Literacy and Education. Discuss continuing education for both children and parents. Any challenges the children are having in school that the family can help with are discussed. Some examples: We reviewed school schedules for tests and special projects to see that proper time and support are provide. We have established a family rule eliminating TV during test week. We also discussed and supported upgrade training and education for dad and mother. Continued schooling and job training was just part of the plan. The intent is to have family members help and support each other. If one is having a challenge, we all need to help even if it’s just in our prayers.
Employment: Includes discussion of all job transfers and job changes. We also discuss the careers/part and full time jobs of the children. These events are very stressful on a family. Talking about career changes and moves help to clarify thinking and make it easier for the family to provide needed support. We were an Air Force family so transfers and job changes have been a way of life. Talking about a pending promotion and soliciting family member's prayer has been of value. Likewise, when transfers were pending, open discussions of where and when we were moving made it easier on all family members to plan. Things like, what we wanted in a new house and things to look for in a new school plus planned visits to the new Church (stake/ward) were all discussed. Jobs for the children have been a continuing subject. When two of our teenage sons wanted some additional spending money, we were living in Waynesboro, Pennsylvania. After a family council discussion, we arranged to get a newspaper route after school and the brothers really enjoyed it. As a result, when we moved to Denver, Colorado, the younger of the two liked the spending money and wanted a newspaper route again. We discussed it in Family Coumcil and worked out a schedule so he and mother could work an early morning route. (He put several thousand dollars in savings. He had to give up the paper route when he started early morning seminary but he later used the money for marriage expenses.) Summer jobs are a problem to find for youth under sixteen. It is sometimes a challenge to find good summer employment for college students. By having the item on the agenda, we worked the problem early. One year a son painted the house and another year he helped a neighbor with landscaping so he could continue a heavy summer baseball schedule. The other children have found jobs in fast food and working government summer hire programs. Supporting children as they search for jobs after finishing their education is also important. This takes the form of discussion, council and prayer.
Financial and Resource Management: This includes planning and expenditure of family funds plus the care of resources that the family has already. Resource and property maintenance and management begins with small children learning to care for their things and respecting others as well. We have had the children help repair and fix their toys and household items. This helps teach stewardship of that which we have and life skills. We have worked on the family budget with each move and or promotion/job change at the executive council level. We have then discussed the budget at Family Council to share realities and get family support. We generally review the family budget once a month and discuss any issues of impact. To help the children understand the impact of budgeting and resource management we have called each to be financial assistant when they were in their junior or senior year of high school. They work with the tracking and reporting of funds. It has worked very well in preparing college students, missionaries, adults and marriage.
Home production and Storage: The garden, canning and food storage inventory are topic here. Even small child can have fun with these topics. We have children help the family decide what to plant in the garden and then manage weeding, watering, harvesting and, when appropriate, canning. The family involvement events are put on the calendar. The children have also helped in periodic inventories of stored items – food and other items. Reassessment of family food needs changes with the maturity and departure of the children.
Physical Health. Exercise and health issues to support family members are discussed. We separate family recreation and social activity from individual health and wellness issues. We have supported each other in exercise programs for body conditioning to support for athletics and well being. We have also rallied in time of health crises to support family and extended family members. I broke my femur leg bone just above the knee and was laid up for over a month and this required someone to drive me to work and physical therapy. We discussed and developed a plan of action with the family support for nearly two months. Our 17-year-old son broke his jaw playing basketball and had to have his jaw wired shut. We searched and found some high protein powered food that he could suck through a straw five times a day. This required getting the drink to school. We worked it as a family and he only lost 15 pounds.
Spiritual and Emotion Strength. Support the spiritual side of the personality through prayer and scripture reading and handling stress of everyday life are topics. Supporting and sustaining one another in Church and community responsibilities are also covered. We discussed how we are doing in our individual reading and prayers. Individual personal interviews and established daily family worship have helped develop spiritual self-reliance in the children. When a parent or child has received a major church calling, we have discussed the assignment, time commitment and impact on the family. Then we asked for a sustaining vote. We tried to remember each other in our prayers as we function in the various calling/responsibilities outside the home. I was called as a member of the Kaiserslautern, Germany Servicemen Stake Presidency. I was not there to be sustain or set apart so Elder Theodore Burton ask that the family come to Frankfurt Germany for me to be set apart. On that occasion he visited with the young family of seven and asked for their sustaining vote. All raised their hands and continued that support in prayers and deeds as he requested for the duration of the call.
The Goal here is to develop individual self-reliance in temporal/physical and spiritual matters by the time a child leaves the home. Return to Standard FC Agenda