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Copyright: May, 1991 by Family Services, Zurich, Switzerland.
Part Three--Required Reading for All Adults, EAs & Teens 16 Years & Up!
(Parts or all of this FSM can be read by Junior Teens.)


Introduction       1
Organising Family Time & the Family Time Deacon       3
Prime-Time Parenting       5
More Happy Mealtime Tips       6
Be Sure to Set Disciplinary Standards!       7
Key Quotes on United Home Disciplinary Standards       9
The Roles of Foster Parents & Childcare Helpers       11
Maria on Avoiding Favouritism       12
Parenting Teamworks       13
Notice: Special Request       13
Nursery Set-Up for Family Time       14
Ideas & Activities for Family Time!       14
Have You Tried the Following for Family Time?       15
Family Time Kits, Toy Closets & Libraries       17
Playroom or Activity Center Guidelines       18
United Family Time Activities       19
Suggestions for Children's Special Activity Night       20
Ideas for Children's Special Activity Nights       21
Burn Free at Get-Out Time!       23
Parents Should Keep the Night Schedule       23
Regarding Outings & Rewards for Children       24
Family Day!       24
Grandpa & Maria--The Best Sample Parents!       26
Teachers' Checklist--To Give to Parents       27
Checklist for Parents--To Return to Teachers       28

By Sara D. & Dora

       "Hey! Listen to this! Did everyone hear that it's a new Home requirement that we adults & parents participate in one hour of Family Time every day? That means we're now going to be required to get all the kids together & organise activities & keep them occupied & disciplined & happy..."
       Now let's just guess what might immediately run through the minds of you busy parents upon hearing this announcement. "Required? One hour of Family Time with all of our kids daily? You've gotta be kidding!"
       We understand completely that you've had a busy week of meetings & deadlines, or lots of outreach, keeping your stats up, taking care of childcare groups, raising funds, etc. Maybe you've even had to get reports off & you're more-than-busy with fulltime duties or ministries. You've most likely barely had enough Word time all this past week! Maybe it's even been raining for days outside, & you haven't had a chance to enjoy much outdoor Get-Out, or maybe you didn't even get to enjoy your weekend video or free-time!
       And then, boom!--On top of all this, when you've hardly even realised that it's Saturday evening, your six children ranging from ages one to 12 all come bounding through your bedroom doorway just before dinner, exclaiming gleefully, "It's Family Time!--And we're going to be with you all tonight & all day tomorrow!"--As you greet the happy bunch, you silently pray, wondering where in the world you're ever going to get enough energy & patience to endure the next 24 hours!
       Has something like this ever happened to you? Well, it probably has happened to all of us, so we all know the end of this story of frustration! For sure we all want to spend happy times with our kids, & we would like to enjoy it, plus make it fruitful. Mama has expressed to us the urgency & need to spend more quality & individual time with our kids, it's even a new Home requirement. So there must be a way to make it work!
       Since we've all pled guilty to the above scenario, & we know that that's definitely "where it ain't", let's replay this scene & try again, this time portraying what could happen with a whole new outlook, vision, planning & faith towards this wonderful, privileged, fun time, Family Time (formerly called Parent Time)!--An enjoyable event that we'll now all be sharing together with our kids on a regular basis! Let's try again & see if perhaps this plan might work better:
       It's Saturday afternoon & both parents have tried to wrap up all their work, meetings, appointments, reports, even little personal extras on their "to do" lists if possible, such as showering & room clean-up etc. a little in advance of the kids' arrival on Saturday, because they know that a busy Family Time evening & a full Family Day is ahead! They know that in order to enjoy their time together, they need to consciously stop at a certain time & check out of "work mode", & not be concerned about whatever they didn't get done or distracted with other thoughts. They also try to take some time off to pray together for their children & plan their weekend. (Ideally the couple has benefitted from a half-day or possibly a full day off together sometime in the week. This time off for Word & rest, the "W&R Day", should be agreed upon by the Home Council & scheduled so that all adults can take turns having a half or full day off every week or two weeks, specifically for Word, rest & prayer time.)
       After stopping their work a little early on Saturday afternoon, Mr. & Mrs. Parent take the time to plan out ideas of what to do with all six of their young charges, as they know that the kids will be very much looking forward to this special time spent with their parents or Foster Parents. Weather permitting, the mommy has a particular burden to pack a picnic lunch together with the older kids Sunday morning & then take a walk to a nearby woodsy area & have a picnic & song time together before the kids' Sunday afternoon nap. That sounded great to Mr. Parent, especially because his nap is included in the schedule as well! He also has a specific burden to view a movie with the kids during Saturday night Family Time before their Sunday Family Day together. He even volunteered to take on a few more kids from other families that Saturday night, thinking he could take all the kids ages 9 & up for an OC video. While he's with the older kids that evening, Mrs. Parent could take their two younger kids for some special story time & fellowship time together before bed.
       When they further discussed the idea of watching a video, Mr. Parent commented, "It would be nice to show something really worthwhile for the kids to see. Maybe a new video, not `Sound of Music', because our kids have seen that movie 58 times already!" Then Mrs. Parent says, "Yes, I agree. Oh, I recall hearing that James, the teacher of the OC Department, has previewed a good new movie this week for kids & has prepared some lessons from it for them. Maybe we can ask James to see if he's available to show the OCs the video on Saturday night. What do you think?" "Great idea. And I could team up with him to help pow-wow the lessons, serve snack & help control the kids. Isn't it wonderful that we have arranged a time in our schedule for adults to preview new movies for the kids on a regular basis?--It sure has improved our family video viewing!"
       They are happy with their simple plans & are thus ready to receive their kids for an enjoyable evening & weekend together. Because it had also been agreed upon beforehand by the teachers & parents alike, the parents were able to receive a brief report in checklist form about their kids' health, progress & behaviour at School. By using these report forms as often as is needed & agreed upon by all, the teacher can inform the parents of how each child is doing in their school groups. The parents can likewise fill out a similar report form to be returned to the teachers, when the kids return to school on Monday morning, as needed. (See sample report forms on pgs. 27-28 of this FSM.)
       So now that Mr. & Mrs. Parent are fully prepared with an update on the kids, they've had a little time to prepare, & they're prayed up, organised & prepared in advance--what hinders them from having fun Family Time Saturday evening & a wonderful full Family Day on Sunday?
       The moral to this story: The key to Family Time success is prayer, preparation & participation, with a new vision that time spent with our children is important to all of us! PTL!
       (Note: In the scenario we just described we referred to a schedule where Family Day falls on Sunday. However, this is not to say that this particular schedule is mandatory by any means.--Your weekly schedule can be decided upon in your Home according to what's best for you. For example, some Schools find that Sunday is a very busy day with visitors, so these Schools often have their Family Day on Monday. Please feel free to arrange your schedule as you feel led according to your individual situation.)

Organising Family Time & the Family Time Deacon

       Yes, folks, it can be done! Family Time can be lots of fun! If you have struggled with organising Family Time in various Schools, Combos & Homes, perhaps the following tried-&-proven tips will help you in initiating this newly required Family Time as a more fruitful, inspiring time together as a Home!--Since we're all one, big, happy Family--"One Wife"! PTL!
       One of the first steps to organising Family Time is to have an assigned Family Time deacon--a person (male or female, married or single) who not only has the burden & vision to make this an organised & inspiring time for all, but one who can also really see it through & keep it running efficiently. The Family Time deacon serves as the "master of ceremonies" who can announce or be responsible for posting or passing out a brief to-the-point listing to the Home each night of what various Family Time activities are prepared & set up for parents to attend with their kids, i.e. toys, outside games, etc. One key to success in your united activities is to advertise them far enough in advance so that the parents can make their plans well in advance. The HCS has found it effective to have a bulletin board with lights around it (to make it inspiring & attractive) where they highlight new ideas, activities etc.
       If you wish, the deacon can also generally monitor each Family Time hour to make sure that the kids are under control, supervised & having safe & prayerful playtime or activities with the adults. He can just keep an overseeing eye on things, as needed. The Family Time deacon is not only responsible for the organisation of the different activities, but he should have a burden for the job, as well as the initiative to research different ideas from the Activity Books & pubs, to collect ideas from parents & Teens, & to keep his eyes open for when a change of activities is needed.
       The Family Time deacon's responsibilities could also include: Manning the first-aid kit, knowing where the balls & play equipment are kept, making sure the bikes & trikes are returned to their proper places, making sure there is an alternative indoor activity planned in case any outdoor activity that is scheduled is cancelled due to rain, making sure the VCR is set up & working if video viewing is scheduled for the evening, & that any movies for children are available & previewed & edifying etc. He could also use the JETT & Teen power in the Home to delegate extra duties to. The Family Time deacon role may need to alternate between two or three people, so that they can also have Family Time with the kids & get to play some too! (Note: The responsibilities of the Family Time deacon could also be handled by a small group of older Teens or Experimental Adults [EDITED: "EAs"], with supervision.)
       The Family Time deacon can organise united activities, which can be held on a regular scheduled basis. Such united activities are especially helpful for large families who may have difficulty keeping their kids of many various ages totally occupied & challenged during Family Time. For example, on Monday activity night, the Family Time deacon could recruit a willing & gifted adult to teach a guitar class to all the older boys. At the same time, in another part of the house, a couple of mommies could have a sewing, cooking or art activity with the older girls. As much as possible, parents should attend the united activities with their children. However, parents also have the option to divide up their children between the different activities that are available. If parents have children of many different ages who attend the activities of several different groups, they may not be able to personally accompany all of their children in their perspective united activities. In such cases when children are not accompanied by their parents, the children will still be well supervised by the adults who are overseeing the activities.
       How about another example: For Thursday night Family Time activity, the deacon may have organised activities for three different age groups to go on simultaneously: 1) There's "Special Toy Time" for the toddlers in the living room, when children bring their toys to be played with communally. 2) "Word Fun" board games such as "Promises of Power", "Run the Race" or "David's Corner" will be played in the dining room for Older Children & parents. (Parents!--Don't miss Memo Review Games, such as "Boxing", "MOP Scrabble" & "Squeeze Don't Jerk" & many more, in Activity Book 4, pgs. Q12-15!--Fun!) 3) The Middle Children might be in another room playing with building sets like Legos or Playmobile toys, or having a puppet show or slide show, prepared by an adult(s) or Teen(s).
       Saturday night could be the main children's activity night with all children & parents together for a dance, special dress-up party, cowboy night, Gypsy night, Sunsign Birthday party, charades, skits, an action-packed inspiration or a united children's video for all! (Note: And you probably have a lot more fun ideas for Saturday activity night. Variety is the spice of life! PTL!)
       Parents, of course, can also spend personal time with their little families in their own bedroom or in the living room or backyard for playtime if they wish.
       If you can play outdoors or have playground equipment in your yard, the Family Time deacon might plan scheduled nights for different families or groups to take turns using the bikes & trikes, or bats & balls, or slides & swings, etc. If the use of this equipment is scheduled, things will run more smoothly & not get overcrowded.
       On the nights when you have specific united activities for Family Time, the deacon can announce the scheduled activities at dinner time so parents & children can all hear what's planned for the evening. He can announce something like: "Are you ready to hear about tonight's united activities? Ok, tonight we have relay & guessing games in the dining room for ages 5 to 10, & a dress-up tea party for 1-4 year-olds in the living room, & a video about dancing for JETTs & Teens in the meeting room. Ready to pray for our activities? So after everyone eats up all their food, please rinse your mouths & wipe your plates clean & help to clear your table! Let's all remember our manners & be on our best shiner behaviour for Mommy & Daddy tonight! Ok, now let's pray..." This way, during their mealtime together, they can choose which activity the children would like to attend, as well as decide which adult would attend with which group of kids. The Family Time deacon can have all of these activities set up & ready for action immediately following dinner.
       So, then you'll be ready for Family Time to begin--right after dinner & prayer! PTL!

