Friday, August 15, 2014

Part of the Handout

What follows is a portion of what I put into the handout that I had for those that attended the Little Hero Hug Open House/Forum that I had at my house August 13, 2014. The whole excerpt is great, but I underlined my very favorite part:) You can find the whole talk at
What Manner of Men and Women Ought Ye to Be?

Lynn G. Robbins
Of the Seventy

Lynn G. Robbins
When children misbehave, let’s say when they quarrel with each other, we often misdirect our discipline on what they did, or the quarreling we observed. But the do—their behavior—is only a symptom of the unseen motive in their hearts. We might ask ourselves, “What attributes, if understood by the child, would correct this behavior in the future? Being patient and forgiving when annoyed? Loving and being a peacemaker? Taking personal responsibility for one’s actions and not blaming?”
How do parents teach these attributes to their children? We will never have a greater opportunity to teach and show Christlike attributes to our children than in the way we discipline them. Discipline comes from the same root word as disciple and implies patience and teaching on our part. It should not be done in anger. We can and should discipline the way that Doctrine and Covenants 121 teaches us: “by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned; by kindness and pure knowledge” (verses 41–42). These are all Christlike be’s that should be a part of who we, as parents and disciples of Christ, are.
Through discipline the child learns of consequences. In such moments it is helpful to turn negatives into positives. If the child confesses to a wrong, praise the courage it took to confess. Ask the child what he or she learned from the mistake or misdeed, which gives you, and more important, the Spirit an opportunity to touch and teach the child. When we teach children doctrine by the Spirit, that doctrine has the power to change their very nature—be—over time.
Alma discovered this same principle, that “the preaching of the word had a great tendency to lead the people to do that which was just—yea, it had had more powerful effect upon the minds of the people than the sword” (Alma 31:5; emphasis added). Why? Because the sword focused only on punishing behavior—or do—while preaching the word changed people’s very nature—who they were or could become.
A sweet and obedient child will enroll a father or mother only in Parenting 101. If you are blessed with a child who tests your patience to the nth degree, you will be enrolled in Parenting 505. Rather than wonder what you might have done wrong in the premortal life to be so deserving, you might consider the more challenging child a blessing and opportunity to become more godlike yourself. With which child will your patience, long-suffering, and other Christlike virtues most likely be tested, developed, and refined? Could it be possible that you need this child as much as this child needs you?

Friday, July 11, 2014

Ordinary Heroes

In my last post I said I would talk about how sometimes when we make a choice to do something that is good, something bad happens to us. The boy in the story in the previous blog was punished for helping someone because helping someone made him late for class. I believe he was a hero. That doesn't seem fair to be a hero and have a bad consequence. When our children were growing up we had this conversation all the time about what is fair and what isn't and why, etc. etc. The quote I chose from "A World Without Heroes" talks about heroes who made the right choice, but had bad things happen to them.
"My final hero tells us that life can be what it should be. It is a person who does not fit the heroic mold at all, and from whom, perhaps, we should least expect great or heroic deeds. This hero has been with us all along, and discharges his duty without giving a second thought to fashionable theories of the times It could be anybody. It could be you. 'Ordinary' people do heroic things every day that are simply unthinkable to the anti-hero conception of lie. And we all know it. How else would we recognize Mother Teresa as a saint? J.R.R. Tolkien understood our extraordinary powers well in creating the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Hobbits, he said, 'are made small...mostly to show up, in creatures of very small physical power, the amazing and unexpected heroism of ordinary men 'at a pinch.' "
"My witness could be Lenny Skutnik. He may be the best known of my 'ordinary' heroes because his heroism-indeed 'amazing and unexpected'- was shown on television. You remember: the man who dove into the icy Potomac to rescue a survivor of an airplane crash a few years ago. It could be the man in that same crash who gave his life to be sure that rescuers picked up all the other survivors first. It could be the small boy who saved his father's life by lifting an automobile under which the man was pinned and dying. I think of the three-year-old who, instead of fleeing, went upstairs in a burning house to wake and save his mother. The young football pro who went to the aid of youngsters floundering in a gravel pit, knowing full well he himself could barely swim. He drowned. The paperboy who braved an inferno to lead an elderly woman to safety. He survived, but suffered serious burns."
All heroes have to make a choice between helping others or thinking of themselves. Those mentioned in the paragraph above all chose to help others. The boy in the story in my last blog chose to help. He knew he would be late, but he chose to help.
That is what my "Little Hero Hugs" are all about. I want to help parents to teach their children that they can be heroes at home. They get praise and are able to wear their "Hug" when they choose to help in their home, or wherever they are really. If we could grow a generation of children that choose to help others and think of others before themselves, we would soon have grown men and women who are heroes. There is no telling what changes for good can come from a generation full of heroes!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

