My daughter’s Christmas talk (or, how to help a 4-year-old speak in Primary)

wise-man-starMy daughter was asked to give a little talk on Sunday. Her assigned topic was “the birth of Jesus, and the second coming.” Strange combo for a four year old. My wife came up with a great strategy for helping with these talks.

Rather than writing something for her, we ask what she knows about the subject, jot down her thoughts, then weave them together. So even though one of us stands at the little podium to whisper in her ear, she’s reciting—for the most part—her own words. I recommend this strategy to parents and caregivers because it gives the child a sense of ownership over their talk. And of course, kids usually boil things down to the most important things.

Here’s my daughter’s talk, as redacted by my wife from my daughter’s own words:

“The scriptures teach me about Jesus and how he was born. Everyone went to the little town of Bethlehem to see baby Jesus. There were shepherds and angels. There were animals and his mom Mary. Everyone went there because they loved him and because he was so cute. 

“Jesus is important to us because he loves the kids. And he loves everybody. He loves you no matter who you are. And I hope I can see him one day.”

Comments

  1. Kevin Barney says:

    An outstanding talk–at any age.

  2. I love this. She got the important parts. And I’m sure baby Jesus was cute!

  3. Love it! I would likely enjoy more talk from adults if they followed this same advice.

  4. “the birth of Jesus, and the second coming”

    Maybe the topic was inspired by the lyrics of the song “Joy to the World” which if you read it is actually about the second coming of Christ and His millennial reign even though we sing it around the time of His birth.

    Another great idea I’ve seen is where parents make notes for the talk using pictures instead of words. It would be hard to deliver a talk like your daughter’s talk that way but I’ve seen it used for telling a story like David and Goliath.

    Fantastic idea. Thanks for passing it along.

  5. The process you described is how my husband and I have always helped our kids prepare talks. They just dictate to us what they know about the topic, and we write it up for them. They always have plenty to say.

  6. “He loves you no matter who you are.”

    The simple truths our children speak often impact me as powerfully as anything I hear at General Conference, as do their heartfelt prayers.

    On Sunday I explained to the 9 year-olds I’ve taught this year that it would be our last class together. In her prayer, Riley asked Heavenly Father to “bless Sister R______, that her new class will be kind to her.” I’ve never wondered why Jesus so loved the little children.

  7. Beautiful talk and message. As a Primary president I always recommended one sentence per year of age. That was the policy in my home, too. When my children got a little older they liked typing their own talks–in the days of typewriters, ink ribbons and paper.

  8. ML: That’s a handy guideline.