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Wrapping up Kindness

September 10, 2010
 |  by Krista

Wrapping up Kindness

I don’t know about you, but we often find that our kids simply do not respond appropriately to compliments. Though we’ve coached and coached, they usually look like they’re ignoring the admiring remark or they turn away with a barely audible “thank you.” It’s embarrassing to all of us when their shyness is mistaken as terrible manners. So the “Receiving Kindness" role play provided a great chance for us to practice clear and sincere thank-you’s. Better yet, there were additional potentially awkward situations listed, such as being offered something you don’t want to eat.

We’re firm believers in preparing kids for situations they might encounter, so they can navigate those tricky waters more comfortably if it does actually happen. Benjamin, especially, finds himself tongue-tied in new situations, and he is grateful for any tool he can use when he is feeling self-conscious.

So much for that idea . . .
A while back, Ben was musing about what he could do to remind himself to show kindness to others. Rob suggested something similar to a “What would Jesus do?” bracelet. The kids loved the idea, so we found canvas wristbands with plastic clasps at the dollar store (two for $1). Rob got orange, I got pink and both kids chose yellow. I made two of them smaller and, voila, we had our reminders. Not entirely surprisingly, Ben lost his within the first week. And because he had been the catalyst for the whole idea, the rest of us stopped wearing ours, too. The remaining three bracelets are now buried in our “junk and paper cupboard.” So much for that idea.

How to read body language
As supper was winding down the other day, we had some fun with the “Emotional Charades” game. Jessica is a naturally crazy little ham, and Ben was not about to be outdone. Their expressions were so over-exaggerated, we wondered if their poor faces would ever recover!

Reading body language was a great topic for discussion. Though we all notice body language subconsciously, we prompted the kids to take that awareness one step further. If they see friends or family members displaying fear, sadness, loneliness, etc., they now realize they can get involved and try to help.

Wrapping things up
We did kind of wrap this lesson up in an unceremonious hurry because school had started and we were being spread far too thin. Hmmmm. That makes me wonder about our priorities. If teaching godly character is one of the first things we dump when we get stressed, then we’re on the wrong track. Yet the lessons are designed with flexibility to fit into the hills and valleys of life. Maybe I just need to remember that we serve a God of incredible grace, and He knows what we can and cannot handle in our times of weakness. Let’s see what we’re prompted to do next week.

Related Lesson: Kindness