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 F.in.G. 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 F.in.G. 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!