- Memory Verse: Review Proverbs 12:22
- Bible: Read Genesis 3, the story of Satan deceiving Eve. Point out the lies that were told. Because Eve listened to lies, her life was ruined! Lies are always, always, always dangerous.
- Geese Fly: (For this idea, I’m indebted to the excellent elementary student lessons put out by Character First) This game has similarities to “Simon Says”, with some important differences. State a fact, such as “Geese fly,” while flapping your arms. Your children should copy you. Continue stating similar facts about animals or machines that fly: “Robins fly. Planes fly. Rockets fly.” Finally, insert a false statement: “Spaghetti flies.” When your children hear you state something that is not true, they should immediately stop doing the current action, in this case, stop flapping their arms. This game is a lot of fun! Just make sure to keep your facts pretty clear. My 3yo, Sweetness, is pretty accepting of everything I say, so I had to make the untrue facts pretty bizarre to make sure she knew they weren’t true…for example, she knows her hair isn’t pink!
- Stories: We’ve checked out A Children’s Book of Virtues to read together this week, and are reading “George Washington and the Cherry Tree” as well as “The Honest Woodsman”. Truth is a beautiful virtue, and the heroism of it is illustrated in many great stories. Find some to share with your children as you study honesty. Another one I’d recommend is this story about the Indian Chief Cochise, who was known for his honesty. Just ignore the references to the “Great Spirit” if you’re uncomfortable with them.
- Pray: Truthfulness is a struggle for anyone, especially when you’re a child facing potential discipline! Pray together for God to give strength to tell the truth, even when it is hard.
Treasures of Truth, Lesson #3 February 26, 2010
The Treasure of Truth, Lesson 2 February 24, 2010
Theme: Truth Prepares Us for Success
“Blessed is the man who finds wisdom, the man who gains understanding, for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold.” (Prov. 3:13-14)
- Bible: Read Proverbs 4:4-12 together. Tell your children to listen for the good things! When you’re finished reading, discuss the rewards of wisdom.
- Hidden Boundaries: Beforehand, choose an item in your livingroom as the “goal”. Tell your children that you’re going to play a game. They’ve got to throw (or kick if you’re outside) a ball into the goal. Every time they hit the goal, they get a penny. Then shout, “Go!” They may stare at you blankly or they may run around trying to figure out where the ball should go. If they happen to get the ball on the right spot, they get a penny. If they miss, tell them to try again. After they’ve been playing for a few minutes, stop and ask them if they know where the goal is. Would they be able to get more points if they did know? Say, “I’m going to tell you the truth. The truth is that this object is the goal.” Play again, and point out how many more points they can get when they know the truth. Truth enables us to be successful in life and obedient to God.
- Magnified: Talk more about how truth is the foundation of understanding life by using a magnifying glass to look at pictures. As you look at the picture of a dog, say, “This is a cat, right?” Your children will correct you. Affirm with them what truth is. Truth enables you to truly understand life.
- Prayer: God always tells us the truth. Pray together, praising God that He is always truthful!
Intentional Parenting: Training in Truth February 22, 2010
I remember the feeling of dismay the first time I caught Happiness in a lie. “What? You mean my child is a <gulp> liar?” It was disconcerting to say the least. Lying was a big stumbling block during my teenage years, and got me into lots of trouble. To see my precious preschooler lying this early in her life was almost unthinkable. She was disciplined for the lie, but that didn’t seem to solve the problem. It wasn’t long before another lying incident reared its ugly head. Again, discipline. I wasn’t sure if my approach was effective, but couldn’t think of anything else to do other than pray.
In answer to my “9-1-1” prayer, God sent my way the following advice for Susannah Wesley:
“It had been observed that cowardice and fear of punishment often led children into lying till they get a custom of it which they cannot leave. To prevent this, a law was made that whoever was charged with a fault of which they were guilty, if they would ingenuously confess it and promise to amend, should not be beaten. This rule prevented a great deal of lying and would have done more if one in the family would have observed it. But he could not be prevailed on and therefore was often imposed on by false colors and equivocations; which none would have used (except one), had they been kindly dealt with.”
Susannah’s advice completely changed my approach. I realized that I had been punishing honesty by giving the same level of discipline to Happiness when she confessed her disobedience as when I caught her in the act. Thus she was afraid to tell me the truth because she knew she’d get in trouble. She didn’t have the maturity to think long term. I’m quite confident that even if she wanted to, she is too young to think, “If I tell the truth now and get in trouble, at least I know God will reward me some day.” Too abstract for that small mind.
