When you are together eating as a family, it helps make the world feel safe. It reminds them that they have food to eat and parents who love them. And that's security.
If your budget is hurting then talk with them about the need to conserve and not waste food (not a bad idea even if the budget isn't hurting). Let them see how much you can spend and allow them, at least occasionally, to shop with you, trying to stay in the budgeted amount. Make it a game. A family we know took the kids shopping after each planned a family meal for the week. They were given an amount they could spend on their meal and had to stick to it. Their little heads were adding up the numbers like crazy, taking some things back and replacing with less expensive items. When the shopping was done, they were very proud of themselves. Seeing the cost of groceries helps children be frugal and appreciate what they have.
3. Read scriptures together . Have family scripture time each day, even if it's only a few verses. Scriptures have the power to comfort us in troubled times. When our kids were little we had them jump into our king size bed with us. At 6:30 in the morning it can be cold, and snuggling in a warm bed to read scriptures seemed to work well. Even the littlest ones can feel the Spirit, though you may think they aren't getting a thing out of it. They are.
Elder Robert D. Hales said, “I remember my own mother and father reading the scriptures as we children sat on the floor and listened. Sometimes they would ask, ‘What does that scripture mean to you?' or ‘How does it make you feel?' Then they would listen to us as we responded in our own words.” (Robert D. Hales, “Strengthening Families: Our Sacred Duty,” Ensign , May 1999, 32)
When life seem particularly troubling read Isaiah 40:10: “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.”
Following this scripture it may be fun to sing the hymn How Firm a Foundation #85. It will cement this scripture in there minds, particularly the third verse, which says:
Fear not I am with thee; Oh, be not dismayed
For I am they God and will still give they aid.
I'll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand,
Upheld by my righteous omnipotent hand. (Help them understand that omnipotent means great unlimited power.)
What a comforting message to be floating around in the everyone's head throughout the day..
If you don't play the piano, here's the link to the song to download. Click on the notes and it will play the piano accompaniment for your family to sing to.
Singing hymns can bring a feeling of peace and comfort into your home, anytime. So use them often.
4. Have Family Home Evening every week. President Ezra Taft Benson said, “[Family home evening is] a time for discussions of gospel principles, recreation, work projects, skits, songs around the piano, games, special refreshments, and family prayers. Like iron links in a chain, this practice will bind a family together, in love, pride, tradition, strength, and loyalty." (President Ezra Taft Benson, “Salvation; A Family Affair”, Ensign, July 1992, p. 4)
There are a multitude of ways to bring comfort and security to your children through family home evening. Here are a few ideas:
• Focus on a particular scripture. Psalm 91 has been referred to as the Psalm of Protection. Verse 11 is especially comforting: “For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all they ways.”
Another favorite scripture that builds faith and brings comfort is Proverb 3: 5-6:
“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”
This is a good one to memorize as a family. There is nothing like a good dose of faith and trust in the Lord to help you through whatever problems your family may be facing.
• Show your children your food storage, review what your food storage goals are, even go to the store and buy a few extra items so they can see you stocking up for the family. It's comforting to know there is extra food on hand.
• Google Family Home Evening for some great ideas. We found this recipe for cookies using the “Recipe for Righteousness”. It and other ideas can be found by clicking here. There are many other FHE idea sites as well, including one that is updated weekly on Meridian which can be found here.
Recipe for Righteousness
Use the Toll House ® chocolate chip recipe, substituting the names of the ingredients with those traits considered vital to the “recipe for a good person”. Referenced specific scriptures for each trait.
(Make the cookies according to the directions on the package of chocolate chips),
Explain that the cookies wouldn't be the same if one of these ingredients were to be left out.
As a fun activity, you can also deliver these “good person cookies” to someone you think is a good person, explaining what they are and why.
For FHE lesson ideas, downloadable visual aids, and much more, visit the Church's site.
Keep in mind that everything you do for family home evening needs to have the ultimate goal of helping your family stay close to the Lord and to each other. When you have fun together as a family it fortifies you and helps you deal more effectively with challenges families face.
5. Keep your marriage strong. This may be the most significant thing you can do that will bring security to your children during these challenging times.