Just some thoughts I acquired in Gospel Principles. Maybe read this to the family when they’re all around. All of it; even the part to you guys.
To the kids in general:
Be a bit more willing to go on hikes and things. Enjoy the time to build some memories. I know I’m sounding like a hypocrite saying this, but try to enjoy yourselves, and be willing to join Mom and Dad on things. If you can set that time aside and be joyful as you do it, you’ll be happy.
To Mom and Dad:
Try to do things with the family that everyone will enjoy. Obviously, hikes are not the favorite of the kids’. That doesn’t mean stop doing hikes and things that you enjoy with them, but, as I was thinking about it, I honestly would have enjoyed it if you guys would have taken some time to maybe learn to play some Super Smash Bros. with Joel and I. I think that actually would have been fun if we could play video games together. I know you guys are opposed to video games, but just like I’m telling the kids to enjoy things you like, you guys should try to take some time and see why we really do play video games. I’m not asking you guys to play Call of Duty or something, but even those games, consider this: we don’t play those games because we like the idea of killing people or something. We fully acknowledge that we are not killing people, and that the people who we just got points for “killing” are going to respawn right on the other side of the game area. We don’t play the game for the idea of killing. We play the game for the gameplay.
Don’t ask them to play Mortal Kombat, hahah. Unless you find a way to turn off fatalities and brutalities and x-rays, don’t do it. If they, for some reason, give a game like CoD a chance, try to keep it local, and have the things that are unnecessary for gameplay, like swearing and such, turned off.
Ask Mom or Dad to play Smash Bros with you. If they’re willing, teach them. Don’t just teach them the basics, like Anna knows. They’re fully capable to learn complex maneuvers and things like that. I genuinely think Dad could take a liking to Smash Bros if he were to learn how to do some higher level things. I’m not entirely sure about Mom, but you never know.
For Joel and Athen:
Be willing to play games like volleyball with Sariah. Help her practice and try to learn from her as far as she’s willing to teach you. Go swimming with her. Help her see that she’s your sister, and that you guys do care about her. Maybe even invite her to play games with you. You never know what she’ll say.
Also give some of the things Athen and Joel like a try. You might enjoy them yourself. Set some time aside for them. Ask them to join you in things. They do care about you, but you guys need to get that point across to each other. It takes two to tango, or whatever word choice you’d prefer.
You’re doing great. Before I left, you were awesome. Everyone in the family could take an example from you. Though you may have been in a bad mood at least once a day, you’re almost always willing to go on hikes. I remember that you would always ask us if you could play video games with us, and you are always trying to spend time with Sariah as well, and truthfully, you were that way with everyone. You could probably try to remember to tough things out and try not to cry so easily, but you’re always trying to do things with other people and you should keep that up. When someone insults you, just ignore it as best as you can. Mom and Dad will be there to help you when someone does that to you, so go to them for help.
That’s basically what I have to say, I guess. Take these words into account and, when necessary, read over this again to see how you can improve. I know I’m no prophet or apostle or 70 (thank goodness), but I think that doing these things could genuinely help you.