A Word on Family Mealtimes

       In our Homes, it is advisable to cut out any business or unnecessary conversations at dinnertime. Your evening meals should be happy, relaxing times for fellowship & not a time to discuss Home business or problems. It can also be an ideal time for sharing short testimonies & victories, either unitedly as a Home or at each table, if you live at a large School or Combo with a large dining room. By cutting out business or strictly adult conversations at this time, we limit the danger of our children overhearing adult or business matters & not understanding them, but nevertheless drawing their own conclusions, which could be the wrong conclusions!
       At dinner time, you could arrange it so that one or two families sit together. JETTs or Teens whose parents aren't in the Home, single moms & their children & other single adults could sit at assigned tables with their personal "foster family" that they team up with regularly. This creates a loving family atmosphere for all & no one feels left out.
       It is highly advisable not to give too many announcements during dinner time, as it's a very difficult time for both parents & children to concentrate on lots of other things. An alternative to making lots of verbal announcements is to distribute important announcements on paper in weekly Home memos, or post announcements on the bulletin board for all to read.
       Very short prayers are also best for united mealtimes, especially if young children are present. Keeping prayers & major announcements very short & inspiring at mealtimes helps to keep the spirit & atmosphere in the dining room under control.

When to Watch the News?

       Ooops! You might be wondering where watching the news fits into this new evening schedule. Maybe you daddies are especially asking this question, as prime TV news time is often right after dinner! A solution would be to have an appointed video deacon record the local & international news daily, & then you can schedule a time later in the evening when the adults & Experimental Adults (EAs) can watch it. This schedule not only helps to reserve that "prime time" after-dinner hour for Family Time, but it also helps to save time overall, because the commercials & any unedifying news can be fast-forwarded. Another possibility is to tune in to the BBC or local news at midday or before bed or at some other convenient time.

Show Your Kids that Spending Time with Them Is Important to You!

       Just a little word here on the importance of guarding & cherishing Family Time as the "special" time that it should be with your children: Mama has said one of the most important things you can spend on children is time, & it seems we all need to learn the important principle that, while our ministries may be important, our children are equally important!--In fact, they are the Kingdom of God! Since the children are in their childcare school groups throughout the day, the short amount of Family Time or individual time that we usually spend with them daily means a great deal to the kids, & it shows them they are important to us. How you spend your time together & how much time you spend together should be important to parents & children alike. However, it's up to us parents (or foster parents & other adults) to make this time special & fun for the kids; & one thing that shows the kids how important this time is to you, their parent, is your making sure that your Family Time is not interrupted by business appointments or conversations with others.
       In many Homes, Family Time begins at dinner time, after the kids have finished their school classes & are reunited with their parents. We've experienced that one of the best ways to make Family Time really work is to agree that adults will just not disturb one another with any business during this special time when your children know & expect that you will give them your full attention. Therefore, any Home meetings, sub-committee meetings or even adult conversations & asking of questions or counselling should be scheduled or taken care of before or after Family Time.
       Every adult in the Home will need to help ensure that nothing else interrupts or takes the place of Family Time. It's up to each of us to make that conscious effort to lay aside our concerns, our work, our thoughts for the day, & tune in 100% to that special time the Lord has now provided for us to have with our children. If we look forward to this time & count it a joy & privilege, & we desire to spend real quality time with our children, we must strive to use it & guard it as a special time of bonding & love. Can we stop our busy activities to play with or listen to & converse with our children for one hour of Family Time each day?--Yes! Our kids expect it of us!
       * * *

Be Sure to Set Disciplinary Standards!

       Now that dinner is over & the announcements have been made of what activities might be planned for the evening, let's begin! It might be helpful if before your family leaves the dinner table you remind the kids, if needed, of any guidelines or disciplinary standards that you expect them to follow! Even if fun activities are all set, it's going to be a lot of extra hard work & no fun at all if your kids are wild & woolly & you're not able to control them! In fact, before beginning any kind of childcare activity, whether it be at Family Time, in a school group, at Get-Out, during excursions, witnessing, or even with one-on-one projects between adults & children in the Home, a simple reminder of the disciplinary guidelines helps keep the children aware of their "boundaries". And they won't be so inclined to try "testing" you if they know you're intent on enforcing the rules! (Also, please don't forget to begin your Family Time with a little prayer together, during which time you can get each person's attention, draw everyone in, make everyone feel needed, set boundaries & schedules, & discuss what everyone would like to do during your time together.)
       A united disciplinary standard is essential for happy, productive adult/child interactions, & can greatly improve the overall spirit & effectiveness of your whole Home. As is explained in "The New `Back-to-the-Basics' Home Requirements" (GN 465), your Home Disciplinary Standard should be established & agreed upon by all the parents, adults & Teens. Once this standard is then thoroughly & lovingly explained to the children, you can operate more smoothly according to the "contract" all have agreed upon. Your Home Disciplinary Standard can be altered & improved upon later, if need be, as you will probably learn as you go & you may want to modify some of the different rules etc.
       Dad & Mama have clearly laid out for us in the Letters the need for such a standard & how to go about setting it up. Please see "Childcare Discipline Jewels" in DB2 for a wonderful compilation of how to set the disciplinary rules & standards together as a Home, & consistently enforce them unitedly, as a "One-Wife" Family!
       The Home Disciplinary Standard must be consistently enforced. It's only fair to remind especially the more rowdy or "testy" kids what you expect of them as far as keeping the behaviour rules & that they're not to over step the established boundaries. Of course, your child is already expected to uphold that disciplinary standard throughout the day in his school group, & he usually does so willingly. But our "little darlings" are known to try their best to test their parents (or new "keepers") beyond every limit & see what they can get away with, to see if the parent will enforce the same rules as the teacher. Or they may just want to "burn free" & run wild all evening if they think the behavioural standards that are expected of them when they're in their School environment are not required by their parents when they're with them.
       So the best way for parents to prevent disciplinary problems in their children at Family Time, or any other time, is to be faithful to lovingly remind them of the rules & the "contract" they agreed upon together initially. Set standards & enforce them, just as Dad has taught us, & you'll have a lot more fun & a lot less fuss & nagging & frustration in taking care of your kids! Let your children know that you say what you mean & you mean what you say, by making it very clear to them what they can & cannot do. Let them know that rules are to be obeyed, & what the consequences will be should they not obey them. With a clear, fair warning, there should be no question as to what you expect of them, & what punishment they'll reap if they choose to challenge or disobey the rules.
       Some example reminders to your children could be something like the following, according to the need & their ages, etc.:
       1) "Do you children remember how last night during Family Time we had some trouble with your arguing a lot amongst yourselves?--And you were corrected on it, right? How do you think it will go tonight? (Children: Much better!) Great, I think so too. But I want to explain that if you do argue, the consequences will be that you'll miss the fun & have to `sit it out' for a while to pray together & claim a verse to help you not to argue. Then once you are back in unity & you've forgiven one another, you'll be able to return to your playing. Does everyone think that would be fair? (Children: Yes!) Okay, then this will be your only warning for the night. Do you understand? PTL! Now, shall we pray together for love & unity?"
       2) "Remember, we don't want any unsupervised kiddos, right? So please let Mommy or Daddy know if you're going to the bathroom. And for those of you who are under five years old, like Benji here, because we live is such a big School, you'll need an older buddy or one of us to walk with you. If you're over five years old, like Shawn, you'll have a time limit of five minutes to go potty & then return to Family Time.--If you disobey the rules, you'll have to pack up your toys early & we will give you a job to do instead. Okay? Now let's pray that the Lord helps us to be obedient. I love you!"
       3) "Children, do you think it makes the Lord sad when we aren't thankful for our many blessings? (Children: Yes!) Well, it makes Mommy & Daddy sad too. So if we hear any murmuring or complaining we will have to do something about it, like depriving you of (whatever the case warrants) after you've apologised to all. I hope that won't happen though. Are you all going to do your best? (Children: Yes!) Okay then, let's pray for lots of love & thankful hearts so we'll really enjoy our time together, shall we?"
       4) "Jennifer, I was talking with one of your teachers today & she mentioned that you've been quite contentious & pushy lately. That's not a very good report, is it. Honey, let's start on the right foot tonight, what do you think?--By praying & asking the Lord for a sweet, loving attitude & a gentle spirit. I know you've been talked to many times about having such a quick temper & getting mad so easily, so if these problems crop up tonight, we're going to have to take some definite action to discipline you. Please understand, Jennifer, that this will be your only warning tonight. So are you on guard & prepared to do your best? (Jennifer: Yes!) Great! PTL! Then it looks like we're going to have a good night together. Thank You Jesus! I love you!"

