Stance: Studies on the Family

Brigham Young University Student Journal

Tag: family (page 4 of 5)

8 Lessons I Learned From My Parents

By: Alissa Holm

            Everyone reaches a point when they realize how wise their parents were. For some, it’s the moment when they cook their first meal at college. For others, it’s when they have their first day of work at a full time job. And for almost everyone, that moment comes when they have their first child (or so I’ve heard.) For me, I think I’ve always known I had good parents. But it took living independently at school for me to fully realize how much they shaped the way I think and the way I understand the world. Here are eight of the many lessons my parents taught me that I’ll never forget.

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Celebrating with Santa

by Katie Parker

Every December, my family has the unique opportunity to visit with Santa Claus. Not because we hide under the Christmas tree on Christmas Eve and wait for him to show up—we wouldn’t all fit under there anyway—but because my grandma had a knack for making friends.

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The Way Things Are

by Jenna Hoffman

I was ready to move out of my parents’ house long before I actually did. By the time I was eighteen, my family was practically begging me to leave. My mom and I argued more often than not, my dad and I barely spoke, and my siblings were just nuisances to be tolerated.

When my mom dropped me off at my dorm the first day of freshman year, there was nothing in my heart but joy for my new found freedom. Although my parents only lived twenty minutes away, I can count on one hand the number of times I went home that year. I was having too much fun pulling pranks on the boys across the way and hosting spontaneous game nights with my new friends.

For the most part, this attitude continued through my sophomore year and into my junior year as well. As I had opportunities to live with and learn from a variety of people, I realized that everyone else seemed to have been raised much differently than I had. I started to make dangerous comparisons, comparisons which led to confusing thoughts and subsequent unfair accusations.

I was frustrated with the way I’d been raised. In my limited scope of life, I felt that I might have turned out better had my parents practiced “the right” parenting techniques. I might have been a better communicator and friend, a more competitive student and athlete. I might have had a stronger testimony of the gospel and a better grasp on the complexities of life.

According to my young and selfish self, everything I wasn’t and everything I didn’t have was my parents’ fault.

In the following months, I put my brain through a metaphorical meat processor in an attempt to figure myself out. I wanted to dig into the vaults of my upbringing and unearth the causes and effects of the person I had become. It was a long and emotionally painful process, punctuated by intense arguments with my parents and teary conversations with friends.

During one such conversation, a friend, who was a parent herself wisely told me, “I’ve learned that part of becoming an adult is accepting that your parents made mistakes, and forgiving them for it.” This piece of advice revealed two things to me: that everyone else had imperfect parents, just like I did; and that my parents were not just parents, they were people. I could not claim perfection, so why did I expect them to be able to?

This realization was the first step in accepting my parents for who they were rather than trying to change them into who I wanted them to be. Instead of blaming them for what I felt they’d done wrong, I took a deeper look into their own ideas and experiences, and I began to appreciate them for what they’d done right. And when I really took that time to evaluate my family in a fair and honest way, I discovered that although there were flaws, and grievances, and mistakes, at the core there was only pure and unadulterated love. And that is the way things are.

I’m Afraid to Be a Mom

I went to a baby shower last weekend and I couldn’t help but think how fun it would be to have a baby of my own. Actually, every time I’m around kids (which isn’t actually that often), I find myself thinking this. But then I think about how painful it would be to actually physically have a child, and how I’m happy being an unmarried, not pregnant college student. But I do have thought of some plans for my future first baby. Before I get pregnant, I’m going to read all the parenting books available and take advantage of every birthing class. Then I’ll be ready. Won’t I?

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Eat Like a Pilgrim

downloadBy Sydnee Bowler

Around this time of year, it can be tempting to skip straight from Halloween’s trick-or-treating to Christmas’s caroling and tree decorating, but “Eat Like a Pilgrim” at Thanksgiving Point helps us to remember to celebrate that often-forgotten holiday in between, Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving Point offers the opportunity to travel back in time to the first Thanksgiving with their annual “Eat Like a Pilgrim” feast. Ranked by the New York Times as one of the best Thanksgiving re-enactments in the country, it’s sure to be a blast for the whole family. The event includes not only a 17th century re-enactment of the first Thanksgiving but an authentic old-style feast.