I sat down with Happiness and had a talk about honesty. The next time she disobeyed, I encourage her strongly to tell the truth. She finally confessed, and instead of the punishment she was dreading, I praised her. I gave her a hug and told her how proud I was of her for being honest even when it was hard. And it worked! She began to consistently tell me the truth. There have been a few times where I’ve still lectured her for a disobedient attitude or foolish choice, but I’ve tried to do it gently and in a way that won’t make her feel stupid or embarassed for being truthful. It’s now an unspoken rule of discipline in our home: if the child is honest about whatever the subject is, they will be treated very gently. Lying, on the other hand, will be punished more severely. Seems to be working so far!
How about you? How have you dealt with issues on honesty in your family? I’d love to hear other thoughts on this issue.
- Verse: Proverbs 12:22
Here’s how we’ve memorized it: “The Lord” [point upwards] “detests lying lips,” [point to lips] “but He deeeeelights” [start with hands clasped in front, then throw them out to the side when you say “delights”] “in those who are truthful” [put hands on either side of face and wiggle fingers].
- Accurate Communication: This is a treasure hunt game which will involve you giving your child accurate and inaccurate directions. Prepare 6-7 construction paper “X”s. On the back of each one, write a clue to the location of the next X. On the final X, write the clue to the treasure. If your child can’t read yet, then you can draw pictures of the clue locations instead. The key to this game is make at least half the clues inaccurate. They should send your child to the general location of the next clue, but not the exact spot. See if your child says anything about the problematic clues.
- Bible: Read Genesis 26:1-9, the story of Isaac lying to Abimelech. Tell your children to listen for a lie and to listen for the truth. Why was Isaac saying that Rebekah was not his wife a lie? What was the truth? Talk about the clue game. Did the clues always tell the truth? What was the truth about where a specific clue was located? Discuss how the truth should accurately communicate facts. If you’ve had any recent situations in which there were truthfulness issues or in which truth played in important role, talk about those.
- Pray: Ask God to help each of you be truthful in all your words.
Diligence: Lesson 4 February 18, 2010
“Do you see a man skilled in his work? He will stand before kings. He will not stand before common men.” (Proverbs 22:29)
- Review Proverbs 10:6
- Bible: Read Proverbs 22:29 and Proverbs 20:11.
- What’s Your Name?: Play Animal Charades with your children. You can use the bingo cards here to help your kids get ideas of what to act out. Talk about how the animal’s name can be guessed by the way it acts. Emphasize to your preschooler that people will call him either “lazy” or “diligent” by the way he acts – he gets to determine what title he will wear!
- Pray: Ask God to help you and your children be known as diligent people that are a blessing to others. This might be a good week to invite someone over to your house and let your kids be a part of the preparations, so they can see how hard work blesses others.
Diligence: Lesson 3 February 15, 2010
Theme: “He who is slack in his work is brother to him who destroys.” (Prov. 18:9)
- Review Proverbs 10:6
- Bible: Read today’s theme verse together. Do your children know what “destroy” means? Let them destroy something – rip paper, knock down a block tower, smash some cans, etc. When they aren’t thorough in completing their jobs, they are like destroyers. Is that what they want to be?
- Make a Snack: If you don’t do a job completely, it can cause trouble down the line! The first way to illustrate this is by making Bat Chips (though for us, they’ll be star chips). Work with your kids to create the chips, put them in the oven, set the timer, pull them out when the timer is done and, oh no! Mommy didn’t turn the oven on! Talk to your children about how you were “slack in your work” and what the consequences were. And then, of course, turn the oven on and get those snacks a’baking!I was hoping my girls wouldn’t notice that the oven was off when we put the tortillas in. This was a great object lesson…when the timer went off and we all went to check on our chips, Happiness said, “Oh no!” as she discovered they weren’t baked. Wonderful springboard into reminding them of the importance of diligence.
- Make a track: There are two ways to do this one. Either you use a pre-made marble track or you build one out of cardboard tubes and duct tape! Build a track, but leave out an integral part so that the marbles fall to the ground before reaching the bottom. Have your children diagnose the problem, and then tell you how some “due diligence” can fix it!
- Pray: Pray for a person or request in your family prayer journal
Intentional Parenting: Paper Doll Giveaway! February 13, 2010
When I was a little girl, I LOVED paper dolls. I had a huge collection…unfortunately, I think all of them ended up in a trashcan once I left home. My girls are still little, but once they get old enough, I’m looking forward to introducing them to the joys of these dolls. How do paper dolls fit into a post on intentional parenting? Well, there are some very cool dolls released Noble Rose Press that are based on past heroines of history, such as Abigail Adams and Katherina Van Bora. I think teaching our girls about women who have loved God and lived their lives for Him is a great way to intentionally parent, and these dolls reinforce those lessons. Joyfully at Home is giving these paper dolls away on her blog right now. Check it out!