I loved the talk Essential Conversations by Joy D. Jones (April 2021 General Conference)
One of my favorite points she shared was this – “As children learn and progress, their beliefs will be challenged. But as they are properly equipped, they can grow in faith, courage, and confidence, even in the midst of strong opposition.”
Our children will have their beliefs challenged as they grow and progress. That’s a sure bet. But we can have essential conversations with them to help equip and prepare them for such situations.
Role Playing Real Life Situations
The suggestion that Sister Jones make to do role playing with our children really spoke to my heart.
Here’s what she said about it – “As they act it out and then talk it out, rather than being caught unprepared in a hostile peer group setting, children can be armed with “the shield of faith wherewith [they] shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.””
Being ready and prepared, and knowing how to respond in a situation is an amazing defense for our children to learn.
For a recent Family Home Evening, we decided to take her counsel and do some role-playing of our own. We’ve done role-play activities in the past, but this time I felt prompted to try something different. When we’ve done this before I would usually think of situations to role play and write them down ahead of time.
This time, though, I decided to give each family member some slips of paper and have them think of situations to write down. It was a good activity for them to be proactive in thinking about what situations they might face (or ones that they had already faced.)
Before FHE my husband and I did talk about a few specific situations that we knew our children were dealing with and we split those up to be sure they were all included. He wrote down a few of them and I wrote down the others. We made sure to mix up some more lighthearted things in with the more serious situations to keep it fun.
Essential Conversations – Family Conversation Cards
Want to take Sister Jones’ counsel to do a role-playing activity of your own? You can print out this cute little printable and use the paper slips to have family members write down situations they might encounter in different areas of their lives.
- Simply print out the strips and cut them apart on the lines.
- Give a couple to each family member and explain to them to write down some situations they think might happen to them (or that have already happened to them.)
- When everyone is done writing down their situations, fold them and stick them all in a basket (box, jar, hat – anything to hold them)
- Take turns having family members choose one, read it, and decide how they would respond. Next, have them act it out and practice what words they could use in a real-life situation.
- You could do this individually, but we found it worked great to do it in pairs. Working together made it more fun and pressure-free.
You could do these for FHE or you could stick them all in a basket and choose one each night at dinner. Or at family prayer before bedtime. Anytime you choose to do it, working in these situations to your everyday conversations can help build and strengthen testimonies.
Wishing you some joyful moments as a family as you participate in some fortifying essential conversations together.