"Bringing Up Moral Children" by A. Lynn Scoresby

This post is about the importance of teaching our children morality. After my husband and I had been parenting for quite a few years, we realized that we didn't know what we were doing. We realized that we needed help. We searched and read, prayed and read some more. Finally we came across a most amazing book that changed our lives, and I am sure it changed the lives of our children for the better.

I am telling you all this because of all the books that my husband read, by far the best book was, "Bringing Up Moral Children" by A. Lynn Scoresby.  It is an amazing book and we used it all the time. We still use the principles in our everyday dealings with people, and of course, with our children and grandchildren.

In the book, Dr. Scoresby teaches how to teach morality to our children using principles. We learned the principles first and then we could teach them and incorporate them into our everyday lives. One story that had a huge impact on me was about a boy, I will say he was about 12 years old. This boy had been getting to class late and this was becoming a real problem. The parents had a talk with the boy and they worked out a plan so that he could get to class on time. In order to get to class on time the boy would have to go a different route to his class. He would have to go a back way around some buildings that weren't as crowded as the way he had been going to class. The plan worked and he had gotten to class on time a number of times. One day as he was going this back way, he saw a boy being bullied. He had to decide if he should stop, help the boy and be late, or go on, not help the boy and make sure that he wasn't late to class. (This is my version of the story. Sorry, Dr. Scoresby, if this isn't exactly right.) The boy did the right thing, he stopped and helped the boy being bullied. He was late to class. He got into trouble from his teacher for being late. But when he told his parents that he had been late to class and why he had done what he did, they praised him for his correct choice. (Note, the boy was still in trouble for being late to class. There was a seemingly bad consequence even for this correct choice. I will talk about this more in the next post.)

As I have been telling my version of Dr. Scoresby's story, I noticed how the parents talk to the child. They talked to him and helped him come up with a plan to make it to class on time. They took the time to hear their son explain why he had been late on the day he helped the other boy. It then became a perfect teaching moment. Had they not talked and worked out solutions together, this might not have had a good outcome. The parents might have seen the report from the teacher about their son being late to class, gotten angry and grounded him. I learned from the book that you take opportunities to teach your children. Always be looking for opportunities to teach. Natural consequences for behavior teach very well, but you need to talk to the child so that the child understands that their decision caused the consequence. That is just one of the many things I took away from that great book.

I could talk about "Bring Up Moral Children" all day, but I need to get to the quote of the day from "A World Without Heroes."
"Sarti is right. The moral relativism that saturates modern thought can produce neither heroes nor happiness. 'A man who bows down to nothing,' Dostoevsky observed, 'can never bear the burden of himself.' So too with nations. No civilization has ever arisen except on a religious basis, and none can maintain itself except as it is informed by absolute morality. It is faith held in common that civilizes, that holds men's animal self-interest at bay, and shapes a just law and community. Such freedom and security as we still enjoy are readily traced to the Judeo-Christian foundations of the West. But the central faith must be constantly guarded and renewed, not least by heroism, lest the bonds between men dissolve....The hero bespeaks these facts. He emerges only in that healthy community based on an objective moral order, and he in turn, by deed and symbol, replenishes its spiritual strength. We cannot evoke or even recognize heroism without a common faith."
"The absent hero is thus a symptom of a paralyzing moral division in America. If our knight rode out and slew a dragon, half the editorials the next day would brand him 'insensitive' if not an outright warmonger, and remind us that dragons are on the endangered species list. If we cannot agree that dragons are evil we will have no dragon fighters. Unhappy the country that loses its moral bearings!"
"A World Without Heroes," pages 7-8.

