas? Check out Conversations with My Kids: 30 Essential Family Discussions for the Digital Age or 30 Days to a Stronger Child.

 

About the Author:

Dina Alexander is the founder of Educate and Empower Kids (educateempowerkids.org), an organization determined to strengthen families by teaching digital citizenship, media literacy, and healthy sexuality education—including education about the dangers of online porn. She is the creator of How to Talk to Your Kids About Pornography, the 30 Days of Sex Talks and 30 Days to a Stronger Child programs. She is also the author of Noah’s New Phone: A Story About Using Technology for Good and Petra’s Power to See: A Media Literacy Adventure

Most recently, Dina has published This is the Spirit of Revelation for Latter-day Saint children and their families, and Conversations with My Kids, 30 Essential Family Discussions for the Digital Age.

 

Modern Age, Modern Challenges

“Be cautious.These same technologies can allow evil influences to cross the threshold of your homes.These dangerous traps are only a mouse click away. Pornography, violence, intolerance, and ungodliness destroy families, marriages, and individual lives. These dangers are distributed through many media, including magazines, books, television, movies, and music, as well as the internet.”–Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Great FHE Resource!

Great discussions and timely topics. Conversations with My Kids has all the vital talking points you and your kids need for our Digital Age. Written by Latter-day Saints who know and understand your challenges. All profits from the sale of our books are donated to LDS Philanthropies.

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