I have been thinking a lot of about our family scripture study and how frustrating it can be with little kids. Scene: Mariella brings her own book and insists on you reading it. You try just pointing at the pictures but she calls your bluff and squawks until you actually whisper the words in her ear. Meanwhile Vivi and Lara are fighting over who gets to put their feet where and "stop kicking me!" and "you did it first!" Mariella then tires of the book and tries to leave the room so she can play in the toilet. Reed is blocking the door so she cries and shoves and cries some more. Vivi and Lara are separated so they can't fight with each other. Vivi then starts singing to herself, loudly. Lara squawks at her to stop. And so on.
I have had to take a step back and look at what we are doing right so as to not get so frustrated. I decided to post some ideas here so I can reference them later.
2. From a recent blog post of a friend of mine- make sure your family scripture study reading area is conducive to the spirit. Read: clean. Or at least tidy. Read the full blog post here.
3. If there's one thing I learned from years serving in primary it is "What are the children going to DO to learn the gospel." Kids learn by ACTION and the scriptures are no different. Try acting out the scripture stories as you read them and you may find that even the tiniest little verse will take 10 minutes to act and they will get the point!
4. There are, of course, times in the scriptures where there's not a story to act. At these times Reed and I have come up with a fun way to keep the kids' attention. We pick out a key word or phrase and pair an action with it. Whenever they hear the word or phrase, they have to do the action. Lately it's been names for Christ, such as Lamb of God, the Lord, Son of God, etc. They love stomping their feet, clapping their hands, spinning, or whatever whenever they hear those words.
5. Even the littlest of kids can repeat after you when reading the scriptures. Mariella loves it when she sits in our laps and we whisper the words in her ear. She also loves holding our fingers while we show her the words as we read. Vivi repeats phrases and Lara can read on her own. Everyone can participate at their own level and they feel more a part of the process.
6. I have been trying to remind myself that quantity should not always trump quality when it comes to reading the scriptures. Often, Vivi will ask a question or make a comment that is totally not on topic with the current reading passage. Yesterday we were reading about the Jaredites and she starts talking about how Jesus had a stripe on his side where someone poked him. Our first inclination was to nod our heads, shush her, and continue reading. But why? We stopped and talked about what happened to Christ when he died and was resurrected. It took 5 minutes and then we resumed our reading. I am sure she doesn't remember a thing about what we actually read and I know that she will remember what we discussed.
7. When we are having a rough night during scriptures study, I just remind myself "hey, there's always tomorrow." :)