These exciting Thanksgiving festivities will fall on November 22, 23, and 25 this year, and will start at 6:00 pm. Tickets are $28 per adult and $18 per child and can be purchased at the Thanksgiving Point Box Office, over the phone by calling (801) 768-4900, or at the door day-of  (with a $5 fee). Be sure not to miss this family activity!

For more information, visit Thanksgiving Point’s website.


What Bees Buzz about Relationships


By Jerrick Robbins

When I lived at home, my dad often enlisted my help on certain household projects. My mom called it his “Honey do“ list, although it wasn’t really a list. She would simply call out, “Honey, do this” or “Honey, do that.” My dad would echo Wesley from The Princess Bride and say, “As you wish” to his Princess Buttercup. He was her farm boy and her worker bee.

I’m slightly terrified of bees, but I’ve also come to respect those little black and yellow creatures. I learned that bees converse through a sort of dance. They zig and zag communicating to the other hive members the location of a particular flower-filled meadow. On average, a hive of bees will fly over 48,000 miles to accumulate enough pollen for just one quart of honey. That’s a lot of work!

Looking back at those Saturdays spent working on the list with my dad, I remember the feeling of accomplishment I had when we would finish a project. I imagine that honeybees don’t have that same feeling at the end but during the journey. For them, collecting honey is a continuous process. Collecting honey never stops.

Those days of helping my dad on his “Honey do” list are past, but I’m getting closer to having my own Princess give me “Honey do” lists someday.  I’ve decided there’s a reason why so many couples call each other “honey.” Now maybe it’s because many people think it’s cute, but I believe there’s a deeper reason. Think of all the time and hard work a hive of bees accomplishes just for one quart of honey. Now think of all the time and hard work required to nurture a relationship. There’s a correlation there, and it’s not coincidental.


Dia de los Muertos: A Family Celebration at Thanksgiving Point

posadacatrinaNo, it isn’t a continuation of Halloween. Contrary to how we often interpret the skeletons and skulls associated with the Latin holiday celebrated on November 1st, Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is not all ghastly and grim. Instead, it is a day of exciting and meaningful festivities to honor and remember loved ones who have passed away.

This weekend, Thanksgiving Point is providing an opportunity for Utahans to experience this family-centered holiday that originated in Mexico. Participants will be able to experience traditional activities like decorating altars with photos and favorite foods of the ancestors, eating cultural foods, listening to mariachi bands, and watching various Latin dances.

The festivities begin on Friday, November 1 at noon and conclude on Saturday, November 2 at 9:00 pm. Children 12 and under are admitted for free; admission for adults is $7. To see the schedule of events and learn more about Thanksgiving Point’s Dia de los Muertos celebration, visit

Running the Pioneer Day 5K

by Melissa Hart

Five. . . four. . . three. . .two. . . bang! The gun fired and the Pioneer Day Temple to Temple 5k began. I ran along the 5k route, happy to be running, loving the atmosphere of the race, and very aware of the little extra tag on my bib number that read “Minnie Irene Case.”

As part of the Pioneer Day race, we were encouraged to run for one of our ancestors. While my great grandma Minnie wasn’t a pioneer who actually crossed the plains with a covered wagon or handcart, I had learned enough about her to know that she was definitely a pioneer—a strong woman who supported her small family by teaching piano lessons and who raised my angel of a grandmother—just in a little different sense of the word.

