When the BYU School of Family Life was created, September 10, 1998, President Boyd K. Packer called for BYU faculty to produce textbooks and courses on family life that would: (1) be worthy of a great university (rigorous, excellent, challenging); (2) be filled with moral and spiritual truths in full harmony with the restored gospel; (3) help students be good spouses and parents.
As a student at BYU, one of my required classes was Family Life 100. This book was the textbook for my class.
“This compilation of essays by more than 80 respected LDS theologians, sociologists, and thinkers across many disciplines explores the Proclamation in depth, illuminating its rich doctrine and key principles. The book also offers hundreds of practical tips for strengthening marriage and family relationships, guiding children, and helping families in challenging circumstances.”
This book has often given me something to think about. Check this out.
“In modern society we experience an accelerated sense of time in family life that can leave family members, especially children, feeling like a cog in some time machine rather than a loved individual. In a recent representative national survey, 44% of children reported that their time with their mother was rushed, and feeling rushed was related to children’s negative feelings about their mothers. Children’s time is not the same as adults’ time; their pace is slower and less structured” (p. 71).
I’m a little chagrined to realize how much of my daily vocabulary is comprised of phrases like this: “Fast, fast” and “Quick, quick” and “Get in the car right NOW”. Do we really need to be in such hurry all the time? I don’t want my children to look back on their childhood and have feelings of rushing and rushing be the dominant memory.
Author Anna Quindlen offers a compelling reminder: “The biggest mistake I made [as a parent] is the one that most of us make…I did not live in the moment enough. This is particularly clear now that the moment is gone, captured only in photographs. There is one picture of [my three children] sitting in the grass on a quilt in the shadow of the swing set on a summer day, ages six, four, and one. and I wish I could remember what we ate, and what we talked about, and how they sounded, and how they looked when they slept that night. I wish I had not been in such a hurry to get on to the next thing: dinner, bath, book, bed. I wish I had treasured the doing a little more and getting it done a little less” (Loud and Clear , 10-11).
The next time I find myselt thinking “hurry, let’s get in the car and go”, I hope I’ll stop and take the opportunity to examine the tree branch or the pine cone my daughter offers for my inspection.
And I’ll hug my children close and show them how much I love them. Time is precious, and so are my children.