Have your children stage a series of mini puppet shows to help them practice verbalizing sympathy and support.
First, encourage your children to gather some stuffed animals or dolls to use as puppets. Then, give each child a scenario to act out where one of their “puppets” is in distress. The remaining children in the audience are to have their toy puppets come alongside to offer help and kind words of encouragement. (You may want to video the action to review this lesson together at another time.)
Here are some suggested scenarios for the puppets to act out:
- falling down and getting hurt
- losing the ice cream from an ice-cream cone
- concern over a sick or dying pet
- feeling left out or lonely after not being invited to a birthday party
- feeling apprehensive about an upcoming dental or medical exam
- feeling upset about a broken toy
- feeling hurt by something someone said.
As the mini-dramas take place, have your children practice saying simple phrases to show their concern and support. Here are some suggestions:
- You seem worried. What’s wrong?
- I’m here for you. What can I do to help?
- Because you are so special to me, when I see you upset, it upsets me too. Can I give you a hug?
- I love you. How can I pray for you right now?
- Can I pray for you and ask God to help us get through this?
Provide a “blessing” or “reward” for the stuffed animals who are showing compassion. Award them heart stickers or coupons as their ticket to attend a “theatre cast party” afterwards. Or allow compassionate stuffies to go along on the next family outing, to sleep in a special bed, or enjoy a privilege of your children’s choosing.
Matthew 5:7 “
Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.”