I wish "Bringing Up Moral Children" were still in print!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Our Debt to heroes

"A World Without Heroes, The Modern Tragedy"

I guess you know that I am quoting from that book, but I just want to make sure I give credit where credit is due.

Lately I have written quite a few birthday cards. I use Send Out Cards, (Which I love, by the way, and if you are interested, I am a distributor:) But back to the cards. A number of the cards have been birthday cards to grandchildren:) I love designing the cards and I try to use positive words that reinforce their great decisions or something they have done that they should be proud of. I have my Thesaurus handy because I want to use words that are more descriptive than my normal vocabulary. Great and wonderful are my "go to" words, but I have been working on using "valiant," "strong," "brave." Words like that, that are more expressive, but "thoughtful," "helpful," and "kind" are still good, even though they are used quite a bit.

After explaining that our debt to heroes is immeasurable in "A World Without Heroes." Still on page 6 of the introduction. President Roche says:

"Our debt to heroes is no metaphor, but the substance of free society.  It is our duty to one another and to moral law, a duty exemplified at its highest by the hero's own selflessness. We have not kept our end of the bargain. The very words we need to think about heroes-valor, magnanimity, fortitude, gallantry-rust from our disuse."

Do our children, do we, know what these words mean? I think I know what all of them mean, except I wasn't quite sure about magnanimity. We should be using these words. We should help our children to be familiar with them, because these are the traits we want them to have. When they display any of the afore mentioned traits, call them to the attention of the child and maybe even the siblings. You could say, "Did you know that you were very gallant just now when you opened the car door for your sister? I am very proud of you. Heroes always try to be gallant." (Gallant- Polite and attentive to women.) You can do that with a Little Hero Hug, or you can just do it:)

This is another idea to help us honor our heroes. Considering the deplorable medical treatment our Veterans have been receiving, or not receiving, that we have been learning about recently, this could be a perfect teaching opportunity! If I had children at home, in my day I would get the encyclopedias out, but you can go on the internet and search WWII. Show your children what these brave men and women did. Tell them that thousands upon thousands lost their lives. (You will have found the exact number in your search) Teach them about sacrifice. They lost their arms and legs. Some are still so very sick and need medical help. You could tell them a bit about what is on the news. "What do you think we can do to help these heroes that have sacrificed so that we can be free?" Really listen to your child. If they come up with a better idea than the one I am going to share, go with it. Really do it though. You have to follow through!!! If they can't think of anything, call your Congressman, Senator or other legislator. Put the call on speaker phone and let your child or children ask what they can do to help. Your child could ask what is being done by those with the power to do something. I think you will be surprised by what your child will come up with and where the conversation will go. Usually you will only get to talk to a staff member, but I have spoken to the legislator himself before. And every staff member that I have ever spoken to has been kind and listened to my concerns. If you are concerned and want assurance that the experience is a good one, you could call prior and let the legislator's office know to expect your call. Just a heads up:)

I would schedule an hour for this activity. Don't rush. Answer questions. Enjoy this time learning together and use the hero words, look them up. See if the children can use those hero words more this next week.

If you try this, I would like to know how it turned out.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Billy Loved Superheroes

Billy Loved Superheroes. That is the name of the story I wrote to help parents teach their children about Superheroes.  It is mostly about how our children can become Little Heroes by doing what Superheroes do, which is to help people and make other people happy:)
Billy is trying to fly off the couch using a dish towel as a cape. His mother comes in just in time to see what is about to happen. She takes this opportunity to teach Billy what Superheroes do and goes on to explain that he can be a hero right in their home by helping the members of the family and trying to make them happy. She then says that she will make Billy a real cape, which they call a "Little Hero Hug."
I said on my Facebook page this morning that I would put the story on my blog, but I think it is too long. I will have to find out about that. I do have a picture of the CD that we made of me telling the story. I will put that picture up, until I can find out if the entire story will fit in the blog.

