With two daughters, Disney princess films are a regular feature in our home. In fact, as I write this we have one on (one of the Little Mermaid sequels). To be fair, our boys tend to enjoy them too, but I doubt they would admit that to their friends.
The most recent Disney film, Frozen, has attracted quite a lot of attention by those who argue both it is a pro and anti-religion film. I personally doubt very much that the writers or company had any religious intent whatsoever, but as it was on (again) the other day, it struck me that there are some beautiful themes in the film that work well as an allegory. Continue reading →
One of my children has just finished his first set of “proper” exams at school last week. I should explain that these exams are UK “SATS”, taken at the end of the last year of primary school. They will be of limited immediate value to him, which is not to say there is no value – his results will be passed on to the Secondary School he will be attending which will be of some benefit for him – but the main point of them seems to me to be to measure the school’s teaching quality rather than for the students’ benefit.
It was stressful for him preparing for them, and we had tears and drama at home with his homework as we got closer to exam time.
Two discussions with my son about his recent exams have stuck with me. The first is when I was trying to both comfort him as well as explain why his exams are valuable for him. Yes they might help the Secondary School he will be attending get an idea of his academic abilities to enable them to better support him as he starts the next stage of his education, but there is also value in his getting experience of exam conditions, of experiencing how they work and how to prepare for them. All of these, I explained, would help him when he was preparing for much more important exams as he gets older.
My son, understanding that what I was saying made sense, replied with tears in his eyes, “I don’t want to grow up”. The challenge for him was that this exam preparation was hard for him – really hard. It was a burden he didn’t feel he could face, and so he wished he could just remain a child so that he could avoid such challenges. Continue reading →
I posted this a few weeks ago when it was Mother’s Day in the UK. I repost it today for those in the USA, where it is Mother’s Day today.
In the LDS Church we place a high value on families, and I am fortunate to have been born to two loving parents, including a mother who has taught me patience and compassion, and who I always knew throughout my growing up years would always be there for me. I know that sadly not all children can say the same. I don’t know why I was fortunate to have been born in such a loving family, but I am grateful nonetheless.
I am also very fortunate to be married to a woman who epitomises all that is wonderful about a good mother. She loves, nurtures and teaches our children (I try too, but she does it better). I can see in the way my children respond to my wife that there is nothing quite like a child’s affection for their mother. Continue reading →
Members of the LDS Church will be familiar with the story of Lehi and his family travelling through a desert wilderness for many years, with rebellious children Laman and Lemuel (who really would have preferred to have stayed in Jerusalem), and obedient Nephi. In a Sunday School class I was in a couple of years ago, the teacher began by handing out slips of paper to everyone, asking people to complete an imaginary sentence spoken by the rebellious Laman and Lemuel, “I am sick and tired of…”. I was struggling to sum up what I thought they would be sick and tired of, so in the 1 or so minute that we had I quickly wrote the following:
I am sick and tired of wandering through hot and dusty places
I miss our home – our friends; and their happy, smiling faces