Preparing Your Family for General Conference

This weekend is General Conference! I really enjoy General Conference because it is a time when we can gather to listen to the leaders of the church and to accept their counsel into our lives. I always come away spiritually uplifted, and with a strong resolve to do a better job. It can be hard to have your kids (especially young ones) listen with the same enthusiasm as you feel. Here are some tips to help with having your kids watch General Conference.

1) It is important to remember the age of your child and what they are capable of understanding. For example a four-year-old could listen, to a few talks but would have a difficult time paying attention the whole time, whereas a teenager should have the attention span to listen to all four sessions. You do not want General Conference to be a negative association, so make sure that you are not expecting too much out of your young children.

2) Find something that will help hold the attention of the children while they listen to conference. One popular idea is conference bingo. You just create a bingo sheet with words that they are likely to hear at conference, and then your children can fill in the spaces as they hear the words. It is best to only cash in on prizes in between talks. Another good idea I’ve heard, especially for older children, is to have them take notes on the talks and receive rewards based on the notes that they took.

3) When President Hinckley speaks make a special point of drawing your children’s attention to it, and having everyone listen to his talks. This is especially important with the younger children, because they will listen attentively to the prophet.

4) After the session is over discuss with your children the different talks and points that were taught. Discuss about how you can apply these to your family and how you can do the things that we are asked to do.

5) It is important to come with a reverent manner to conference. The way that we sit, dress, and act will have a lot to do with what we gain from conference. If we are clothed in Sunday dress it will help us to listen more attentively, and remind your children that they are participating in a special event. If you have the chance I think it is nice to attend at least one session at the church building (especially with older children) because this reminds them of the importance of conference.

General Conference is a wonderful time to spend learning about Jesus Christ and the things that we need to work on in order to return to live with him. I know that as you listen to conference with an open heart and mind that you will feel the spirit and be strengthened.