If you would like one of the CDs, email me at  and I will send you one. They cost $5:) each. I think it is well worth the price for an afternoon of teaching your child about how happy it makes us to help others. Then you will have a Little Hero in your family too:)

Sunday, June 8, 2014

What is a hero?

If you are not reading "A World Without Heroes", I hope that you will. I am only commenting on bits and pieces of this book that is full of important information. I am reading it pretty slowly and pondering a lot about what President Roche is saying and how it applies to me, to our nation, and to the world. On page three of the introduction the author quotes Sarti, "It is an unhappy country that has no heroes." Then the author goes on to ask, "But what are heroes, and how can they make us happier?...In truth, the question is less about heroes than about the frameworks of belief in which they can, and cannot, flourish. In the end it concerns what we ourselves believe and ask of life. What the hero gives us is a completely fresh, unfailed way of looking at it. To honest seekers, it promises the answer to our pervasive, mysterious unhappiness. Heroes are a fading memory in our times, but we can still recall a little about them. We know, at least, that what sets the hero apart is some extraordinary achievement." The heroic act is recognized as good, usually "larger than life," "it attains greatness, by serving some great good." "The hero seeks not happiness but goodness, and his fulfillment lies in achieving it. His satisfaction, such as it may be, is thus a result: a reward, if you please, for doing good. This path to happiness is open to all, hot just heroes,and until modern times nobody believed there was any other. To pursue happiness for its own sake, it was believed, was the surest way to lose it." Previous to this the author has explained how we have been searching, unsuccessfully, for happiness. He goes on to explain what is not a hero. Many of us like to think of and treat rock idols, sports stars, and those that have become rich, as heroes. But Roche says,"...there is simply nothing heroic in doing what one is exceedingly well paid to do." "Real heroism requires courage. It entails peril or pain. My dictionary says heroes are 'distinguished by valor or enterprise in danger, or fortitude in suffering.'" Then he explains that even though Lindbergh and Earhart were courageous and brave, "both acted in calculated self-interest, and somehow this too seems to fall short of the heroic. Lindbergh and Earhart surely made our way easier through their courage in pioneering flight, but they did not make it nobler." This following quote will be the last one I will make from the book today, because I stopped reading there. I have been thinking about this statement ever since reading it yesterday. "Plainly, heroism also has a selfless quality. The hero's deed is ennobled not alone by courage but by the call to duty or by service to others." I have been watching the news the last week and the most reported story has been the story of a soldier, Bowe Bergdahl, who was released after five years in captivity, and "near death," in trade for five of our enemies, "four star generals" I have heard them called. These five were instrumental in the most horrific attack on our nation, in our nation's history, just over a decade ago. The trade of prisoners seemed to be the story at first, but in the last few days the focus has gone from the trade to this man, Bowe Bergdahl. He is said to be, by Susan Rice, the National Security Advisor, "honorable." After many stories of how honorable Bowe Bergdahl was, many of the soldiers that fought with him, and have been called his "buddies" by some in the media, have come forward to tell a different story. They say he was a deserter. One of the soldiers I saw in an interview on "The Kelly File," last week, said something to the effect of, "I don't know what Bergdahl was thinking, but we (moving his arm to designate the other four sitting with him) would have died for him." These same soldiers, and others, have said that men died trying to find Bergdahl. Others on the news have said, in recent days, there is no proof that men died to find Bowe Bergdahl. Friday night I saw a piece of an interview with the parents of one soldier that was on a mission to find Bergdahl and was killed. Then there is the fact that these soldiers that have come forward, signed a "gag" order, saying that they would not talk about this incident. The questions were just flying through my mind. Why were they even asked to sign this gag order? But the fact is, they signed it and now they are talking about this situation they were told not to talk about. Why would they put themselves in that kind of peril? I believe they are putting themselves in this peril for the truth. Who else was there? Who else can tell the true story? They must feel a call to duty to do this and I believe they are serving their nation by telling the truth. Peril, call to duty and serving their nation are all qualifications for heroes, according to George Roche. In my estimation, these men are heroes. I have just given a few of the facts, or the things being said by different news sources, which doesn't qualify them as facts necessarily. Considering what I have been reading, and what I have shared with you, it is very important to find out the truth because someone or possibly many, are heroes in this situation. We can't let this story be filed away or dismissed or be forgotten because of the next crisis that might come up. We need to know what is true and let the heroes be honored and let those that made inappropriate choices receive the consequences that follow such decisions. We are a nation, a people, that need heroes, and we need the real heroes, not the opposite, to be recognized and honored. And when we find out who the heroes are, we need to honor them. We need to do something to let them know we honor them. We need to let our children help write the "Thank you" note, or make sure they are holding your hand when you say thank you to the soldier in the grocery store. We need to honor our heroes. (The 70th anniversary of D-day was celebrated yesterday, that might be contributing to my passion about this subject)