       (Editor's Note: Please remember that the above examples are just examples. We wouldn't want all the adults & parents to start sounding like broken records by repeating these same lines verbatim night-after-night. These are just to give an idea of how to remind your kids about the rules. Also, you could vary the reminders according to your own children's age, behaviour, personality & need. If they tend to be rambunctious & hard-to-handle, then you'd want to be a little stronger in your reminders. If they're quite open to reminders & obey pretty readily, then a lighter little reminder would suffice.
       ("Be sure your first admonition is loving, gentle & prayerful & with a good reason, a cheerful warning as to why, but if they persist, sock it to them. Do it in love as the Lord does, & if you really love them & they know it & love you, they'll eventually keep your commandments. And everyone will be happier in the end!" [EDITED: "Childcare Discipline Jewels, pg.209, DB2"])
       Also, reminders of good stewardship & returning borrowed equipment will help enforce good training. Perhaps you'll want to remind your boys not to run inside the house, or to return the bikes to their proper place, or to return the ball equipment to the Get-Out cupboard, etc. Children admire & respect parents & adults who are faithful & diligent to obey Home rules & who set a good sample to their children & others!
       Once your children know that you have a definite standard & you expect them to keep it & you indeed enforce it, you'll no longer have to remind them so often. But especially in the beginning, you can "make it easy for them to be good" with short warnings or reminders.
       If your Home has not yet set a united disciplinary standard, this would be your first goal to accomplish before even attempting organised Family Time or united children's activities. The Word, of course, is our Standard-Bearer, & by reading, praying & agreeing together to the standard set in the Word, a disciplinary standard with definite set boundaries for our parents & children, will help everyone will feel much happier, safer & more secure. There won't be any question as to what the disciplinary rules are & how you plan to enforce them, or for what ages of children. Any changes or improvements in the standard can be discussed & agreed upon at your weekly Home Parenting/Childcare Meetings. Please bear in mind that "kids are kids!" & we surely don't want to impose too strict or unrealistic, or impractical rules on them! Make it easy & fun to obey!
       It is also imperative that parents are open & agreeable to the idea of other parents being faithful to discipline their kids, as well as letting other adults & older competent Teens correct their children when necessary (i.e. when the kids are in the care & oversight of others, & not with their own parents). We as a "One-Wife" Family must be united & in agreement with the shepherding, care, correction & child-training for our kids of all ages! If this disciplinary standard is not agreed upon by the entire Home, your Family Time, Family Days & entire lifetimes will be full of confusion, division, contention, & frustration, like many System families that also neglect this very important part of united & effective child-training!
       If maintaining the Home Disciplinary Standard is a bit difficult for you, or if you feel a new requirement or discipline push needs better enforcing, you may consider the idea of a Family Time monitor or disciplinarian to "patrol" the Home during the Family Time activities. This person could help ensure that the children are obeying, staying under control & cooperating with their parents or overseers. This monitor could be, but doesn't have to be, the Family Time deacon or a competent Childcare person. The monitor would need to be someone who has a burden, the vision & the ability to speak to children who are disobedient or not under subjection. This monitor should know how to correct children in a loving way that will motivate them to obey, & he should also be a sample to parents who are still learning to correct their children. The monitor may also need to counsel parents privately (away from the children) after Family Time, should they need some guidance on how to better challenge or discipline their kids.
       If the disciplinary standard has been agreed upon by all, it should be no surprise to parents that when their child is definitely out-of-line according to the Home rules, he would have to pay the consequence, whether it be deprivation of the activity, sitting on the sidelines observing in silence until he's repentant, or whatever consequence was agreed upon. Parents who have difficulties disciplining their own children may very well need to ask for & should welcome the help of others, those who are more gifted & capable at disciplining children in love. These parents who need training in the area of disciplining could share their Family Time with Childcare helpers who can teach & train them how to better discipline their kids. The parents, of course, would have to be yielded & willing to accept any correction given their child by the overseeing disciplinarian. The clinical method is a very fruitful, effective way of learning, & the child will certainly get the right message when he sees that Mommy & Daddy agree with the overseer, & that all adults are united on their disciplinary stand.
       * * *

The Roles of Foster Parents & Childcare Helpers

       With this new emphasis on Family Time & Family Day, & parents & adults taking more "Personal Time" counselling with & listening to their older kids, JETTs & Teens, we sure want to provide the same close shepherding & parental care for our precious kids who may not be living with their parents fulltime. These children's parents may be in leadership positions or have other ministries, or there may be other very legitimate reasons why all parents are not able to be with & care for their children fulltime. Also, it's often the case that older children, JETTs & Teens attend boarding Schools during the week & only see their parents on the weekend. There are also parents who are separated, so the children are without one parent. Whatever the case, we all need to be sure that fulltime Foster Parents or temporary Childcare helpers are provided for children who do not live with their own parents fulltime.
       Perhaps it would help to define which children need Foster Parents & which need temporary Childcare helpers. We can also more clearly define what responsibilities these two roles entail.
       Foster Parents can be either single adults or married couples with or without children themselves. Their job is very special, for Foster Parents are not part-time Childcare helpers or babysitters, but virtually fulltime substitute parents who will take care of their Foster Children's physical & spiritual needs, just as flesh parents would. Foster Parents would be approved by the parents & Shepherds to hold the Foster Children's POAs & legal papers & to keep up with their Home Schooling records. They'd love, discipline & care for the children, help provide their material needs, as they would their own child. In short, they are called upon to be a faithful, dedicated parents. Foster Parents would be with their Foster Children at all the same times that parents spend time with their kids, such as during Family Time, Family Day, mealtimes, when there's a need for counselling, at bedtime etc.
       Childcare helpers fill a different, but likewise important role. They are wonderful blessings to our families & to our Schools & Homes, as they are part-time helpers or deacons who usually fill in where needed or appointed. A Childcare helper may be a responsible Teen or a teacher, or they may have a family of their own, or they may be single. Childcare helpers fill in for parents who are away temporarily. Whereas Foster Parents are fulltime parents & Shepherds for Foster Children who are away from their parents--either always or most of the time.
       For example, take the children of our top leadership or Area Shepherds, the NASs & GASs, & possibly even DASs in some cases. While these leaders are a very integral part of the Parenting Program & Discipleship Standard, they may not have the opportunity to be with their own kids much of the time. These leaders need to travel & supervise our Homes, & will likely be away from their families most of the time. Therefore, these children of leaders will most likely need Foster Parents when their parents are not available.
       Of course, our leadership's example of putting the Lord's Work first for our benefit & sacrificing their time with their own families is very commendable, GBT! If we want to benefit from our leadership's help & oversight, we'll have to understand that their kids may need Foster Parents. And while it's true that some people have somewhat neglected their children's care, these situations are not to be confused with others who still have to sacrifice caring for their children in order to do the Lord's Work.--There's a big difference! And if we still want the extra blessing of having travelling overseeing Shepherds, we'll have to understand their sacrifice of not being able to be with their children fulltime. And in these cases, we'll need to provide Foster Parents for their children.
       If a travelling leader or Shepherd is with his children every weekend, or lives at Home Base with his children & is able to spend time with them at least weekly, a fulltime Foster Parent would not be needed, & a temporary Childcare helper, who could stand in the gap when the parentis absent, would be sufficient.
       Other children who could benefit from fulltime Foster Parents are those whose parents have had a permanent separation. For example, if one of the parents, say the father, is called to another Area or a Unit to do a job for the Lord, & the couple has made the decision to be permanently separated, the mother would benefit from having some extra help with the children, especially if she has a large family or other responsibilities. This mother, permanently separated from her mate, would be a prime candidate for the help of a fulltime Foster Parent, either male or female, to help her with her large family & to stand in her stead should she also be called away to other duties or travels in her work for the Lord.
       Another example would be the case where parents have had a separation due to marital problems & are thus single parents. If they also have many responsibilities &/or several kids to care for, having a Foster Parent would help. Or they could join up with a Parenting Teamwork for Family Time & Family Day when extra help & counsel is needed. (See more on Parenting Teamworks on pg.13 of this FSM.)
       In this next section, let's refer to some beautiful counsel Mama gave in the Jumbo Story, Part 3 in FSM 98, concerning Foster Children & favouritism:

Maria on Avoiding Favouritism--Excerpts from FSM 98, pg.1 (5/88)

       The Jumbo Shepherds write: "Right from the beginning, Mama was very concerned that we would be mindful of the delicate situation of Foster Children so as to not unknowingly `segregate' the children whose parents could not be with them. She wanted us to make sure that these children would at least have "Foster Parents" who would spend extra time to love'm & show'm plenty of attention & affection--so that those children wouldn't end up missing their parents & envying the other children who have their own parents with them, showering them with lots of affection, attention & perhaps even material blessings that they themselves can't have because their parents can't be there with them. Mama wrote us:
       "It's very important that all of the people who will be parenting the child really have the vision for "One Wife", & perhaps you'll need to have a number of Pow-wows on the subject. People who are being Foster Parents are going to have to be very careful & prayerful about treating all of the children under their care equally, both their own & the Foster Children. They are not going to be able to outwardly show too much favouritism to their own kids to the neglect of the others. The fact of the matter is, if anybody deserves to have more of an outward show of love & affection, it is the kids who have given up their parents & who are there without them, rather than the children who are with their parents. The children who have made the tremendous sacrifice plainly deserve to be well cared for--& should have an extra bit of attention. So perhaps if the Foster Parents remember that, it will help them to keep things in the proper place.
       "The thing that the Foster Parents have to watch out for is showing favouritism. It's one thing when you're alone with your own children & you can give them lots of special love & attention, but when you have Foster Children with you, not only just the Foster Children but any children, then you are the responsible Shepherd & just out of common courtesy you need to try to give them the same attention & affection you give your own children. Of course no one has four or five arms that they can hug all of the kids at the same time or hold separate conversations with all of them at the same time. That's not what we're talking about & we hope you understand that. It's just that it's important to show them equal attention & equal concern & love & care.
       "Keep an eye on the Foster Parenting situation in order to make sure that the kids' needs are being met by their Foster Parents, & that everyone is getting along & feeling loved enough. You should remind the parents to put themselves in the shoes of the children, realising that they are away from their parents in a new strange situation with 50 or 60 other kids, & try to see how they would feel about it, then that might give them more of a heart for the children."

