This weekend we had General Conference. My kids are learning to love it. Steven and I felt like we rocked it with kids this time around. The dilemma is that we really want to listen. But the kids really want to play with us. But we want the kids to want to listen. But they are seven, four, and two (Merit is off the hook for now). And we don't want to make them hate it by forcing them to be super quiet.
But like I said, I think we rocked it. My in-laws were here for Saturday and most of Sunday, so having them made it super fun, too.
Some really good ideas for keeping little ones engaged during conference:
- Clear the floor of whatever room you're watching in, and bring in a big bucket of train tracks and make a quiet train station with them, with the tracks stretching across the room.
- Ask them to sit quietly and listen to just one talk, then after that they can play. It was amazing how this worked. They would forgot that they had wanted to play if they listened intently for a few minutes, and ended up listening to a talk-and-a-half before getting up to play.
- Bribe with food. Well, not really "bribe", just interest them with a special treat, like ice cream, if they come and quietly listen.
- Make sure that they are in the room, participating in prayer and singing the rest hymns, and during the sustaining.
- If you are on the east coast, and conference doesn't start until noon, use the morning on both Saturday and Sunday to do something really fun as a family. On Saturday they went out on a grandparent date and Steven and Merit and I went out on a date. On Sunday we went on a nature walk for about three hours. We were all ready to snuggle up on the couch after that!
- And finally, this is a parent idea that I've never done but really want to: prepare ALL meals ahead of time so that you don't have to spend any time in the kitchen during conference.
I love General Conference. I didn't always. But now I do. I do, because every time I listen to these men and women speak, I feel something so warm in my heart swell up and I just feel that they are teachers from Heavenly Father, called to instruct us and teach us how to live life joyfully.
I was too busy enjoying this weekend to take a ton of photos, but here are a few!