For those of you who don't know, FHE or Family Home Evening, is a ritual wherein families meet together once a week to learn and have fun in a semi-structured home setting.
I know lots of families who have dubbed it FFN, or family fight night, because putting all your progeny in one room and asking them to endure a lesson (possibly given by the three-year-old), play a game (without ticking off the five-year-old) and share a treat fairly, and not only all that but sing an opening and closing song in unison, too, is just a little too much for immature synapses to handle and things can get volatile.
We don't actually have a problem with fighting at our house; it usually goes something like last night:
We have a song–complete with wisecracks, a prayer–during which someone is always giggling, and then someone asks what we are doing for Spring break. We talk about that for twenty minutes, and then we try to start a lesson.
Last night it was about how important it is to learn both secular and spiritual things. I got about five words into it and our youngest interupts:
Mom! Mom! Mom!
So you're suposed to learn lots of things?
Yes. We are supposed to learn all we–
Like everything in the world?
Well, everything good that we can, yes. President–
Not like killing people, though.
No, not like killing people. We can learn–
I already know how to kill people but I wouldn't do it.
Really? Well that's good. We're talking about learning right now, okay? Not killing. In the scriptures it says–
I know, let's go to Disney Land for Spring Break!
Uh, yeah. That would be fun. But it costs a lot of money and it's really far away.
Well, you wouldn't have to go; Grandma and Grandpa could take me.
Nobody is going to Disney Land. Now, right here in chapter–
What? Is this about the scriptures? You can talk about anything you want as long as it's about the scriptures.
[other child] There's lots of killing in the scriptures.
Yes. Yes there are stories about killing in the scriptures, but we aren't talking about those ones right now.
[yet another child] Mom, do you think it would really kill someone to cut off their arms?
[another] Well, ye-ah, if you didn't stop the blood.
Okay, about learning—
[yet another] Mom, did you know when my tooth came out at school there was blood ALL over?
[Did I mention I have six?] Mom! Did you know what kind of germs can live in people's blood and they don't even know?
See what I mean? It never stops. We have these rousing discussions and we always get somewhere useful, but we have to cover a LOT of ground to get there. Life's a journey, not a destination, right?