Family Night: Real Friends & Popularity

(Parents: Much of this lesson is discussion style. Look over the lesson beforehand and choose what is most effective to be sure and talk about for your family.)

Opening Song:

Give Said the Little Stream


Mosiah 23:7 - Ye shall not esteem one flesh above another, or one man shall not think himself above another.

One of my friends once stated that, "if you believe in a "popular" crowd you believe that some people are more important than others." Like if you; 

  • Caring about what the "popular" kids think 
  • Having a desire to be "popular"
  • Think that you are "popular"

The actual definition of being popular is being liked or enjoyed by many people. BUT contrary to what you might think "popular" people are not always happy. Sometimes they are trying so hard to get other people to like them that they forget to be themselves. 


(tip this video is good, it's 13 minutes long and you can get a lot from it just by watching the first half. Previewing it would be a good idea to see how much of it applies to your family)

I love that JP states, "To make real friends, be real. To make fake friends, be fake." AND that by being fake in relationships we can still feel incredibly lonely because it isn't the real me being a friend. The real me still wants a true friend.

By being ourselves we give other people permission to also be themselves. 

Optical Object Lesson:

Take a look at these photos. This is what it looks like when cattle farmers brand their cows. They do this so they can identify the cows they own. 


Question & Personal Experiences:

Can owning happen in friendship? If so, what does that look like? Has that ever happened for any of you?

  • (Parents this is especially a good time for you to share personal experiences that your children can learn from. Even if friends never really owned you, maybe they belittled you, or made little jabs BUT you didn't even see it for what it was until later in life. This is important for your kids to learn from.)

A few good rules of thumb for discussion: 

  • A good friend doesn't make fun of you
  • Friends don’t boss each other around
  • You should feel good around a person you call a friend
  • Good friends bring our the best in each other

What everyone really needs is their friend relationships to be fulfilled. To be kind, love others and share positive energy with those whom you associate. You need not worry about a popular crowd, or any crowd for that matter.


Elaine S Dalton - Sometimes our preoccupation is on having friends. Perhaps we should focus on being a friend. 


Putting your arm around someone and letting them know that they are ok with you. That there is nothing they need to live up to or do to to fit in with you. You might not really put your arm around someone but imagine what that looks like.

If you do this you will be surrounded by real friends and you will be changing lives.

To make friends here are a few tips:

  • Show interest in them
  • Give them genuine compliments and appreciation
  • Say their name 
  • Find common interests you can talk about (every single person has at least one thing in common.)


Dale Carnegie said, "You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you."

Here is the 1st family night in this series of friends.

Family Night: Friends


Surround yourself with good people! You become a piece of them.

For this lesson you will need: Baby powder, a plate and to ask family members to wear dark colored t-shirts. You also need to pre-think a few experiences where people in your life have influenced you for good or ill.

Opening Song:

Each Life That Touches Ours For Good

For the Strength  of Youth: 

"Choose your friends carefully. They will greatly influence how you think and act, and even help determine the person you will become."

Animal Adaptation:

Your surroundings greatly influence who you become. Take a look at the photo's below. Ask your family if they think the fox's or the owls are the same breed. 


Both the fox's and the owls are the same breed. In different seasons their coats change color to help them blend in with their surroundings. Did you know that studies have been done on us humans that as we associate with our friends we begin to adopt some of the same mannerisms, attitudes and speech patterns?

Talk about examples in your life where you adapt to the people you are around. 

Eg. My friend Malea makes a certain hand gesture, sort of the teeter-totter motion of a hang loose sign when referring to her and the person she is talking to; I notice myself doing the same thing. My friend Jen describes things in interesting ways, calling non-food items yummy or describing a personality as salty: I do that too. Anything in your life, or your kids lives, mannerisms, hair and clothing styles, even talking like actors have in a popular movie after watching it.