       In "Caring for Kids Takes Teamwork" in Techi 5b, GN 460, Mama recently commented: "We need to all ask the Lord to give us an impartial love for our children.--Love that can only come supernaturally from the Spirit of God! But it is possible, & some of our Family Members do manifest this impartial love for the Family's children, loving children born to other Family Members just as much as children that they have borne themselves. This is a supernatural love, & must come from the Lord. It often does not come easily, so we should pray for it." (ML #2670:42)
       (Please see FSM 98 for more excellent counsel from Mama on Foster Parenting, Parents' Visitation, United Family Time Activities etc.)

       "God setteth the solitary in families."--Psa. 68:6a
       "Pure religion & undefiled before God & the Father is this, To visit the fatherless & widows in their affliction."--Jam. 1:27

PRIME-TIME PARENTING--Key quotes from "Raise 'em Right", pg. 713

       "Love is communicated by the time spent individually with your child, & by the time spent in pleasant family activities. It is your `presence,' not your `presents,' that really expresses your love."

       "When your absence is necessary, you must continue to communicate love messages & convince your child that your absence does not mean other people are more important to you than he is."

       "Every minute that you spend with your children is prime time, you're on-stage, so to speak, influencing & teaching them by your words & behaviour--whether you want to or not. So, in parent-child relationships, spending time together is not enough. To make that time meaningful it must be quality time. Careful thought & planning must be a prerequisite for successful parenting."

       "Whatever the activity, quality time together should convey several all-important messages: 'I love you' & 'I want to be close to you', 'I enjoy you', 'You're fun to be with'."

       "Negative behaviour is often a sign of parental time deficiency. Young children equate love with parental attention. If they do not receive their fill of positive attention, they sometimes resort to behaviour that will, without question, bring negative attention. In their way of thinking, even negative attention is better than no attention at all."

       "Pre-schoolers generally thrive on parental time. A 10-year-old, on the other hand, may be happy with an audience for his memorised tuba solo, a 15-minute rough & tumble session & a goodnight kiss."

       "Parenting is the most important career a mother or father can pursue. It has critical, deep-seated & long-term effects."

       "If you feel parenting is a second-rate job & therefore unworthy of your time, your best efforts, & your full attention, you will do a second-rate job."

       "If you, as a prime-time parent, consider your parenting job as an equal-status career, then you will more readily see that time you spend with your children is time put to the highest use."

       "It is the time we spend with our children that will assure a good relationship with them & convince them of our love. This time has to be given joyfully with our wholehearted interest in their affairs."

       "When you begin to schedule quality time together, it is important that you & your child do those things that have the most meaning. List all of the family's favourite activities. Brainstorm. Then rank these items from the most important to the least important. Finally, schedule those items that have a high priority. If you schedule only the easiest activities or those that take the least effort or time, you probably won't be able to do the most important ones."

       "The evening hours--from the moment you walk through the door after work until the children's bedtime--should be prime time for the children. For most kids, these hours are the best part of their day, & if you aren't careful, this prime time will be eaten up by various projects that, with a little planning, could be scheduled after the kids' bedtime."

       "Your constant thoughts should not be `When will I ever find the time?' Rather it should be, `I have a 5-minute pocket of time; what can I do right now that will get the I love you message across to my child?'"

       "Take time to enjoy each child individually. Ideally each parent should try to spend some daily individual time with each child. Finding this time is more difficult when families are large.

       "One very busy travelling evangelist, who was also the father of six, solved this problem by making bedtime his time with the children. Every night when he was home, he scheduled their bedtime at half-hour intervals. This gave him time to talk over the events of the day, read to the children, & listen to each child's prayers individually."

More Happy Mealtime Tips--From Mary MOM, HCS

       Lunch time can be used as a time for parents or Shepherds to spend extra time with individual kids, it can be a chance to sit together & have a sweet personal conversation. Or it can be used as a time for Ministry Overseers or Department Heads to have training meetings or counsel meetings with the JETTs or Teens who work in their departments.
       We should also re-evaluate the dinner-time set-up in our Homes so that it is more conducive to communicating. As it now stands, in many of our Schools, because of the sheer number of people in the dining room, we try not to talk over a whisper level. Although this rule encourages better table manners & a bearable noise level in the dining hall, unfortunately it is sometimes at the expense of the fellowship & the communication of the individual family. One solution, if you have the facilities available, would be to divide up the families in your Home or School & have them eat in several different dining rooms.
       If that's not possible, you may want to set up a "family restaurant," a special "private" dining room in the Home, which is separate from the main dining room, where families can take turns having a quiet meal together, away from the hustle & bustle of the large dining room. This could even be a classroom or a caravan or a separate house on the property that could be turned into a temporary small dining room at dinner time. Dining at the "family restaurant" could be a fun time. The older kids could learn to set the table nicely with a tablecloth, & put on nice music to have a candlelight dinner, & then help clean up the room nicely afterwards. (No candles at kids' meals in caravans, it's too dangerous.) This type of special family dinner could provide extra intimate fellowship. Each family could take turns every week or two on a scheduled basis.
       If you have a very large dining room, another possibility could be to partition it off, so that the room is divided into smaller cubicles, more intimate little areas for each family or a few families together.
       If all must be in one big dining room, you could sometimes organise dinner time so that an edifying activity or short testimony can be shared with all during the meal, which could help keep the attention of the children & keep the noise level down to a minimum.
       Also, occasionally big families could arrange to sit their older children at one table with one adult or parent who could pour into them & listen & communicate with them, while the younger ones sit at another table with another adult(s).

Key Quotes on United Home Disciplinary Standards--Compiled from "Childcare Discipline Jewels", DB2

       "When the Home lacks a real unified standard of rules & regulations which the children are expected to obey, this can certainly confuse the children, as well as lead to disunity & contention between the adults. The answer has to be real strict discipline from the very beginning for everyone--adults & children alike. It's important that all parents & children know & agree upon all the rules the children are expected to obey, so that anyone can discipline any of the children & not just the particular mother or father of the offending child!"

       "So it should work that everybody in the Home can discipline the children if agreed upon, & it can be so if all the adults know & agree upon the different measures of punishment for certain disobediences, & that everyone knows what those disobediences are, including the children. If everyone knows the rules, agrees & abides by them, then everyone can discipline the children, not just the parents! The parents must trust their childcare helpers to do what's best & agree upon the rules together."

       "Not only adults should agree to the rules, but you should give the kids some say-so too. Give the children a chance to speak up too, let them learn to make decisions. Things have to be run like an army because you can't just always treat each child individually in a large Home with a lot of children, & the more people you have, the more regimented & organised things have to be."

       "Everybody will know what's expected of them--the children will know what's expected of them, the adults will know what is expected of the children, & the adults will be able to discipline accordingly. Of course, it will take a rewiring & a renewing of the parents. Our Family children belong to all of us & we're all responsible for them."

       "One of the major problems is to get everybody to agree. With lots of prayer & the Letters as your guideline, every Home should be able to come to an agreement! You have to continually administer the Word to motivate them to do the right thing & to help them to get convicted by the Spirit when they're disobedient."

       "Enforcing a reasonable standard of discipline for your kids & really keeping them in line will help them to grow up obeying not only you, but the Lord."

       "Remember: The main key is to get everyone in the Home together on it, make the rules together, & agree together. You should be able to get together, agree to some guidelines according to the Letters, & be consistent."

       "What you're aiming for is that the children have good behaviour & obey the rules! There should be good general rules in the house so the kids learn to live like loving, kind, courteous human beings. Perhaps the punishment is not as severe for more sensitive children as it is for a more rebellious child; nevertheless the rules should be the same for all & be obeyed, even if the punishments may vary for different age groups or exceptional, individual cases. All this should be agreed upon by the adults in your regular Childcare prayer meetings."

       "It takes not only a lot of prayer & a lot of love, but also firm consistency!"

       "Rules are to be obeyed! There's no reason why we can't have good behaviour in our Homes! Amen?"


