Loving parents can give children 'home-court edge' in game of life

"Their number one duty is to teach their children to be winners, and the best way to do that is to help their children feel confident that they are good and that they can win."

Brother Durrant spoke at the "Family Expo: Making the Home a Sanctuary" at BYU April 4-5. The College of Family, Home and Social Sciences; Religious Education; BYU Alumni Association and Conferences and Workshops sponsored the conference. Brother Durrant lined his speech, "The Home Court Advantage," with sports analogies.

Parents must concentrate on showing and telling their children that they love them, said Brother Durrant, a father of eight children. Children shown love grow up feeling they are "life's No. 1 draft pick" and that they're on a "Dream Team of all-star players."

That's why the home is vital.

"The family playing on the home court can be the greatest hope for a winning life," he said. If children can win at home, they'll have confidence to win on the road. "And believe me, in life there are some tough road trips."

Brother Durrant divides the world into two teams, one headed by Satan and the other led by Jesus Christ.

Satan's strategy is to ruin the family. Jesus teaches positive relationships through family prayer and weekly team meetings - family home evening.

When God created the family and all the feelings associated with it, "that was the day Satan became destined to lose," Brother Durrant said.

Mothers and fathers need to face the same direction on things that really count, such as standards, values and love, he said.

Parents need to cut down on the intensity level of what they expect from their teams.

"Children don't need to be shot down when they can so easily crash on their own," Brother Durrant said. "I've never known a boy or girl to do better in the next game because their dad told them how bad they did in the one they just played."

Family activities - for the Durrants it was often playing basketball - can be parents' and children's main source of fun. "It just seems like our greatest priority ought not to be, When can we go golfing with our friends?' butWhen can we do something with our children?"' he said.

Brother Durrant said parents must do all they can to ensure their families win.

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