Object lesson:

Pour some baby powder on a plate. Ask family members to press their hands into the baby powder and to place their hands around each other touching the shoulders and backs  of the person they are associating with. As you do this talk about how as we associate with people around us we begin to be a piece of who that person is, or how that person "rubbed off" on us. Talk about the importance of associating with others that we want to be a piece of. Talk about examples from your life, how others around you have influenced you to be a certain way.

Eg: My friend Megan is extremely compassionate and my friend Penny is extremely patient. Those traits rub off on me when I am around them and it deepens our relationship because as I recognize it I am grateful to them for lifting me to higher ground through their example. Have everyone pick someone they are close to and talk about a way they have "rubbed off" on them. 

Also talk about the negative things that can "rub off" on you by hanging out with those that are not a good influence.


Proverbs 22:24-25--  Make no friendship with an angry man: and with a furious man that shalt not go: Lest thou learn his ways, and get a snare to thy soul. 

Video Clip:

Watch this short experiment by Candid Camera:

Again talk about how we are influenced by those around us. Encourage each other to be leaders even when those around us are all doing it. 


What will rub off on your friends by hanging out with you? What kind of a person are you being? Do you believe that you can be a leader and lift those around you?

Personal Experience:

Share something from your life when you have been influenced by a friend.


"As you walk on the road of life be careful of your friends. They can make you or break you. Be generous in helping the unfortunate and those in distress. But bind to you friends of your own kind, friends who will encourage you, stand with you, live as you desire to live; who will enjoy the same kind of entertainment: and who will resist the evil that you determine to resist."                       - Gordon B. Hinckley


*PS Many of the ideas from this lesson come from a book called: Why?: Powerful Answers and Practical Reasons for Living Lds Standards. It is a fantastic book to reference! 

Continue the discussion next week about making real friends here.

Family Night: Compassion

This is Tyce and Giles. As this picture was taken, Giles was saying to Tyce, "Tyce I wish your legs worked. If they did we would..." Giles proceeded to talk to Tyce about all the things they would be doing instead of sharing that chair watching the soccer game. They could have been nearby at the skate park with their scooters, at the playground or kicking on the soccer nets, stuff boys do when their legs work. Instead Tyce sat in this chair and Giles sat right next to him.

Tyce's legs normally work, he just had a really strange incident. He had just recovered from being sick and was depleted of all the things his body needs. The next day he started a soccer tournament and played three games in two days. It did something to him. His muscles in both legs cramped up and he literally could not walk for almost two days. 

Tyce is my son. Tyce knows Giles because their Dads, Jake and Joel. Jake and Joel became friends as toddlers. So here is an interesting twist. When Jake and Joel were around the same age as Tyce and Giles, a similar situation happened. Joel's hips had a complication, legg-calfe-perthes, and he couldn't walk. Jake's Dad is a chiropractor and at age seven, Jake knew his Dad could help his friend. He also knew that Joel's family didn't have the means to pay so he asked his Dad if he would fix his friend. Jake's parents still recall the incident, describing Jake with so much tenderness and feeling. Jake had so much concern and love for his friend and when he asked this of his Dad he agreed right away. For almost a year Jake stuck right by Joel. They did the things that Joel could do until Joel was better.  

It was an interesting few days as we stayed at Joel's house for the tournament. We witnessed the role reversal of Jake's sons legs now not working and Giles sticking right by Tyce to do the things Tyce could do, like play magformers on a blanket or cards on the trampoline. Activities that Tyce could be carried to. 

It didn't require a lot of coaching on Giles part, he just did it because he wanted to be with his friend. The same goes for Jake. He cared so much about his friend. He wanted to help him get better and stuck by him playing hot wheels in the dirt instead of running and playing at recess.

That experience has stayed with Joel to this day. It is fun to be Jake's wife and to hear this endearing story about my husband from a great friend. It makes my heart go all mushy and Joel? He gets a little teary when he shares the story. It is great to be loved and to carry that with you for all of your life. Jake had no idea at that age that this story might make his wife love him even more. He just knew what he felt in his heart. When we truly love others we feel what they feel and want to help them.  