Dear Family,
       It seems that favouritism has been quite a widespread problem in the Family! Mama once commented that to her there's almost nothing sadder than when parents favour one child over another. It seems we all could stand to learn a lot more about this important subject, so we would like to publish some lessons along this line for all our dear parents & Foster Parents. Mama suggested that we include a special request in this FSM asking that if you have any lessons you've learned about favouritism with your children, or that you've observed in others' treatment of their children which could help the Family avoid it, could you please write up those lessons & send them in to be published in the FSM. If possible, when you write your lessons & testimonies please add specifics of how your favouritism affected your children, like what comments your children made or how the negative effects of favouritism were actually manifested in your children's behaviour or attitudes etc.
       We would also appreciate hearing from any adults whose parents played favourites & the bad effects it had upon them or their brothers & sisters.
       We really appreciate your taking the time to write up these important lessons for the benefit of all! God bless you! We love & pray for you!
       Love, Your FSM Editors

Parenting Teamworks

       In order to give single moms or dads & their children the opportunity to be a part of a full family, why not have them team up with another couple & their kids as one big happy family team! If a single mom's children have a need for a father image, or if the mother needs more of a disciplinary hand with her kids, or if they want to benefit from greater unity or fellowship with others, then a Parenting Teamwork may be the answer! A Parenting Teamwork can be formed much the same as a Foster Family situation.
       The goal is for the Parenting Teamwork to be a united team that can get together for counsel, prayer & a harmonious co-oping together with their kids in a true "One-Wife" Family! Parenting Teamworks are especially helpful not only for Family Time, but for free time, outings, full Family Day activities etc. Or think of all the advantages of a family opening up their private circle & "taking in" a single mom & her children for various activities & outings, etc. to create a greater, more effective & happier family!--There are advantages in oversight, in Home Schooling, in nursing the sick, in more disciplinarians, more talents & gifts, more male "helping hands", & of course, more of God's blessing for a loving, helping & giving Family!
       A single male in a Home can take on the role of a father for the children of a single mother, or likewise, a single mommy can assume a mothering role for a single daddy's kids! Such a parenting relationship would be first & foremost for the benefit of the children, & is not at all necessary that it be a personal "love relationship". The purpose of Parenting Teamworks is to provide a Foster Family for single parents & their children, who can certainly benefit from our extra help, counsel & fellowship.
       * * *

Nursery Set-Up for Family Time

       One of the major obstacles to having effective individual time with our kids is that parents, especially mommies, often have to meet the demanding needs of a newborn or young baby, which takes time away from all the older kids. It would be very helpful to have a nursery set-up during Family Time, & even during at least part of Family Day, so that a responsible person, couple or team can oversee the babies & even young toddlers, allowing the parents to give their full attention during their special Family Time to their other children. Mommies usually already spend a lot of time with their babies as they're with them most of the day & all night too, so providing good prayerful nursery overseers during Family Time would help that hour to run much more smoothly & give mommies more quality time with their other children. Adults & Teens & JETT helpers can take turns on nursery duty on a scheduled basis.
       * * *

Ideas & Activities for Family Time!

       Oh fun! There are just oodles of things to do during Family Time! If we've been in a bit of a rut or not so eagerly looking forward to spending time with our kids after a busy day, all the more reason that we should try to inspire one another with brand new ideas about how to make Family Time more fruitful & fun, & more of an enjoyable learning time together!
       A mommy & daddy can, of course, have personal Family Time with their own kids, or they can sometimes open up the circle of their fellowship to include other kids or even Parenting Teamworks, as mentioned before. The main key to success, remember, is to have ideas planned out & organised in advance, as well as 100% support & backing from the whole Home!
       Please don't feel like you need all kinds of marvellous gifts & talents & toys & equipment to keep your kids happy & challenged at Family Time. Just having a caring, attentive adult or responsible Teen there to play & talk with the children will make them very happy! Our kids are usually in their communal school groups all day & many of them even sleep with their groups at night, so this one hour of more personal, individualised time our kids have with their parents, Foster Parents or caretakers is quite special to them, even if it's just playing together! What may look to you like simple "play time" can mean a whole lot more to the children, because they get to play with toys & games & talk with you!--And you're very special to your children! The children consider Family Time the time to do their most favourite things with their most favourite people!--You!
       If you really want to make Family Time as wonderful as it can be, the thing to do is to get involved in your children's play time.--Get down on their level & talk with them, make conversation, find out what they're playing & thinking; & by getting out of yourself & into their world of play, you'll find out what fun it is to just relax & really enjoy the children! Of course there are different levels of games & play for different ages of kids, but just remember that it's best for the adults & caretakers to participate in the children's play & activities, & to use this Family Time together to build a good relationship with our children. (For more Family Time ideas & activities see "The Story of Our Children", Chapter 105 by Sara D.--"Teaching Tips from Maria!", & Pubdex Childcare Index of all four Activity Books combined!)
       Another idea is to perhaps have Mommy play toys or read etc. with the younger children while Daddy takes the older ones for a certain project or special walk, or to work on some kind of collection together--a more individual project such as coin, rock or stamp collections. Or Daddy could help them with geography puzzles, a handyman project, a home improvement job, etc. Especially when one of the children has a special aptitude or talent, such as typing or art or playing the guitar, the parents can think ahead to offer their help & training time to develop this child's talent. If the parent himself cannot help contribute or invest time to cultivate their own child's talent, they can of course ask & work it out for another parent or person in the Home to take the child aside a few nights a week during Family Time.--At least then some other adult in the Home is pouring into the children good, quality, individual time.
       Let's all remember that our parents alone cannot possibly provide everything their children need. Especially with our big families & pressing important fulltime duties & even differences in talents & gifts, it would be far too great a job to expect that any one or even both parents could fulfil all of their kids' emotional, physical, spiritual & educational needs!--That's why the Lord has blessed us with a wonderful, big, multi-talented "One-Wife" Family! Hallelujah! We're truly blessed!
       Like Mama said recently in "Caring for Kids Takes Teamwork!" (Techi GN 5b): "Yes, we do need to get the parents involved.--But all our parents!--Not just the flesh parents. All our Family adults need to take the responsibility for our children, we all need to be assigned specific responsibilities for our children, & we all need to love & be concerned for & pray for our children. They are our most important possessions. They are God's little children, & He's made us responsible for them, & one day He's going to make us account for what we have done with them.
       "We're the only way He has of training & shepherding & parenting them. He's expecting us to do a good job of it, & He's holding us all responsible for the children He's given us. Each one of us is going to have to give an account to God for what we've done with our children. Have we played our part--no matter how large or small--faithfully, diligently, lovingly & responsibly? Have we done our best to help our children?" (ML#2670:30,31)
       We all need to spend more quality time with our children--whether we are singles, or married adults, or older Teens. We're in it together & must take up this Discipleship Training Standard as a challenge & goal to win together!

Have You Tried the Following for Family Time?

Word-Related Activities

       Make a special reading project together from the "Life with Grandpa" TK series.--Volume 4 on Miracle Stories; Volume 3 on "Martin Luther", or other famous people, etc.
       Read together & act out the stories from "Life of Grandpa."
       Read through a Bible Story series of books.
       Read stories from the HOPE Mags or KIDZ Mags, or "Psalms for Kids" GNs!
       Discuss Pow-wow Topics or have Question & Answer Time--Talk about your most exciting, fun, embarrassing or thankful moment in life, & then ask kids about theirs. Ask 8-10-year-olds about their desires, dreams, favourite stories, etc. & lead into an edifying discussion with them. (Pray for the pubbing of the soon-coming "Talk Time" Series--fun & challenging questions for Family Time!)
       Play "What If" games--see "Safe Children Home Educator" Vol. 1, Issue 5, pgs. 6-8.
       Act out Bible stories, with "dress-up" box!
       Play Charades of TK titles, ML titles, Bible stories or song titles.
       Read through devotional books together.
       Play "Word Fun" & review games & exciting board games from Activity Book 4! (If you haven't played 'em all, you're really missing something wonderful!)
       Play a fun Bible verse game where one person quotes a verse & then either the next person in the circle or whoever can think of one, quotes a verse that includes one of the major words of the first verse. For example, if someone quotes "I am the Light of the World", then the next person can quote a verse with either "Light" in it or "World," such as John 3:16. Then the next person could quote a verse using either "God", "World", "loved", "gave", "Son", "believe", "perish" or "everlasting life".
       Play MO Letter guessing games from Activity Book 4, "MO Games".
       Build a tent for fun story time inside, or outside!
       Have fun, individual, laptime reading with the children.
       Look through your family photo album & tell testimonies or share lessons.
       Make or write witnessing or thank-you cards for friends, relatives or contacts, or appreciation-love cards for the children's teachers or others in the Home.
       Write out key verses or quotes on coloured cards or paper & decorate them for wall plaques in the room.
       Have a night-time Prayer Vigil with the children outside using a flashlight, sitting under the trees, in a "tent" outdoors, or walking & marching together.
       Have Inspiration Time singing songs together to Jesus.
       Review memory verses together in a game, possibly keeping score.
       Write Grandpa & Maria or David & Techi personal letters together, & send your photo.
       Sing kids' Word songs from the "Happy All the Time" song book in Activity Book 4.
       Work on a wall mural together about the "Life of Jesus" pg. Q165, or "David Time Line", etc. (See Activity Book 4, pg. Q152.)
       Build models together, such as paperconstructed models of the Heavenly City. (Activity Book 4)
       Plan & tape record your own message-filled MWM radio show with songs & script, or do an ML Drama.
       Learn poems or new songs together.
       All adults should get to know Activity Book 4 for a treasure chest of tremendous ideas for edifying fun together! (Activity Books 1-3 are also terrific for recipes, games to play, crafts, & toys to make etc.!)

Other Inside Activities:

       Keep your own family scrapbook together of different activities.
       Create your own new original recipes using ordinary available ingredients (i.e. peanut butter, crackers, flour, fruit, bread, butter--but not all together!--Ha!)
       Do simple art activities together.--Creative activities, colouring time, cutting & pasting etc. all provide good talk-times with the children in a creative atmosphere.
       Do home improvements together, like fixing up the bedroom, dejunking the closet, building shelves, decorating the room, or growing indoor potted plants together.
       Make baby mobiles for the nursery by using arts & crafts materials you've collected.
       Play "dress up" time together.--Different nationalities, ML characters, etc.
       Act out Bible or ML characters or do skits.
       Make night-time snack together for the whole Home.
       Take your turn on a scheduled basis cleaning out the fish tank or re-arranging the toy cupboard, etc.
       Have a "fashion show" from forsake-all, or an "auction", or raffle for surprise give-away items.
       Mommy & a child could offer to help take care of the babies in the nursery during Family Time some nights.
       Fix the girls' hair in a special way.
       Do handwash, or wash the toys together as a project.
       Basic tumbling on floor mattresses--somersaults, headstands, etc.--with prayer, caution, proper supervision & instruction!
       Make special occasion cards for birthdays, congratulations for new baby, thank-you cards, Valentines etc.
       Watch Home Schooling educational videos, listed in Home Schooling Curriculum (available in NTSC & PAL).
       Photocopy & colour different pictures from the Activity Books or the BTH. The shiner stickers in Activity Book 4 (pgs. Q180-182) turn out real nicely if coloured & laminated.

