Dad at Achievement Days - Success

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AmyJ
Posts: 760
Joined: 27 Jul 2017, 05:50

Dad at Achievement Days - Success

Post by AmyJ » 09 Aug 2018, 07:04

Last night my husband hosted a "Science Night" focusing on Newton's Laws of Physics for our Achievement Day girls [technically I set it up and sustained him through the planning and supplies]. It was a lot of work for him to plan and execute, but I think it was a good experience. We were nervous because the Primary President was there, and this is quasi-uncharted territory culturally. Their family outlook and the outlook of my family in terms of perceptions and communication styles do not organically or easily combine. We are never sure the amount of social currency her views have in the branch, or how to read how much social currency we have with her.<crosses fingers>

PROS:
  • There were no tears at the activity.
  • The Primary President put up a complimentary Facebook post with pictures, and 2 of the moms replied back saying their girls enjoyed it and learned something. The Branch President was among those that "liked" the post that was put up.
  • I think that on some level having my husband participate in Achievement Day planning is challenging the cultural norms in a good way (in general) and specifically for our Achievement Day girl branch experience.
  • My husband likes putting together these activities every 2-3 months. Since he is thinking about becoming a history teacher, this is a good way to practice (in a sense) in a very small way. It also helps us guide the narrative so that our daughter can join in.
  • My former Visiting Angel came to the church and sat with my toddler on short notice. We felt more connected to each other because she chose to fulfill a need that I felt comfortable vocalizing.
CONS:
  • My 8.5 year old daughter was distracting and interrupting a lot - when she wasn't pretending to be an octopus barnacle for my lap. NOTE: This was an opportunity to reaffirm what is socially acceptable behavior, and for her to "fail" at it in a lower-stakes environment. On the plus side, she did better this time then at previous Achievement Days.
  • I felt that my husband was not connecting with the girls at first. There was a lot of staring off into space and boredom going on from my neck of the woods.
I just wanted to share this because it was a family adventure :shock:

Roy
Posts: 5060
Joined: 07 Oct 2010, 14:16
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: Dad at Achievement Days - Success

Post by Roy » 09 Aug 2018, 08:56

I also love that this is some real world application.

When I first heard of activity days I thought in my head that it would be something like cub scouts. I think I equated it to adventure girls. I was somewhat disappointed to find that it was basically a better version of Sunday School where the teacher had a craft and a snack. Activity days has as its primary purpose testimony building and fellowship (which is not a bad thing - just not scout/wilderness survival skills as I had first supposed.)
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

Curt Sunshine
Site Admin
Posts: 16105
Joined: 21 Oct 2008, 20:24

Re: Dad at Achievement Days - Success

Post by Curt Sunshine » 09 Aug 2018, 09:01

I can't tell you how much I loved this. Shattering sexist stereotypes is a good thing in any setting, but it is critical in church settings.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

AmyJ
Posts: 760
Joined: 27 Jul 2017, 05:50

Re: Dad at Achievement Days - Success

Post by AmyJ » 09 Aug 2018, 10:47

Roy wrote:
09 Aug 2018, 08:56
I also love that this is some real world application.

When I first heard of activity days I thought in my head that it would be something like cub scouts. I think I equated it to adventure girls. I was somewhat disappointed to find that it was basically a better version of Sunday School where the teacher had a craft and a snack. Activity days has as its primary purpose testimony building and fellowship (which is not a bad thing - just not scout/wilderness survival skills as I had first supposed.)
Yes.

Achievement Days are a challenge for us. We tend to connect to people at a 75 degree angle - it works, but is off kilter and unexpected. Evenings with people are a challenge for us as a family. Sometimes it is not worth it to us to complete the executive functioning processes to get my daughter to the activity and mostly regulated at the activity for fluff activities. The whole "let's get together and do a cute unnecessary craft with a snack while talking" activity format I veto because the craft will not be helpful for us, and the socializing will not happen to a serious degree with my daughter. My daughter and socializing with peers go together like oil and water - there is no conflict, but there is no mingling either. I am trying to present and plan (or help present and plan) activity nights that impart useful information in a fun way and are topics my daughter likes that will help engage her.

I am also pushing for real world applications because I want it to be worth the fight to be there in that space and time with my daughter, and I want the other girls to benefit as well.

I just finished pitching to the Primary President and one of the key moms a "interviewing and writing questions" activity where we go over the basics of interviewing - whether for family history purposes, school research purposes, creating surveys, or writing podcasts - all of these are valuable and can be fun for girls that age to "play" with. <crosses fingers that it gets added to the rotation>

I know that some of these girls are going to or want to stay at home with their children and baking stuff might be useful. But I would rather plan the meaningful activities to be fun and assume that the girls are getting launched into the career world at some point or require further education.

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