Compassion Family Night

Song: Give Said The Little Stream

Song: Peter 3:8

Object Lesson: Ask family members to trade shoes and act or impersonate the person who's shoes are on your feet, walk like them, talk like them, do anything that shows you are trying to be them. Laugh about it and come back to it later in the lesson.

Video: Watch this fun Brain Games Experiment

Talk about how compassion changed the experiment. 

Story about compassion: Choose a story from your own history or use the story about Tyce & Giles and Jake & Joel.

Wrap up the lesson by talking about how when we love others or think about putting ourselves "in their shoes" it helps us have compassion for them. When we imagine ourselves in their shoes we can more easily see what their needs might be. 

Talk about how showing compassion starts a chain reaction. Encourage each other to start the chain and make a difference in the lives of people your do not even interact with by showing love to those that you do. 

Closing song: I'm Trying To Be Like Jesus

Video: Flour Ball!

This is our 7th annual flour ball fight!! It is such a ball! The kids look forward to it every year. We all go and get floured and have a complete blast!

We play capture the flag with the flour balls... let me explain. Two teams, two flags, a middle dividing line and boundary lines around the outside of the playing area. We make these lines with cones. The flags are placed behind the opposing sides back line, in the middle. The object of the game is to obtain the flag on the opposing side and get it back to your side, then your team wins. The only thing is... you guessed it... the flour balls get in the way! 

So the flour balls work like this. They all start out on the middle line. All the people start on their back line. When the whistle blows everyone runs to the middle line and grabs as many four balls as they can put into their hands! It is nerve-racking because if someone throws a flour ball at you then there are consequences. First thing is, if you catch it, the person that threw it goes to jail. We'll talk about jail in a minute. If the flour ball hits you and you are standing on your own side then you have to freeze for 10 seconds, AND you have to count out loud - and I mean loud - this helps keep people accountable. If you are standing on the opposing side and you are hit with a flour ball, you go to jail.

There are two jails. One on each side, opposing corners, beginning on the back line.  I say beginning because if the prisoners are holding hands and one person has their foot on the back line then the line can stretch toward the middle to make the prisoners more accessible to be tagged by their teammates and obtain a free walk back to freedom on their own side.

A couple notes about jail. If a person on the opposing team crosses the back line of the opposing team they can free a prisoner and they both have a free walk back. They must do this with clear intent so it is not a good ending to a failed attempt at capturing the flag. In other words they can't be going for the flag, get tagged and say... well I was only going to free a prisoner. Make sense?  Also it is a good idea for the first person in the jail to be the one that extends to middle. As prisoners are added to the jail they add on at the back line so they can keep track of who is free next and one person doesn't end up stuck in jail the whole game.

When you place the flags behind the back line it is a good idea to place cones in a 7 yard square around the flag that only the opposing team can enter. This prevents puppy guarding, or standing over the flag making it very hard for the opposing team to get their hands on the flag.

If a person crosses the back line, picks up the flag and in the process of running back to their side they get hit with a four ball then they drop the flag where they were hit and head to jail. The flag stays where it was dropped, probably closer to the middle line, making it easier for the other side to get the flag.

When the flag finally crosses the middle line, that team wins. We then reset and play over and over!

Just a couple of tips that we incorporate as rules. If anyone is hit in the face with a flour ball the person that threw the ball goes to jail. We also always request those that are strong to refrain! Reminding all that this is a family/friendly game is a good way to start off when explaining the rules. 

On the invite to the event we request that guests bring 8 to 10 flour balls per person. This makes this event very easy to pull off.  

How to make flour balls

This recipe is for 50 flour balls, adjust it according to your needs. Gather

  • 9 packages knee high stockings / nylons
  • 20 lbs flour
  • Scissors 
  • 1 cup measuring cup
  • a cookie sheet
  • box or bucket for completed four balls

I buy the knee high stockings from Walmart -- they are about 30 cents each. One package makes 6 flour balls.

Assemble outside for a no mess method. You will need at least two people. One person to stretch and the other to fill. The more participants the better, it adds to the fun of the event!