Outside Activities:

       (Daddies & Men!--Get to know "Activity Book 3" as your Get-Out/Playtime Handbook & you'll never run out of fun ideas for games & sports!)
       Night-time walks together, if safe.
       Playground fun
       Ball games together
       Relay games together
       Play hopscotch or jump rope
       Play hide & go seek
       Build a sandbox, a wooden swing, a birdhouse, or birdfeeder
       Treasure hunts
       Have "Survival Sam" projects (See KTK Book 2, pages 257-278.)--Learn to build a shelter, build a fire, learn about edible plants & herbs, etc.
       Build a fire together in the yard (if possible), & toast bread over an open fire or grill.

       * *
Family Time Kits, Toy Closets & Libraries

       Keeping special playtime toys, puzzles or games & building sets together in parents' rooms or in the children's school or play room greatly helps to keep things organised & readily available for Family Time use! Sometimes all toys can be kept together collectively in the play room, or in the parents' rooms for closer oversight & better stewardship, yet they still are shared with all at playtime. Whatever the case, it's very helpful to have all the pieces of each toy in its own container, such as a plastic food container with a lid, a round oatmeal box with a lid, a shoebox with a lid, or metal cookie tin with a lid etc. Even a zip-lock plastic bag or a draw-string bag helps to keep toys in sets, organised & together. This way, when it's time for parents to bring out their "Family Time Kit"--a box or small suitcase of toys--the kids can easily choose what they want to play with from the various bags & containers. They also know that they are going to be expected, when given the "five-minutes-left" signal, to clean up before Family Time ends. One clean-up tip is to have the children put away one toy before getting out other toys. They can easily return the toy sets to their original containers for easy storage.
       Family Time Kits can be a box, special drawer or case packed & organised with colouring books, crayons, scissors, glue, coloured paper, stationery, puzzles, building sets, marbles, jacks, dress-up materials, modeling clay, dolly & clothes, paper dolls, water colours & brushes, tea set, etc.--Just whatever your kids' favourites happen to be at the time. Such "treasures" prove very helpful for playtime, special parenting outings, "Get-Well" Room entertainment, or a full day's activities on a weekend Family Day, for example. If you happen to be in charge of taking care of the younger toddlers during Sunday Fellowship, for example, pulling out your "tried & proven" Family Time Kit can be a whole new fun set of games & toys for that toddler group to play with, & it will keep the kids interested & challenged during any time you happen to spend with them.
       Of course, we don't want to be selfish & possessive of any toys by keeping them just for "our own" kids. The point here is that there are advantages to having a Family Time Kit available right in your room, especially when you have lots of kids to take care of during Family Time. It sure can be handy if not over-used & can give the kids something to look forward to. Perhaps on a Home level the parents could all have some kind of Family Time Kit in their rooms, which will keep their kids, as well as other kids happy & occupied whenever it's put to use. And the fun surprises within Kits can be borrowed or "swapped" with other Parenting Teamworks for more variety.
       Likewise, a Toy Closet can be extra fun. Part of a closet in a play room or school room can be designated as the place to put all the main toys & play things. This works great to keep a roomful of kids busy at playtime or during school hours or at Family Time. For example, the Family Time deacon can announce at dinner, "The Toy Closet is open tonight for Family Time, & Auntie Mary will be there to oversee. Children ages 1-5 & their parents are welcome to play there with the younger kids' toys tonight." On another particular night, the deacon may announce that the Toy Closet is open for kids ages 6-10, with an overseer on duty. On that night the toys that would be made available would be the more intricate ones, geared for older kids. This is just an example of how the Toy Closet or Toy Room can be used for different age groups on different nights.
       The Toy Closet remains in one room, but needs to be made available by making set times for different groups to use it. Even during the school day, if teachers want to bring their group into the Toy Room & it happens to be in a school room or bedroom of the house, for example, then the two teachers can arrange to "swap" rooms at that time, so the kids can get some extra play time during the day. Teachers may need, in other words, to "reserve" the Toy Closet in advance. The Toy Closet or Room may have a doll house & accessories, Playmobile sets, Legos, construction sets, sewing kits, arts & crafts supplies, handyman & crafts projects, board games such as Scrabble, dominoes & checkers, sets of marbles & jacks (be sure to account for small pieces & parts when cleaning up to avoid small children finding them), pick-up sticks, puppets, building blocks, manual typewriters, computers & computer games, puzzles of all sorts, tracing projects, water colour painting, coloured chalk for drawing, coloured pens & crayons, colouring books, extra paper, toy cars & trucks etc.
       For building sets such as Lego, Fisher Price, Playmobile or models to glue together, etc., it's especially nice if the children can work & build up their project on a "building site" or "work table" so that they do not have to tear down all the work that they've built up in the last hour, only to have to bring it out again the following night. It's nice for them to have their own quiet & protected work place, especially for boys' building projects or large puzzles, so they can complete a constructive project & be assured that it's going to be kept out of the reach of little children.
       If the kids' projects are done on a work table where it's not feasible to keep it all set up fulltime & out of reach of little ones, the project can be stored on a high shelf somewhere out of reach of kids, or in a special closet or drawer. The older kids can then return the project to the work table at their next work period & continue working on it without disturbance. Puzzles can be kept on appropriate sized pieces of plywood or cardboard, then slipped under a bed or sofa until next use.
       School books, readers, Bible story book series, & look-at books can be kept in a Children's Book Library, much the same way that the Toy Closet is kept. Someone should be steward over these Toy or Book Libraries, & an established check-out system would help to ensure good stewardship of these valuable materials if taken further than the immediate playroom or reading area.
       Likewise, a school Supplies Cupboard or area can be designated in the Home or School so that parents, teachers & older kids can benefit from a supply of different materials for their school or Family Time projects. It is also helpful if the Family Time deacon has a good idea of what materials are available in order to help organise the sharing of those supplies. (Don't miss GAP Video #054 on "Stewardship" for good visual examples for organising clothing, libraries & school supplies cupboards in the Home or School!)

Playroom or Activity Center Guidelines--By Serena (formerly Lydia), Mexico Training Center

       Below is a list of basic items we have tried to put into each activity or playroom for Family Time:
       1. Normal & selah trash cans.
       2. Child's potty, toilet tissue & handwash set-up if a bathroom is not nearby.
       3. List of any specific instructions for the equipment in the individual activity rooms (for example, use of the fan).
       4. New weekly schedule of which families go to which playroom or area. This is for a double check in case there is some mix-up with the families, & so they have a way to check to see which room is available for their use.
       5. Enough activities to not only accommodate a group of children, but some for both younger children & older children.

Guidelines for Playroom Use & Its Upkeep

       (You may want to post a list, similar to the one following, in the playroom:)
       1. Remember to pray for your activity time.
       2. Try to limit & schedule the number of children in the room so that the room is conducive to a quiet atmosphere & the parents can have special time with their own children.
       3. Try to uphold the quietness level & behaviour standard.
       4. Please always try to put away one toy or activity before getting into a new one. This will eliminate having to stop so early to have a big clean-up before leaving. It will also keep an orderly & neat atmosphere.
       5. Please put away toys in their labelled containers on the shelves designated for them.
       6. Before putting away any toys, please double-check that you have all the pieces. (Follow the Scriptural example of the lady sweeping the house until she found the one silver piece! [EDITED: "Luk.15:8"])
       7. Before leaving, you may need to check children's pockets for those "favourite" items they like to take along with them.
       8. Stop & pray for the night (or afternoon, or whatever) before leaving. This will also give you time to look around & check to see all is as neat, or neater, than you found it. Thank you! (End of article by Serena)