Friday, June 6, 2014

The beginning of my journey into "A World Without Heroes, The Modern Tragedy" by George Roche

On my Facebook page I made reference yesterday to this book I have just begun to read, again. I started reading it many months ago, but got busy and stopped for a while, till I came upon it the other day. I thought that I was too busy to read it before, but I should know that there are things that you need to do, things you have to prioritize and make time for. We all know that, the problem is, how to know what to choose. I learned years ago, when I taught Early Morning Seminary to High School students, that my priorities have to be: 1-Prayer 2-Scripture Study Those two things had to happen every day and in that order. I would prioritize everything else after those two things were done. We had seven children at home at the time, the youngest was four years old. In order to accomplish all I needed to do, I had to get up at 4:30 a.m. Gratefully, I no longer need to get up that early, but I still need to get up earlier than I want to:) I still pray first and then read the scriptures. It is imperative to learn how God deals with his children so I can know how to deal with mine and I learn that from studying about His dealings with His children anciently. But we have also been blessed with a Prophet, in our day, and 12 Apostles to help us with the problems we have now. That was made possible through the restoration of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I have added to my morning study, one address given by one of those leaders of the Church from the General Conference issue of the Ensign magazine. Now I am adding, after those three most imperative choices have been accomplished, reading "A World Without Heroes." I am passionate about the importance of raising children. When the idea came for Little Hero Hugs, I was worried about the name. I was concerned that if I use the word "Hero" regarding the behavior of little children, I might be diminishing, in some way, the meaning of what we all think of when we say or hear the word "Hero." Can you call a child a hero for not hitting his brother who just took his ball? That was one of my dilemma's. But, then I would think, when you are three and you are playing with your favorite ball and your brother grabs it away from you, how hard is it for that child not to retaliate in some way. How hard is it to "turn the other cheek?" It is hard! But is it "heroic?" I decided that is was. This is the quote that I put on my Facebook page, at Little Hero Hugs, yesterday from "A World Without Heroes." In the preface it reads: "We had all adjudged heroism to be something 'larger than life.' Informed thus by heroic acts, we may say: 'Here is proof that we can rise above ourselves.' But at the same time we almost automatically add a reservation: 'This way is open only to the few, the courageous, the bold. I could never be a hero. It is not asked of me. The way is not open to all.' "But it is; and we are all asked to be heroes, each in his own circumstances." That is what I thought:) A three year old can encounter circumstances where he can behave heroically. I have begun my journey to learn all I can about heroes, because we need heroes in our world, badly. I invite you to come along:) I believe that we have the power to raise heroes. I have had my time. We are very grateful that the seven children my husband and I were blessed with have each turned out to be heroes. However that happened, we are grateful:) They put on their armor every day and fight the good fight. I hope to be of help to them as they raise our grandchildren to be heroes too:)