Monday, July 8, 2013

A Testimony, a Cupcake, and Oscillating Family Narratives

Today's not-so-favorite moments included . . .

. . .  finishing my Primary lesson ten minutes early, with the chorister (who was due to take the helm after me) no where in sight.  While the Primary president went in search of the chorister, I talked with the kids about what they did for the Fourth of July.  It may not have been the most spiritual Primary experience they've ever had, but it was better than listening to crickets, and I eventually tied it into quality time with family, which is our theme this month.

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . Joy actually uttering a sentence at the podium in church before losing her nerve and having me share the other few things she'd planned to say.  She's wanted to bear her testimony for months, and I'm proud of her for keeping at it until she succeeded (with a little help).

. . . eating a coconut cupcake my mom sent home from the cabin with us.  There were other flavors, too, but I like the coconut ones the best.

. . . taking a relaxing walk with my family at sundown.  At one point Anna tripped and then came running to Daddy for comfort.  By the time she reached him the pain and shock were gone, but she still wanted a hug from her favorite guy, so instead of a sniffling comfort-me hug she gave him a massive (for a toddler) bear hug.  It was cute.

And another thing . . .

. . . this evening I read a New York Times article postulating that family narratives are closely linked to children's resilience and self-esteem.  The author cites a study that found that "the more children knew about their family’s history, the stronger their sense of control over their lives, the higher their self-esteem and the more successfully they believed their families functioned."  He said that hearing stories about where their grandparents grew up, how their parents met, how the family weathered good times and bad, etc., gives children a sense of belonging to something larger than themselves: a family that endures.  He added that of the three types of family narratives--constantly improving, on the decline, or oscillating--the most beneficial one is the third, which shows that the family enjoys good times and bounces back from bad ones.

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