I ran past the “landmarks” set up along sides of the Provo streets, Chimney Rock, Scott’s Bluff, Fort Laramie, and was reminded of the first time I followed a path carrying an ancestor’s name with me. It was a pioneer trek reenactment when I was a teenager, and the ancestor’s name that time was Julia Ann Phippen, Minnie’s great granddaughter (my great-great-great grandmother). Julia did cross the plains with a covered wagon, just a young girl at the time. The story I love most about her was when she convinced her father to let her pick flowers along the trail and her red calico dress caught the attention of the Indians. After holding up all the fingers on one hand, showing her father just how many horses he was willing to trade for the girl in the red dress, the Indian brave rode away, disappointed and confused. What a different life I would have if that Indian had been successful!

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I neared the next landmarks, Independence Rock, Martin’s Cove, Rocky Ridge, and continued running with the throng of people celebrating the heritage of Utah. Our mini 5k Pioneer trail was nearing the end—South Pass, Fort Bridger, Emigration Canyon, with the Salt Lake Valley just ahead. As I entered the Salt Lake Valley, I’m sure I didn’t feel nearly as relieved as Julia and my other pioneer ancestors, but I did feel a great sense of accomplishment. Not only for finishing the race, but also for becoming closer to my ancestors. I still don’t exactly understand why, but carrying Minnie’s name with me that day was an honor, not just a mindless action without any meaning. It was subtle, a very quiet feeling, but it confirmed to me that every action that I take to know my ancestors impacts my life. If I were to attempt to explain it, I’d probably get it wrong. But maybe it’s just a tiny bit of the gratitude I should feel for those who came before me finally getting into my heart


The Provo Farmers Market

Farmers Market Logo

by Jenna Hoffman

The Provo Farmers Market is a whimsical weekend escape from the daily grind of school and work. Over the summer, my roommate let me tag along with her and now I can’t get enough of those little tents lining the sidewalk around Pioneer Park. I’ve decided to pay it forward, so now I try to bring a friend with me every week, and without fail, they fall in love with the place. Something about the fresh fruit and vegetables, folksy music, and friendly vendors will make you feel like you’ve stepped out of Provo and into Portland.

The easy-going atmosphere and feeling of camaraderie is nothing short of cathartic. And even if you don’t think the farmers market is “your scene,” it’s definitely worth it to go check it out once. Sit in the grass and listen t


o the musicians, suck on a flavored honey-stick, andget to know the people who put their heart and soul into their crafts and want to share the love with the rest of the community. But hurry! The market has about run its course this year. After October, we’ll have to wait until next summer to bask in the charm of the Provo Farmers Market again.

To learn more about the Provo Farmers Market, check out their website.

The Home Schooling Dilemma

stanceblogphotoI have a diverse educational background. I attended public school through fourth grade and all of high school. In between, my mother home schooled me and my siblings. I love and admire her so much for home schooling me. I was not an easy child to raise, and my mother was eternally patient. At the time, I resented her for teaching me at home. I desperately wanted to fit in, and I was convinced that my peers were judging me because I didn’t go to public school. Kids can be cruel, but let’s be honest; I was a bit of a drama queen.


I remember one afternoon—I was probably thirteen—I was throwing a teenage tantrum about it. I begged my mother to just let me go to school because I just wanted to be “normal.” She looked at me and asked if I was seriously more concerned about other people’s opinions than I was about bettering myself. I still remember how disappointed she looked when I repeated my desperate teenage desire to “fit in.”

I’m so glad she stuck it out.

I gained so much from my home school education. I complained and complained, but I became an active learner. Instead of taking the easy way and letting someone else be in charge of my education, I took charge. When I did go back to public school in high school, I was a different type of learner. I wanted to do well. I learned from my assignments and got good grades because I wanted to; Because I knew I could.

Every kid is different. My two youngest siblings love home school. They prefer the home environment over the pressure-cooker social situation in public school. I craved that social environment.

It’s not for everyone, but I think for parents who are financially and emotionally able to do so, home school is a great option. It allows children to develop personal responsibility, pro-activity, and a sky’s-the-limit attitude for life.

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