Tag Archives: Character

BTT: Teaching Kids Responsibility

“Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life.”      -Galatians 6:5

Responsibility is needed in life, especially in adulthood.  But kids need to learn responsibility in their own lives to prepare them for higher education and the rest of their lives (and now, because even 3 year olds have responsibilities).

There are 3 keys to teaching responsibility.  They are:

  1. Accountability
  2. Consequence
  3. Example

-Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life.-

Accountability

Being accountable is extremely important.  People need to be able to trust you and know you are going to be responsible for your own actions.

When trying to explain this to a young child, you could use daily chores or duties.  If your 4 year old has to make their bed every morning, then they are accountable for the bed being made.  If it hasn’t been made, then we know who didn’t make it.

They have to be answerable.  Especially with school aged children, owning up to your actions is essential.  If your child doesn’t turn in their homework, then it is their fault and they must take responsibility for that action.

When teaching accountability, it is important to be patient.   Kids need time to practice this kind of liability.

Explain that accountability is a good quality in a person.  It’s ok if your child struggles at first, but don’t let them test the boundaries too much.

Consequence

Punishing can be hard.  And it is not fun.  There are times though, when punishment is necessary.

With consequence, timing is key.  When teaching something, you don’t hand out the test first.  You explain, practice, and then evaluate.

If your accountable child were to forget their homework once, it might not be that big of a deal, especially if they hold themselves to high standards.  But, if your child isn’t very accountable and consistently forgets their homework even after reminders, then consequence is the best step.

A consequence is simply a tool.  A learning tool used to promote better choices/behaviors/actions and stop the bad ones.  In the case of responsibility, consequences need to be consistent!

A consistent punishment isn’t getting on your child every time they make a mistake.  It is setting priorities straight and removing anything that may be a distraction.

If your child doesn’t turn in their homework for the whole week, they may get a game taken away, or they may need to write a note of reminder.  Consequences must be kept up with.  Don’t say that you will take the video game away for a week and then give it back the next day.  Show that responsibility is serious, but doesn’t have to be a pain.

The best way to show how to be responsible is through example.

Example

Your children are always watching you.  And that is a great thing!  Parents are the best influence on kids!

Make sure you are being responsible!  Pay attention to the things you need to get done throughout the day and stay on top of them.

Give your child examples like, “It is my responsibility to pay the water bill every month.”  Or “It is my job to pick up my children from school.  If I don’t, your teachers would have to drive you to our house.”

Apply real world examples.  You are the real world example.

Responsibility quote

Enjoy the teaching moments in life!  Happy Tuesday!

BTT: God Forgives My Sins (Bible Activity)

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”     – 1 John 1:9

We all, as imperfect children of God, sin everyday!  Thankfully, God loves us so much that He forgives our sins and redeemed us by sending His Son to die for us.  For smaller kids, that’s hard to understand.  They may not know what sins are, or how and why God forgives us.  I like to use visual representations to help explain these hard to grasp concepts.

God Forgives My Sins

Sinning is when we choose to turn away from God by making a bad/wrong decision.  When we pray and ask God to forgive us because we know we did wrong, He does.  God pours out His unending mercy and cleanses our hearts.  We should always try to do better and strive to live pure lives.

To Do This Activity, You’ll Need:

  • White Board + Dry Erase Markers
  • Construction Paper
  • Tape
  • Sharpie
  • Scissors

How To:

First, before you round up your kids, cut out (about 5 per child) 1″ x 3″ rectangles from the paper.  Also, draw a heart on the whiteboard.  Call over the kiddos.  Explain how when we sin, we turn away from God.  All of these sins give us impure hearts.

heart whitebrd

Each child should write down a sin that they have committed on the rectangles.  For Example – lying, saying mean things, not obeying parents, etc.  These don’t have to be big things.  Show how these sins make our hearts unclean by coloring the heart in with a black (or dark colored) marker.

heart sins close

black heart

Have each child tape their sins onto the shaded in heart.  Say a prayer with your kids, apologizing for your sins and asking for forgiveness.  Ask your kids why they are sorry.  Do they feel bad about what happened?  Do they want to do better?

There is good news!  Jesus died on the cross for their (and everyone else’s) sins.  Describe how we are redeemed and will spend eternity with God in Heaven.  Take off the sins and set them aside.  Erase the shaded section of the heart.

After you have erased the heart, there will be some outlines of the shaded areas or erased parts of the heart.  This symbolizes our imperfectness.  No matter how hard we try, we will always sin.  We ask God for His help.  He mends our hearts.

imperfect heart

When we are sorry, we promise to try to do better.  On the back of each sin, write a good action that is opposite of the sin.  This can be a quality or a good deed.  For example – lying -> be truthful, saying rude things -> be uplifting.

sin lyingbe truthful opposite

Tape the now improved rectangles onto the clean heart.  Because of God’s love and Jesus’ death, we are able to spend eternity with Him.  We are thankful Jesus forgives our sins!

transformed sin

Like 1 John 1:9 says, God is faithful and just.  Thank you, Lord, for your mercy and forgiveness.

What To Do Instead of Yelling (For You & Your Kids)

“Put your toys away!”

“For the third time…”

“Are you even listening?”

“Ugh!”

Heard these before?  Said these before?  Lot’s of times when dealing with kids, we loose our temper.  Kids lose their tempers, too.  It happens, it’s going to happen.  The amount of times it happens is something we can change.

Ephesians 4:29 says, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”   Today, I want to crack this verse open.

In my opinion, unwholesome talk is anything not uplifting, relevant, or praiseworthy.  Now,  in NO way am I saying that every word we say must be serious and down to business…..Trust me, I laugh more in this house and I like being silly.  But, unwholesome talk is wrong.  That means yelling and gossip is not good.  As this verse says, whatever we say should benefit those who hear it.  Yelling is not helpful.

Yelling occurs mostly out of anger.  We are going to get angry every once in a while.  When dealing with our anger, yelling is not the option.  There are ways to prevent yelling and exploding in anger.

4 Ways to Prevent Yelling

  1. Patient 5 – When you or your child feel like you are about to explode, use your hand to guide you.  Using your fingers, follow these five steps to calm down.  On your first finger, close your eyes and take a deep breath.  On the second finger, ask what is truly making you upset.  Be realistic.  On the third finger, put yourself in the other person’s shoes.  What might they be angry about?  On your fourth finger, say a prayer asking for patience and the ability to work out your feelings.  On your last finger, calmly begin a conversation with the other person.
  2. Mouse Voice – At the moment anger is rising, become a mouse.  Speak in a quiet, calm voice.  This tone will help to keep your tempers under control.
  3. Silly Word – Instead of yelling, say a silly word like “Bubbaleepig!”  It’ll take away some tension, too.
  4. Timer – Set a timer for 5 minutes where both arguing parties take a break and collect their thoughts.  Then, have a calm conversation.

patient 5

Have a wonderful day!