United Family Time Activities

       As a Home, you might decide to have united Family Time activities maybe two nights a week. (This is described in the first part of this article. Please see pgs. 3-4 "Organising Family Time & the Family Time Deacon".) For the older children, for example, you can plan to have an outdoor Inspiration around a small fire, or a candle-lit Inspiration together, while the younger kids enjoy a nice video indoors together. The parents would then have the option to attend one of the two united activities along with their children of that age group. Daddy, for example, might go with the older kids, while the younger ones go with Mommy to their video, or the magic show or whatever. The united children's activity should have assigned overseers attending to make sure that the kids are well behaved & properly supervised, as at times, some children may attend without one of their parents being there, so they may need additional supervision.
       United activities provide more ideas & variety in Family Time Hour, plus the equipment & talents are more used. When one more experienced person explains a previewed video, for example, lots of parents & kids can benefit from the good lessons & prayerfulness put into that person's good presentation. Another major advantage of united activities is that when one or both parents need to spend special "Personal Time" with their JETT or one individual child in their family, they can take this child aside on united activity night for a one-hour personal talk, prayer & counsel time with him, while their other kids are supervised by other adults whom they've arranged for them to be with. One or both parents could also schedule special parent/Teen heart-to-heart sharing time during some united activity night.
       Please remember that Family Time is time to be spent with your kids, whether you choose to spend time with all or several of them in united activities, or whether you choose to have special "Personal Time" with one of them while the others are participating in the united activities under the supervision of other adults. Family Time is not time to just "drop your children off" in the united activities, so you can "go back to work".
       United activities could be overseen by rotating adults, or even sets of parents, so that all parents can take turns overseeing, as well as playing with their different children. Remember, parents need to enter into the games & projects along with the children. This offers an ideal time for parents to observe their children's interaction with their peers & other adults.
       Another way of organising united activities could be grouping by age & sex. For instance, the older children could be divided into boys & girls--boys for special games, building, or guitar practice, for example, while the girls could have a sewing project or prepare a fun snack for the kids & parents at the end of Family Time. Doing easy mending & repairs, or embroidery or knitting make fun, on-going projects.--And how about making peanut butter balls, a nutty fruit salad, baked cheese sticks, banana milk shake, chocolate oatmeal balls, or popcorn balls, etc! (See "Kim in the Kitchen" & other easy recipes in Activity Book 3!)
       At the same time, all the younger children could have a fun inspiration or drama time, bubble-blowing, flannelgraphs, slide shows or puppet shows! Tell the kids to prepare for a surprise & have Abrahim or Leland Valentine, or Ol' Hallelujah, or Grandmother make a surprise appearance to tell the children of their exciting testimonies! Teens are great at these "skits," & daddies who usually don't have the opportunity to spend a lot of time with the children are ideal for fun "rousements" & these times of entertainment! Remember that it's advisable to keep united activities simple so it doesn't involve too much preparation or cleanup time afterwards!--It does not have to be elaborate or over-done, just fun & simple & easy to do!
       It's also important that in these group activities the overseers & parents take full control of the event & any disciplinary problems, & not allow one or two unruly kids to ruin the fun for others.
       Perhaps parents, singles & Teens in your Home can submit a list of the different burdens they have of things to do with the children for activity nights or during Family Time, as they research the Activity Books & CCHB's for ideas! Maybe the handyman has a burden to take a few older boys aside for a special building project, or maybe a mother would like to read with the older boys & girls a book about a famous missionary, or a good Shepherd can lead the older kids or the 8 to 10-year-olds in an intriguing Pow-wow, Question & Answer, or "Let's Talk" time! What a big blessing to have the availability in our Family of so many talents, & now with our new Family Time Revolution & the vision of all of us helping to make disciples out of our children, it seems we all have a fun, inspiring challenge ahead to pass these talents on to our precious new generation!
       United Family Time activities give parents the opportunity to tune in to their children & observe them with their own peers, whereas Family Time of individual families gives the family & children more opportunity to relate to each member & enjoy more personal interactions with their siblings & parents.

Suggestions for Children's Special Activity Night

       One night a week, usually a weekend night followed by a sleep-in the next morning, could possibly be scheduled as an extra fun time for parents & kids of all ages to enjoy special children's activity together. This might be any assortment of planned events, i.e. star-gazing, a campfire dinner, charades & skits, a fun rousing inspiration together, a sunsign Birthday party, a special story time, a rodeo or circus night, a treasure hunt; a kids' performance night with poems, dances or skits; an "Early Days" evening at Huntington Beach dress-up time, a Sock Hop dance, a special video for "All", or testimony time! Again, remember that it's important that parents participate in these activities with the children, & not "donate" them to the supervised activity & then take time off & away--unless absolutely necessary & counselled & arranged beforehand (i.e. for "Personal Teen Time"). Teens & JETTs can play a key role in planning & carrying out such special children's activities.--They really keep'm alive & inspiring, GB'm!
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Ideas for Children's Special Activity Nights--Planned by the Teens of the former SEA Jumbo!

       For special children's activities or Family Day fun, we've found that Teens & JETTs love to do the preparations! Giving them this responsibility really turns their key & is another way to show we need & trust them to take on these adult-type responsibilities. They sure put forth a lot of effort & initiative! JETTs especially seem to grow from this opportunity, since they usually don't handle other Home ministries as yet. Provided that an assigned adult teacher or parent will oversee & guide their preparations, the Teens & JETTs can add the extra inspiration, fun & excitement needed for children's "special" activities!
       Following are ideas for special activity nights for children, & even for toddlers & the nursery, that the Jumbo Teens & JETTs planned, prepared & carried out with real success, GB'm!

Ideas for Young Children & Middle Children & JETTs

       Sock hop
       Dance night/formal
       Gypsy night
       "Restaurant" dinner with "formal" attire, tablecloth, candlelight, possibly with boys escorting the girls
       ML Character night
       Memory games
       Star gazing
       Slide shows
       Austrian night
       Appreciation night for staff, handymen, teachers, provisioners, etc.
       Birthday parties
       Hawaiian night
       Free play
       Hippie night
       Russian tea party
       LWG night
       Heavenly rewards
       TTC or other skits (Please see BTH pgs. 274-292 for Teen Training skits. See also Kidz Mags #3 pg.21-22 for skits & puppet play; Kidz #5 pgs. 18-21; Kidz #6 pgs. 18-21.)
       Hebrews 11 dress-up
       "Special Guest" surprise appearances
       "Word Fun" games from Activity Book 4
       Oriental night
       Tea party
       Heaven night
       Graduation ceremony
       Circus night
       Arab night
       Puppet shows
       Getting to know Grandpa & Mama Maria
       Bible character dress-up
       Pretend a VIP visit
       Etiquette lessons


       Gypsy night--Outside around the campfire & tent, everyone dresses up as Gypsies, with a visit by Abrahim, with stories, snack & wild & free Gypsy dancing. Can even be done indoors with "imitation" fire.
       Restaurants--Different restaurants on different nights with different native foods. Also learn about that country & how they dress, live, national traditions & customs, etc.
       Austrian night--Have a quiz on "Sound of Music" video, learn Austrian folk dance & music, have Austrian snack & learn to yodel.
       Hippie night--Meet some people from the early Family days & hear about or do skits of some of the things they did: provisioning, Holy Ghost samples, road trips, witnessing, etc.
       LWG night--Hide things from different LWG stories & have the kids find them & then guess what story the item is from.
       Heaven night & Heavenly Rewards--See "Jesus" & the Holy Spirit & people from the Bible tell their stories. Kids come to the Heavenly Throne & receive their stone, new name, & Crown of Life & Heavenly fruit snack.
       Circus--Girls dress up in pretty bathing suits, boys as clowns, with tumbling, "animal taming", parade & snacks!
       Arab night--Make a big tent in the room, have traditional Arabic food, Arabic dances, read Komix about Arabs & have a "Camel's Nose" skit.
       Getting to know Grandpa & Mama Maria--Someone dresses up as Grandpa, & Mama Maria is beside him, & Grandpa tells stories. He also talks about how Mama Maria is such a blessing & help as she stays right beside him.
       VIP/Landlady visit--An adult dresses up as our landlady & comes to "visit" the kids. They sing to her & learn to be a good sample, how to respond to questions, serve tea & coffee etc.

For Nursery & Toddlers

       Around the World night
       Puppet shows
       Star gazing, with snack outside
       Restaurant with dessert & dancing
       Gypsy night
       Heaven night
       Inspiration with action songs
       Free time play with toys
       "Pets in Heaven" or ML or TK animal themes
       Dress up nights
       Dance nights with different themes


       ML-TK animal theme dress-up party--Have a Room Shepherd dress up as Quacky the Duck & dance to the song. You could be learning the colour yellow that week in the nursery & have yellow duck cakes with yellow frosting for snack.
       Pets in Heaven or ML-TK animal theme--Ring the Naughty Dog, Snowflake, Quacky the Duck, The Amazing (Psychic) Cat, Gabriel & Heaven LWG budgies, Two Lil' Kittens, Noah's Ark TK, donkey, Peter & goats, Old Sam & live duck, Lazarus the Duck, Papa Lion, Bye-Bye Birdies, camel from Camel's Nose.--Just add drawn-on whiskers & noses & add some ears & beaks or tails, or fur & feathers!
       On dance nights--Dress the kids in different costumes, i.e. gypsy, Abrahim, formal, cowboy, etc., & dance with them! (End of article from the former SEA Jumbo)
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Burn Free at Get-Out Time!

       You may be thinking, as you read this article, "My goodness, it sounds like my kids are supposed to actually sit down at a table & chair & actually apply themselves at some kind of creative activity when with me! Whoever's suggesting all this certainly doesn't know how my kids run around like wild Indians at Family Time! I can hardly keep track of all six of them! I nearly collapse in exhaustion by the end of one hour!"--Well, that's probably happened to all of us! While Family Time can certainly be a fun play time together, it doesn't mean that it has to necessarily be an exhausting Olympic event, full of action, sweat & frustrations as you try to keep up with your whole troop of wild & woolly young charges!
       All kids need lots of exercise & stimulation & opportunities throughout the day to burn up all their excess energy, & they also need to put it to real good use! This is why in System schools children usually have 50 minute classes at a time with a 5 or 10-minute break in-between. And they not only have a full hour of physical education in the gym or on the playground or basketball court, for example, but they also have a few 10 or 15-minute periods of recess throughout the day. It may benefit both our Homes & children if we provide more playtime, physical exercise & Get-Out time for our kids!
       While a one-hour Get-Out is required, why not take your group of kids for a good, full hour & a half or more of Get-Out--at least some days, if not every day! Just as they do in System school, this physical exercise period would be an excellent time to teach kids different kinds of games & sports, exercises, stretching, aerobics, climbing, relays, ball games, motor skills, swimming, croquet, jump-rope, climbing bars, coordination, chin-ups, races, four-square, tether ball, dancing, learning to dribble & pass a ball, as well as having long nature walks, planting a garden, & the countless other outdoor activities our kids can enjoy if they had a little more time to do so.
       We'd probably all like to see the Get-Out time extended for our Family kids so they could have more time outdoors, in more creative, intriguing, educational, physical exercise & stimulation--to have more outdoor education & play! It may also make them healthier & more resistant to disease! And don't forget, another big advantage of more Get-Out time is that it'll burn off all that energy so that by the time Family Time rolls around, the kids will be more ready to apply themselves towards an indoor activity or to a more "low-key" time of edifying reading, playing, counsel, inspiration, etc.
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Parents Should Keep the Night Schedule

