Okay, so I didn't realize until the brother giving one of the last talks (can't remember his name--hard to pay close attention to details with three little ones running around. . .) said that they are not given specific topics or themes for conference talks. I may have heard that before, but it never registered until this time. Cool. So, I guess that means that the Lord really wants us to better understand the role of parents in teaching their children since I think that theme came across in almost all the talks in all four sessions! (at least all the ones that I was able to pay any attention too--again, note, 3 young kids running around. . .
Which brings me to how grateful I am for technology and being able to watch General Conference at home. Growing up we always had to go out to the church to see it on the satellite t.v. connection out there. My parents ALWAYS attended all 4 sessions. That made a huge impact on me when I went to college. I remember my freshman year at BYU when the October General Conference came around and I realized that I could skip the whole thing if I wanted. . .(ya know realizing your newfound total indepence--or at least thinking I had that much independence or something like that).
Regardless, I remember consciously thinking that I supposed since I was an adult now, I should watch all 4 sessions of conference since my parents always did (they didn't require us kids to watch all 4, if I remember correctly, at least 1 when we turned 8 and two or three as a teenager? not sure.) Actually, I remember loving conference weekend as a kid cause I got to go out to the church while my parents watched the Saturday sessions and play with my friend, AnnMarie. I fondly remember playing in the classrooms and in the big back yard of the church that was adjacent to some woods. (our parents, the missionaries, and possible a few more people were generally the only ones out there on Saturday). Then, on Sunday, in between the sessions, our branch always had a delicious potluck dinner! It was always good eating!! And a great break after having to (um, I mean "getting to") sit 2 hours watching the Sunday morning session (and my parents philosophy was that once we were 8 years old we needed to listen, not color or write--always a bit jealous of my friend, AnnMarie, who was still allowed to color and write during church after turning 8).
Okay, so back to being grateful to being at home to watch conference. Now that I'm a mom, it sure is nice to be able to just go put the baby in her crib for her nap while I return to watch conference. And to let the kids play around us (or better yet, when they decide to go to their room and play--ahh, I actually get to pay close attention for a bit). Okay, maybe not "better yet" cause I also love that when they are out playing while we watch they do occassionally pick up on something (normally a familier word or one they think is funny) which allows me to interact with them about what the speaker is talking about. Or rewind the t.v. when a speaker is telling a story and some pictures come up on the screen of a children's book or children so that they can see it. Though, I'm not so excited when they are blocking each other's view on purpose and then loud protests and crying ensue. . .or when they're playing and just start arguing about something and loud protests and crying ensue again. . .okay, could do without those incidents.
But, overall, love the ability to be home to watch conference rather than dragging the kiddoes out to the church four times in one weekend (the fond memories I mentioned earlier were when I was old enough to remember, therefore, not a baby. I'm sure my parents did not relish attending conference at the church with 6 kids. I'll have to ask my mom about that. . .get some stories--family history.
Anyway, that said, this weekend's conference was great! Lots of talks about our parental responsibilities to teach & nurture our children. A great reminder to me to re-evaluate what/how I'm doing in that regard and make some much needed changes. Someone also mentioned how losing your temper is always a negative thing. That's something I've been thinking about and talking with Simon about a lot lately--what I say is that yelling is always bad parenting. So, why do I still do it so much??? I really am trying and I do realize I am a much more effective parent when I speak in a normal tone of voice. But, also, how come, so often, my kids do not respond to me when I'm talking to them (even when I've repeated the same thing--i.e. calling their name--numerous times times in a normal voice) until I yell. Then, I suddenly have their attention. Feeling the need to get something accomplished without wasting anymore time, I often resorted to yelling in those cases. I don't keep yelling, just yell their name or what I asked them to do and then return to a normal voice. I still don't think that's a good idea, but I still do it . . .
I would be a much more effective parent if I would get my act together and communicate better to my children exactly what my expectations are before the fact. Or something like that. Anyone else out there ever get that bogged down/a bit overhwhelmed feeling when you think about how to get the household organized enough that everyone knows exactly what's going on and when and what's expected? I'm not talking about having everything all scheduled out all the time, just making sure my kids. . . something, I can't even explain what I'm thinking or feeling in words. I would love if we could communicate our thoughts and feelings rather than having to translate them into words. . .a seemingly limited form of communication.
Anyway, enjoyed conference, working on being a better parent.
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