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They shall also teach their children to pray, and to walk uprightly before the Lord. [D&C 68:28]
Help your family meet the needs, both physical and spiritual, of the new baby who has become a part of your family.
FOR THE PARENT
This lesson is especially geared to a family with young children. Involve each member of the family in the preparation of this home evening.
1. Make a special box containing the following articles (or other items of your choosing): a bottle of baby food, a folded diaper, a baby blanket, a bar of soap.
2. Also include the following four labels: "Baby-Food Store," "Tiny Tot Clothing Store," "Lullaby and Goodnight Land," and "Baby Bubble Bath."
3. You will also need a doll approximately the size of a newborn baby.
4. Have a chalkboard and chalk ready, or bring a large piece of paper and a marker to make a list.
SUGGESTED HYMN AND SONG
"Love At Home" [Hymns, no. 294].
"A Happy Family" [The Childrens Songbook, p. 198].
"He Has Sent Me Here"
Begin your home evening by having the family gather around holding the baby. Then sing the song "I Am a Child of God" [The Childrens Songbook, p. 2].
Ask some of the family members what they were feeling as they sang the song. Ask one of the children to read the words of the first verse of the song, and have the others listen carefully.
"I am a child of God,
And he has sent me here,
Has given me an earthly home
With parents kind and dear."
Discuss the following questions with your family. (You might try to get the family members to discover some deeper insights by asking, "And what else?" where appropriate when the person finishes giving his first response to the question.)
- What does being a child of God mean to you?
- In what ways is our earthly family like our heavenly family?
- Why would Heavenly Father want us to have "parents kind and dear" here on earth?
Now is a good time for you as parents to tell each of your children how much he means to you. Tell each child how precious he is to you and how special each one was when he was born.
Tell each child about the day he was born: what you did that day, what time you went to the hospital, how long it was before he was born, what he looked like, how long he was, how much he weighed, why you selected the name you did for him, and how father and mother felt. Begin with the oldest and end with the newborn. Conclude this part by having each child express how he feels about the new baby who has come to be part of your family.
"My Needs Are Great"
Have one of the children read the second verse of the song:
"I am a child of God,
And so my needs are great;
Help me to understand his words
Before it grows too late."
Point out that when a new baby becomes a part of a family on earth, like each other member of the family, he has many needs. Each child can help care for the new little brother or sister and help to meet those needs.
Ask the family to help you make a list of things you might want in order to care for the physical needs of the new baby.
The list might be arranged to include the following:
[Table heresee p. 116]
Foods and Utensils Clothing Shelter Bath
cereals plastic pants
baby bottles booties
dish and spoon
home bassinet or crib blankets
powder cotton balls washcloth towel small tub cotton-tipped sticks soap
Let each person know you appreciate his help in compiling the list of the baby's needs. You may want to add to the list when the children are through.
Explain to the children that just knowing what the baby needs is not enough. To take care of the baby's physical needs, we must know where to find those things that the baby needs. Tell the family you have planned a tour to help them know where to find those things. Open the special box, and give each of the family at least one article or label. Then begin the tour. (Note: The tour guide should point out where all of the baby's articles are at each stop on the tour.)
1. "The Baby-Food Store." Enter the kitchen, and have the person carrying the baby food put it on the appropriate shelf. Have the person carrying the label place the label on the appropriate cupboard.
2. "Tiny Tot Clothing Store." Enter the room where the baby sleeps, and have the person carrying the diaper place it on the shelf or in the drawer where it belongs. Have someone else place the label on an appropriate surface.
3. "Lullaby and Goodnight Land." While in the bedroom, have the person carrying the baby blanket place it carefully on the baby's bed. Place the label on the door, wall, or bed.
4. "Baby Bubble Bath." Enter the bathroom, and have the person carrying the bar of soap place it on the counter top or other surface where the baby is bathed. Place the label on an appropriate surface.
After you return to the place where you are holding your home evening, ask the children why they had the tour. Help them to see that now, when mother needs something for the baby, they will be able to help because they know where to get the things that the baby needs.
Now help the children understand that the baby has needs other than the physical ones.
- What are some of the babys other needs? (Affection, guidance, attention.)
- What does each of us have to give to the baby that will let him know we really care? (Love.)
Tell the family that one way a little baby knows it is loved is by the way family members hold and respond to it.
- How many would like to hold the new baby for a minute?
Tell the children they may hold the baby, but before they do you want each of them to practice by holding a doll.
Demonstrate to each one how to properly hold the baby, using the doll. Show each child how to support the body and head when he is holding it in different positions. You may want to give guidelines at this time about when and under what circumstances the baby is to be held. You may also want to give some instructions about feeding the baby.
When all the children have practiced with the doll, let each child hold the new baby in his arms. When all have had a turn, ask each one how he felt toward the baby while he held it. Tell them the baby could also feel their love as they held it.
"Rich Blessings Are in Store"
Read the third verse of the song:
"I am a child of God.
Rich blessings are in store;
If I but learn to do his will
I'll live with him once more."
- Who are the rich blessings for? (Lead the family to answer that they are for all family members.)
- In what ways might each of us receive rich blessings by having this new child of God come into our home?
- How might our baby receive rich blessings from being part of our family?
"Help Me Find the Way"
Now read the chorus of the song:
"Lead me, guide me, walk beside me,
Help me find the way.
Teach me all that I must do
To live with him someday."
- What can we do as a family to lead the baby, guide him, walk beside him, and help him find the way? (Allow plenty of time for the children to respond. Listen carefully to the responses given.)
Make a list, and compliment each person on his good ideas as you write them down. Point out that our Heavenly Father has given us the following guides to help us find the way:
1. Family prayers each day.
2. Individual prayers each day.
3. Scriptures to live by each day.
4. Family home evenings each week.
After the family members have looked at the list, ask each person what he is willing to do to help the baby find the way back to Heavenly Father.
- Can a person lead someone someplace if he is not going there himself? (No.)
- If our family is going to lead the baby back to our Heavenly Father, what must we do? (We must be striving to go back to our Heavenly Father ourselves. )
Assure the family that if each one will remember the words of the song and if all will work together, the family will have the blessing of living with Heavenly Father someday. End the home evening by singing again the entire song "I Am a Child of God."
(See Daily Living home page; Family Home Evening home page; Family Home Evening Lessons home page)
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