       As a Home, you should agree together on the scheduled time for Family Time & be sure that everyone is informed & faithfully abides by these scheduled times. If it's agreed upon that the parents should take their children throughout dinner time & then for the scheduled Family Time after dinner, then parents should keep these requirements & cooperate as much as possible with the Home schedule. If the children are to return to their boy/girl groups to sleep in their dorms at night, the parents should comply with this schedule & get them to their rooms on time, & as much as possible avoid making exceptions. If the children normally room in with their parents, or stay with their parents for a special "sleep-over" time, parents should still have their kids keep the scheduled bedtime that the rest of the kids keep & not allow them to stay up later than the others.
       Teachers should inform parents if they need to have the kids wash or bathe before bed, (if this is not taken care of in the school groups on a regular basis). If needed, parents can strive to make a fun routine out of their children's teeth-brushing or bottom & foot-washing procedures before bed. If this is the case, extra time needs to be allotted for Family Time to include this washing & bathing time, so that the kids still have a good hour of Family Time fellowship with their parents.
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Regarding Outings & Rewards for Children

       We don't need to go out to have System "goodies" with our kids to have "fun", or to have an extra special "treat" to have a better birthday! Though we adults know the System has nothing to offer & that it doesn't satisfy, we are inadvertently reinforcing the opposite thought-pattern in our kids' minds by associating a special treat or reward with a System outing. In fact, unless outings are evenly scheduled for all families & Parenting Teamworks, it can even prove to be hurtful to adult Members if only certain families go out on excursions & outings, & others don't get to.
       Most of all, let's be sure to explain & correct in our children any wrong ideas they may have formulated that the System has lots of fun & "goodies" & more things to enjoy than what the Lord gives His children in our Homes! Let's strive to make Sunsign Birthday parties & special children's events at home more enjoyable & meaningful & really give our children more fun & fulfilment in our revolutionary life of faith, so they don't come to the conclusion they have to go to the System to get it.
       But on the other hand, with transportation, funds & weather permitting, a prayerfully organised schedule of family outings can occasionally be quite a blessing. Possibly a bus-load of families can all go to the park for two hours, for example. Perhaps you could plan to provision snacks or meals out, or take a packed lunch along, or have an established budget per group for all outing expenses. You can also plan inexpensive or free adventures out, like going to the beach, witnessing, hiking, playing at a playground, walk-talks, etc.
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Family Day!

       Okay, now that we've just survived daily Family Time & a Saturday night's special children's activity, are you ready, Parents, to tackle all-day Family Day? (Actually, Family Day could be any day, but we'll use Sunday as an example, as Sunday is usually a time when the System expects children to be home from school.) Our children all seem to look forward to their Family Day! So that brings us to lesson number one: Family Day is the day to be a parent. It's not a free day, it's not a rest day, & it's not a Word day, it's a Family Day--a full day that adults devote to the children, so if you try to fit in a whole bunch of other things you personally would like to do, you may be disappointed!
       If you really want to get good, needed Word & rest on a weekly basis, it would be advisable for Homes to schedule at least another half-day rest day each week so that all adults & EAs can rotate on a scheduled basis. Perhaps adults & EAs could even be scheduled to get a full day off for a Word & Rest Day every week or every two weeks. It's ideal if a team of two or four people can leave the Home & visit another Home or nearby location, where a certain bedroom is designated for "W&R" time & people can get quiet, undisturbed time away from Home duties. Two Homes can even work cooperatively this way to exchange Word & Rest teams when scheduled. Also, Teen Shepherds in our large Combos & Schools would benefit from taking their "W&R" day on a completely different day than Family Day, so that they're available to continue to shepherd the Teens on Family Day. This suggestion would also apply to JETT Shepherds who care for JETTs who do not live with their parents but who board in groups in our large Combos & Schools.
       Other practical tips to make Family Day easier: It's especially helpful in a big Home to create a Family Day Committee where a group of three or four adults or Teens plan different activities for the day. The Family Day Committee could also be in charge of rotating outings for different families so that everybody gets ample turns & cars are reserved, the picnics are packed, the kids are ready the night before, etc., for their scheduled turn with their little families to have an outing. So that single mommies or daddies & their kids are not left out of Family Day outings, they can team up as Parenting Teamworks with another family on these Family Day adventures.
       There may be occasional instances where one of your children prefers to be with another family because he wants to participate in some fun activity that they have planned. For example, your nine-year-old boy might prefer to go fishing for a few hours in the afternoon with another daddy & his two sons, rather than stay home & watch an OC video with you. Depending on the situation & how you feel led, it is permissible at times to give your children the liberty of spending some time with other families on Family Day. In these instances, it's good to not feel bad or take it personally if your children prefer to be with another family for a while on Family Day instead of spending the entire day with you. There is the temptation for us parents to think, "I hardly see my child & now when we have a chance to spend some time together he wants to take off & be with someone else!" When children want to be with some other family for a while on Family Day, it's not necessarily because they don't want to be with you, it's usually only because the activity the other family has planned is "more fun" in their eyes or they want to enjoy some play time with their friends.
       So please understand that Family Day does not necessarily mean that you have to spend every minute of the day with every one of your children. You do have some leeway in this respect when planning your activities. However, you would want to avoid having your children pair up with other families too often, because you don't want to miss the opportunity of having personal fellowship with your children on a regular basis on Family Day.
       Before Family Day weekends, parents of boarding school children especially would benefit from receiving regular, short checklist reports from teachers, which would keep the parents informed of the children's recent progress, NWOs & needs. Especially before Family Day weekends, this would enable parents to be more forewarned & prepared for spending the whole day with their children, & they're more on guard & prepared to correct them or encourage & help them etc. when the need may arise. The parents then could send their form to the teachers to likewise inform them about how their weekend went with the children, if anything significant needs reporting. (See Parent/Teacher Checklists provided on pgs. 27-28 of this FSM.)
       These reports about the children's behaviour, health or NWOs can be discussed more fully in a Parent/Teacher Visitation Meeting, which is now required in all Homes & Schools at least once a month. (Adults can also make their children's NWOs & needs a prayer request at your weekly Home Parenting Meetings.) The Parent/Teacher Visitation program really helps parents & teachers to have a more united front on the children's education, training & disciplinary needs, & as a result, the children are not confused by a double standard between the disciplinary rules & enforcement that they receive at their School & what they receive during Family Time at home. (See GAP Video #053 & FSM 147 for very helpful how-to's on PTV Meetings.)
       Parents often have a tendency to want to "relax" or be extra tolerant during Family Time or Family Day, but it's important to have a united vision for good input & set guidelines & some organisation etc. so our children won't be confused, bored or unsupervised. A behavioural standard will also help us as parents to be more self-disciplined. This is not to say that discipline in the children's school groups is more rigid or restrictive. The point is that discipline in our school groups is usually more consistent so the children know & are reminded of their guidelines in every area, & therefore they usually behave better in school than at home, where the standard may not be as consistently enforced.
       Family Day is the day for our children to live & learn with us & observe us as their parents & Shepherds in the Lord, so we adults & parents need to be on our best behaviour! As long as we're in prayer, on guard, staying very close to the Lord & aware of all the dangers & potential accidents & what a great influence we can have on our kids, we'll do all we can to uphold this new Discipleship Training Standard with all our younger generation, no matter who we're with & what we're doing.
       We need to keep the fires of the Revolution in our hearts every moment of every day so we can pass on this wonderful Revolution to our precious children!
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Grandpa & Maria--The Best Sample Parents!

       Whatever we do in the Family, we can always refer to the standard in the Word as our Scriptural precedent. When we think about Family Time, we can just look to Grandpa & Mama & see how they have faithfully spent Family Time daily with their children for years! Look at all the "Life with Grandpa" stories, almost all of them are about spending quality Family Time with David, Techi & Davida & even sometimes the other little ones in their Home. For example, in the sweet story "The China Cup" (LWG Vol.1), Grandpa, when having his tea with the children after dinner, teaches a fascinating story of how China cups are made, & then he applies what he's teaching the children to their own lives & gives a further lesson on habits & how to break bad habits.
       Or in the story of "The Real Little Princess" or "The True Story of Noah's Ark", Grandpa is again having Family Time with Techi & the others, teaching the Word in a very fun & special way. And TTL for all the beautiful & feeding GNs, "Psalms for Kids" etc., all of which are the fruit of Grandpa having quality Word studies & discussion at Family Time with his own children.
       We can also recall the wonderful stories of how Grandpa gave his first children good, feeding Bible classes regularly. (See BIP Book.) These weren't boring classes where the kids would fall asleep. Not at all!--Grandpa would roll up in the carpet, he would act things out & really get down to the children's level, even to little Faithy's young age so she could understand too.
       Maria has also devoted many hours of personal time to listening to & counselling dear Techi through her trials & battles, as well as listening to Teen David share lessons as he grows up. Our wonderful Shepherds & Parents in the Lord don't ever ask anything of us, their children, that they haven't done themselves & that they haven't been a shining example of, God bless them! Let's give our children the same love & care as we strive together to follow Dad & Mama's beautiful sample! Happy Parenting!

(This page may be photocopied.)

Child's Name:                     Date:                      Group:

                     Very Good        Fair        NWO       Comment:
Loving & outgoing?
Happy & positive?
Willing & cooperative?
Progressing scholastically?
Hunger for/inspired by Word?
Good  inter-relations with peers?
Any health problems?
Any behavioural problems?
Current Memory work:
Current  main pushes or Word studies:
Was any major disciplinary action needed recently? (If so, please specify):
Anything cute or special that the child did?
You can praise or encourage him/her in:
Would like to meet with you. (When & where):
Teacher's signature:

(This page may be photocopied.)

Child's Name:                                 Date:                      Group:
                     Very Good        Fair        NWO               Comment:
Happy & cheerful?
Obedient & respectful?
Willing & helpful?
Sufficient sleep &/or nap?
Sufficient Word time?
Healthy & energetic?
Good communication time?
If any health problems please specify here:
If any behavioural problems please specify here:
Noteworthy progress Or victories:
Was any major disciplinary action needed?
(If so,, please specify):
Any comments, questions or suggestions?
Would like to meet with you. (When & where):
Parents' / Guardians' names & signatures:

Copyright 1996 The Family