About 8 years ago I started to give my kids a monthly interview. This takes place the first Sunday of each month. Over the years it has evolved as the kids have gotten older. We set goals for school, scouts and personal progress. I ask them questions of the word of wisdom, feelings of the Savior and keeping the commandments. That way it would be a common place for them. So if when they were teenagers and having struggles that teenagers go through they would know that there was a time set aside each month to talk and to be held accountable. I keep a detail note book of the things we talk about and I have gleaned a few gems to share with you here. I will not reveal which kid said what or when it was said but I get a real charge out of going back and seeing their progress.
5 Year old: Dad why do I have to brush my teeth they are going to fall out anyway
13 Year old: Wanted to be a Vet, visited a Vets office and does not want to be a Vet anymore, apparently animals smell funny.
10 Year old: Dad: Last month you were on the 2nd chapter of Moses. Where are you this month? Child: Moses Chapter 2, I lost my bookmark and did not know where to read. Dad: Did you think to ask me? Or, maybe just start over? Child: No, I knew I was going to talk to you next month and you could tell me.
6 years old: Child: Are chocolate covered cherries considered fruit? Dad: No not really. Why? I tried to make them part of my lunch and Mom said they were candy and not fruit.
7 year old: Could you please talk to Santa, last year he gave my brother way better toys than he gave me and I think it’s my turn to get the good toys.
10 Year old: Child: If my bed is not messed up to I have to make it? Dad: I guess not. Child: OK thanks. (Later I found out he was sleeping with a blanker on top of his made bed and stuffing the blanket under his bed. After that was stopped it became easier to sleep with his little brother so his brother had to make the bed and he did not have to.)
11 years old: Can we get a cat I heard they throw up cool stuff.
13 years old: At what point of time are we done setting goals and trying to improve this is getting old.
I really look forward to fast Sundays to talk to my kids. The conversations have moved from struggles with learning to read to “Why does that person not like me?” My 10 year old Payton gives me a pedicure every month. This consists of me getting my toes painted a new and wonderful color each month. Ask me some time I will be happy to show you her handy work she is really quite talented.
These monthly stewardship interviews were a key part in Regann Earning her Young Women’s Medallion and Mayson his Eagle Scout Rank. We were able to set short term goals and complete a tremendous amount of work.
I would love to take credit for coming up with the idea of regular monthly interviews but it was actually my wife read an article by L. Tom Perry who said if he could change one thing from his children’s childhood was to have regular interviews and so we took his advice and are off and running. If you are looking for a way to connect with your kids I would highly recommend trying interviews. I love and they enjoy them too. After a few months you don’t need to remember them anymore the kids will be all over you if you forget.