Sunday, January 17, 2010

Faith In God for Boys

When each child in our church turns 8, they receive a copy of this book. It is titled "Faith in God for Boys" (or Girls, as the case may be). It is full of projects, goals, and ideas to help the Primary Child grow and develop their faith over the next 4 years. There are also basic requirements like Praying Daily, Reading Scriptures, Keeping the Commandments, Honoring Parents, Paying Tithing, and Attending Meetings. You are also asked to Memorize the Articles of Faith.

The activities in the guidebook focus on 3 areas:
1) Learning and Living the Gospel
2) Serving Others and
3) Developing Talents.
See Booklet Here

All really great things for a 8-11 year old to focus on. The boys also have a section they complete when they are 11 called Preparing for the Priesthood. The idea is to finish a set number of goals by the end of your 11th year in order 'finish' your Faith in God book and recieve the award (the 'award' is simply a signature from the Bishop at the back of the book).

It's a great program. It really is. But today I am ready to throw the book out the window!!

I have an 11 year old that is only a week and a half away from turning 12. Seth has been really great about working in this over the years (OK, I'll admit we have been 'end-loaded' so to speak, meaning many of the goals that should be spread over the years have been done in the last 6 months). Until today. With only 2 or 3 more things to do, we have for some reason hit a wall and it is making me a little crazy!

I've done pretty well at keeping my cool and gently encouraging, but man-oh-man, it is taking all I've got! Never have I seen a kid take 10 minutes to walk 4 feet to get his scriptures. Then take 10 more minutes to find one verse! What the heck?! I am taking deep breaths and faking a smile by this point!!

I struggle in my own mind with this. It is not 'Faith in God for Moms,' it is 'Faith in God for Boys.' Am I being too pushy or controlling insisting we sit down and review what my son might work on? Seth has been quite good about it for the most part. I do have to remind him, but once I do, he has worked on each goal on his own. But how much should I 'remind' him? And if he does NOT want to do it (like today), should I just let it go? With only 1 1/2 weeks left? I don't know.

One reason I have pushed more than I maybe should has to do with the fact that the Faith in God for Boys is a program that is completely ignored for young boys. Our daughter who is also working in the for Girls, has bi-weekly activities to work specifically in the book. They call it 'Achievement Days.' I guess without scouting, the girls focus more on the spiritual things. I imagine that the Scout Leaders should have helped these boys pass off in their Oh wait, I can't complain too much, as I was Seth's Webelos Leader and I am now in the Primary Presidency. Darn it! So I guess I have been called to Push. Well, Seth did earn his Webelo and even his Arrow of Light. (See how I am trying to prove I wasn't a totally slack leader and parent...) But I digress (I wonder why my kids can't stay on task?.....digress).

Back to Today. Big brick wall. So close to the end.

So I did what any smart parent would do. I slyly called John over, showed him what we were doing, smiled and nodded for a few more minutes, and quietly slinked away. I know it sounds like I am quitting, and I am. For some reason, I have found if you change it up a bit (translation: let John take a whack at it) sometimes it is enough to help the kid shift out of neutral. And it worked. John was able to help Seth accomplish 2 goals. Yippee! That leaves only one lone goal to do--oh ya, there are still several Articles of Faith to be memorized, but Seth is SOOO close!!!
With only a short time until he turns 12, I hope Seth will finish up without having me get too pushy. I know that "finishing" your Faith in God book does not mean you will now have Faith in God, but I do think there is value in completing the requirements to get that signature from the Bishop. I am proud of Seth and all he has accomplished on his own and I hope he won't get too ornery with me if I help him wrap it all up before next week!


meegz said...

Keep it up!!! Okay here's my two cents....for what it's worth. (Not much, I'm sure...but I'll give it a try)
Just last year we had Sister Lifferth come to our "Little Philmont" and explain the Faith in God program in depth. And boy did I have questions. So much that I had to quit asking because I was making a spectacle of myself(what's new)
Anyway, here's what I learned.

1. If you are an overzealous 8 year old you can pass them all off in one year, but then you get to do them again...because they should be doing 2 each year. Who knew? (and yes, we slacked with Garrett too)
2. The electives with little knots with them should be being done in Cub Scouts anyways(meaning they need to do those to pass off a Rank in Scouting (Wolf, Bear, Webelos) Scouting does do them, they just don't know it.:)
3. When they pass off all of the little knots they can get their "religious knot" award from Cub Scouts. This is a very cool award(patch) that they need to get before they go to 11 year old scouts..and it can transfer to their Boy Scout Uniform (one of the only ones that will do this)
4. Preparing for the Priesthood should only be done when they are 11 years old.
and 5....YES, they only get a piece of paper at the end (vs. that cool gold medallion we got) BUT the real jist behind it is to prepare them (make it a habit) for the Duty to God program..a much more in depth and life long learning program.

Okay, there you go --- now get back to Seth and keep on him.;)

PS. Garrett was BORN taking 10 minutes to get his scriptures, etc. It's MADDENING!!!:)
and we did all of Gavin's 2010 last Saturday..why not just do it one day a year?:) Yeah, cuz that's habit forming!?!:)

I'm with ya girl!!!

Laurene Ross said...

I agree, It is tough and I am over this in our ward. I just gave a little talk to the parents and kids that will be baptized this year. It really is supposed to be up to the boys, but really so is brushing your teeth and I have to remind Sam everyday:)

It is supposed to dove tail into Cubs and our Bear leader has them do something each week. They start out with Faith in God and then on to other stuff. When you think about it every scout should be getting their religious knot award since we are a faith based program.

I would push him, but that is just me...push piano practice, push math, push trumpet practice...push push, push.....I hope they will be glad in the end. { I do try to make it fun...occasionally]

Gillen Gang said...

Thank you SOOO much for writing your troubles down for the rest of the world to read. It sounds crazy but it made me feel so much better about pushing my 11 year old son, Jacob, to finish his Faith In God for Boys. I thought I was the only "pushy" mom. It brings to mind the saying, "I never said it would be easy, I said it would be worth it". Keep up the good work and keep "pushing on"!

Diana said...

I love reading a "real" story about a mom's drive to help her son complete his Faith in God. Made me feel "human." THANKS! My son, Jaden, will be 12 in Dec. Instead of pushing, I've just decided to do the boys (I have a 10 y/o too) Faith in God every Monday for FHE. WE have 3 grown children, so our younger boys are the only ones around for FHE It's perfect and we are making progress every week. And the boys haven't complained at all. :)

Margo Mead said...

meegz, I think perhaps you were still misunderstanding something about the activities with the square knot by them. They are not things that they should be doing to get Cub Scout ranks done. Nowhere in the Cub Scout books does it say to do a Family Home evening about Joseph Smith's first vision--but that is one of the square-knotted activities in their FIG book.

However, it is not really that hard to truly integrate Faith in God activities with Cub Scout achievement activities. Studying the food pyramid in Wolves? Tie in a quick discussion on the Word of Wisdom. Working on Webelos Showman? Have them create a popsicle-stick puppet set of Joseph Smith's First Vision (the figures can be found already-drawn on, designed for making into puppets) and then they can do a puppet show during their FHE about his first vision.

I teach a class on Cub Scouting the LDS church for my council's University of Scouting, and have really opened some eyes to the possibilities of "integrating" both programs. I hope this helps you understand it better.