General Conference with Kids: How Do You Do It?

I realize this is rather too late to do anyone else much good, but I thought I might write the post while it’s fresh in my mind, as opposed to waiting until April, when I’ll forget that I want to write it. Make sense?

We watched General Conference over the weekend, and it went really smoothly for the family. (Well, as smoothly as possible when you’ve got a toddler involved.) TRC and DC were quiet and attentive for all 8 hours. They’d take breaks during the songs, but they’d listen to the talks. (Pro tip: you can tell they’re listening when they laugh during the jokes.) This is a far cry from a year or two ago, when getting them to sit still for longer than one or two talks was like pulling teeth. How did I do it? What made the difference?

I just did what you’re usually supposed to do in these situations: asked myself, “What would Scooby do?”

(That’s from the new version, but I couldn’t find a clip from the old. Sorry.)

As we all know, Scoob’ll do anything for a Scooby Snack. Kids will too–if you replace “Scooby Snack” with “let’s go to the store, have you pick out some treats, and then let you buy them from a ‘store’ with tickets you earn for being quiet and attentive during conference.”

So the night before conference I picked up some Oreos, Goldfish, Fig Newtons, and soft caramels. The kids made their own tickets, then gave them to me to dole out. I couldn’t have been more pleased with how it turned out. No one was required to listen to any of conference, but it was the only way to earn tickets.

It might help that my kids rarely get to eat pure junk food. Just like if Scooby got to nom down on Scooby Snacks all the time, he’d likely stop being motivated by them.

Anyway–that’s the trick I used. I was pretty happy with it, but I wondered at the same time what other people out there do–especially with older kids. I’m fairly confident the Scooby Snack approach will continue working with my younger kids, but something tells me teenagers won’t be as easily swayed–even as it becomes more important for them to actually be paying attention.

So consider this an open forum to talk about how you help your family get the most out of conference. Thanks in advance for any tips!

2 thoughts on “General Conference with Kids: How Do You Do It?”

  1. A friend of mine said she was handing out chocolate chips every time the kids identified words they picked for each session. Family, Sacrifice, those sorts of things. So the kids had to actually be listening to count the words and claim their chocolate chips. I think they were even doing different flavors for different words. I thought that was pretty brilliant.

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