Place the cookie sheet beneath you. Stretch the nylon and fill with 1.5 cups flour.

Then tie two knots. This allows you to cut in between them.

You are ready to fill the next flour ball. Stretch and fill and tie twice again. Then one more time stretch and fill and tie the end. You end up with three flour balls. Cut in-between each ball.

Repeat until you end up with this goodness!  Ready for fun!

Family Night: Words and Thoughts Have Power, Part 1

First to preface this topic I just want to share the following images for adults to ponder.  These images stir something in me profound and I hope they do for you as well.

Family night is best when the lesson and discussion affects all of us.  This topic, the way we talk to each other can CHANGE OUR LIVES.  I hope it inspires lots of love in your homes and helps you do an internal check on how you can improve and to recognize the tigger points that contribute to the times when you do struggle, we all do.  Recognizing the things we are saying and even just making a conscious effort on just your part can change the entire atmosphere in inside the walls of your home.  I was struggling with one of my kids and when quiet came I felt an overwhelming sense that "he needs you to reach out your hand and show him that you care."  That inspiration was a life changer with that child.  If I show him I care, it changes everything, he would lasso the moon if I told him he could do it.  Every relationship is different, and there are lots in one home.  Here's to taking a look and bringing about a positive change with positive words!

Family Home Evening

Words Have Power, Thoughts Have Power

Part 1


Let us Oft Speak Kind Words to Each Other



Colossians 4:6 "Let your speech be alway(s) with grace..."


What is Grace?????

Ask someone to demonstrate grace in movement (ballet) and then to demonstrate clumsiness or even hate (jerking/think krump!) BECAUSE: it makes everyone laugh, and the opposite always helps us to envision the meaning more fully.  IF you had to choose a way to speak or to be spoken to which would you choose??


Talk a little about the relationship between our words and our feelings.



Emoto water experiment- energy, speech positive thoughts and actions.


Topics you can talk about:

·      Clean vs. Dirty/polluted

·      Positive VS negative words, thought, music

·      Science experiments on rice and words, plants and water.

·      Our bodies are 70% water, what does our “water” look like, how about all the “water” in this room?  What effect do we have on the “water” in the people around us?

·      Self talk.  What is it and what does our self talk sound like? 

·      Energy.  Self talk starts with your energy and what you are feeling.  You give off what you are feeling.  You can feel the energy of those around you.

·      Prayer changing water on a molecular level.  What does it do to our food?



Start your own experiment with rice and water or plants and words.



Continued to next week……

Work Family Night

WORK: Family Home Evening

This is a short lesson to do before doing a family project like yard work.



“When We’re Helping,” Children’s Songbook, p. 198.


Use sticks or toothpicks to demonstrate the following story.  Even asking your kids to break the single stick and then to try to break them when they are tied into a bundle.

 Aesop was a wise philosopher who would use sticks to illustrate the point of work. He would hold up one stick and ask one of his listeners to break it— which could easily be done. Then he would hold up two sticks, and repeat the process. Then three, and so on until the little bundle of sticks couldn’t be broken, no matter how hard his student tried.

 “Alone, we are weak and easily broken,” Aesop would explain, “but together, we are strong.”


Ask your kids to pretend for a minute that the job you are about to do together was a job only for them to take care of.  Would they like that? Ask them if they would like help.  If they approach the job with the mindset that it is their job and everyone else is there to “help” them, it changes the way they work.  They are happy to have the help vs complaining that they “have” to help you.


What would the world be like if no one worked?

How does work help people?

Read Moses 5:1 & Genesis 3:19

How was Adam’s curse–to eat “by the sweat of his brow”–a blessing?

Discuss tasks or skills family members have completed or worked to develop in the past year. (Such as playing an instrument, eagle scout project, reading, tying shoes, etc.)

Discuss the good feelings that come from completing a task & working hard.

Would there be growth if we were rewarded first?


 “When man is industrious and righteous, then is he happy” -Brigham Young