Feeling The Heat: Anger Issues

The west is on fire! Islands, mountains, and farm lands are burning all over. Even in cities where there are no fires burning there is smoke which looks like winter fog. What should we do? What can we do? Many people stop and stare. Many people complain. But, only a few are working to stop the fires from burning. As I think about fires, it occurs to me that more than the west is on fire. The world is on fire!

Fire is a sign of destruction and a sign that conditions have become too hot. Heat happens in homes all over the world. The relationship heat builds and then the family is metaphorically on fire. Fires start small, but when fueled they grow quickly. In families, one person gets angry with another person. This is a small fire. In no time, the other person is offended and mad, and the other people in the family have either taken sides in the argument or they are mad about something else because the feeling in the home has consumed their hearts too. This is a recipe for family disaster. Continue reading

It Doesn’t Have To Be That Way: Role Reversal

About 75 years ago, ten year old Tommy Monson had a Sunday School teacher only six years older than he was named Phyllis Bowden. Even though Phyllis was young, she knew the fundamentals of being a teacher to young children and took her role and responsibility seriously. So, when young Tommy became “quite fond of spit wads” Phyllis knew how to handle the problem. When Tommy wouldn’t stop his bad behavior Phyllis sent him to the bishop’s office to talk about the issue. The bishop reprimanded Tommy and taught him the right way to behave. This process happened multiple times before Tommy learned. Consequently, young Tommy stopped distracting his class and teacher for the time being with spit wads. Continue reading

“Are You Happy?”: Keys To Happiness

“Are You Happy?”: Keys To Happiness

by: Nicholeen Peck

“Men are that they might have joy.”  Really?  Is this what life is about; finding happiness?  Yes.  The Lord said, “For this is my work and my glory, to bring to pass the eternal life and happiness of man.”  The Savior’s sacrifice was intended to bring us happiness.  The gospel principles and ordinances are  intended for our eternal joy. From the beginning of time, our lives were prescribed to experience happiness and sadness for our learning and benefit, and we were admonished to choose the path of happiness.

With such a grand plan for happiness, why do so many people seem so sad?  Why do couples fight?  Why do child pout in their rooms and roll their eyes at their parents?  These behaviors are not happy.  Why do people choose to do them?  Continue reading

The Moment Of Truth: Correcting Attitude Problems And Whining Behaviors


“I am a much better, calmer parent than I used to be since starting to focus on teaching myself and my children self-government, but I still have two issues I seem to constantly battle; attitude problems and whining. What do you do when the child won’t calm down, and won’t do what you tell him? How do you stop whining?”


Learning to be a better parent is just like any other learning process. We learn “line upon line; precept upon precept, here a little, there a little.” We recognize what principles we need to focus on first, and then as we improve we will see what our new parenting focus needs to be next.

The majority of people first recognize that they need to fix themselves first by being calm and in control. Next people usually see a need for increased structure at home as well as skills to teach the children so that they can have more positive parenting interactions. Finally, parents are ready to take on the big behavior problems which they initially wanted to learn self-government for, such as attitude problems and anger control issues. Continue reading

Communication Skills Training: The Teaching Tone

“Porter, what is that?” asked my Chinese friend Phil when he was visiting our home this last week from China.

“The moon.” replied eight year old Porter as he looked at the sky.

“In Chinese the moon has a different name.” Phil went on.

Phil told Porter the two syllable word which means moon in Chinese, but Porter struggled with the new sounds. After a minute Porter was able to reproduce the sound combinations, but something was still missing. Phil had Porter listen to him say the word again and again so that Porter could make the sounds with the correct tone. Finally, Porter said the Chinese word for moon with the proper tone, soft in one place and more abrupt in another place. From this simple vocabulary lesson, Porter learned that good communication skills require two things, the action and the tone. Continue reading