Deseret News archives
Merrilee Browne Boyack is a Time Out for Women presenter.
Families have different dynamics based on the diverse qualities and personalities of each member, said Merrilee Boyack at a Time Out for Women event in Richfield earlier this year.
"Each of God's children are completely unique," said Boyack, who is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Boyack suggested tips for parents to help their children thrive in families and in life.
"We embrace their wonderful unique qualities and abilities," she told the women.
Parents should talk to their children about what they like to do and what they think is special about themselves, Boyack said. Also, help children to see what their unique qualities are and see their different attributes. These gifts and talents are important.
She quoted Bernell Christensen, saying, "Every family has all the gifts it needs to gain exaltation." Boyack implored parents to love their children and have faith in them regardless of struggles and mistakes they may make.
"We explore new gifts and talents as well as develop existing ones," Boyack said.
Boyack said that parents should be a solid support for their children. Help them try new things — and let them quit if it's not a good fit. Use prayer and perseverance to help children get past their fears, she added. It's OK to risk looking silly while exploring new interests.
"We encourage their growth and celebrate their journey," she said.
While relating that children need encouragement to grow, not condemnations or put-downs, Boyack added, "If you feed a flower poison, it will die."
Encourage, compliment and praise children to help them know of their greatness, she recommended. Heavenly Father teaches of the divine nature of his children. Boyack said, "We are limitless. We are destined to greatness." Parents ought to feed "living water" of the gospel to their children, she added.
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By realizing the unique qualities of each family member, families can become more unified by celebrating differences, she told the women at the event sponsored by Deseret Book. Each person can play a unique and special role in creating and maintaining a strong family, Boyack added.
For information on Time Out for Women, see tofw.com
Wendy Jessen is a regular contributor for familyshare.com and frequently does media reviews. Her email is email@example.com and she blogs at mormonmomofsix.blogspot.com.