Family Home Evening Lesson“Speaking Kindly”
Opening Song: “Jesus Said Love Everyone” Children's Songbook #61
Opening Prayer: Child
Ask your children what kindess is. Explain that kindess is being nice to people. (show a picture of Jesus) Jesus was always nice to everyone and we should try to be like Him. One way to show kindess is to speak nicely.
Object lesson: Filling Other's Jars
Have an empty clear jar or cup on display. You can have one for each child (you can tape a picture of each child on the jar/cup). Then have a bowl of marbles (or candy) and a bowl of rocks (or something the kids don't like eating). Explain that the bowl of marbles/candy represents nice words (you can tape a picture of a smiley face on the bowl) and the bowl of rocks/yucky food represent mean words (you can tape a picture of a frowny face on the bowl). Explain that every time we say something to others it is like putting something in their jar. Give an example of something said recently and put the appropriate rock or marble in the jar. (ex: child A called child B a snot face. Put a rock in child B's jar. OR child A told child B that he loved her. Put a marble in child B's jar) Do as many examples as hold their attention and make them as relevant to the phrases they use or should be using as you can. (You may want to write them down ahead of time so you can remember which ones you want to discourage or encourage)
Ask the children if they would prefer their jars to be filled with rocks or marbles? How do they feel when a rock gets put in their jar? What about when a marble gets put in their jar? Tell them that we are in charge of fillling each other's jars and we should fill them the way that we want ours filled (the golden rule). You can keep these jars on display throughout the week and add the appropriate rocks/marbles as you hear kind words or not so kind words. Make sure to reinforce kind speaking if you hear unkind words. (We are having issues with our 4 year old talking back, so we'll probably do jars for Mom and Dad as well)
Update: My 4 1/2 year old really latched on to the idea of putting rocks or marbles in people's jars. It really seemed to resonate with her and she was able to easily apply the concept. She was able to come up with many things that were considered rocks or marbles throughout the rest of the evening. My 2 1/2 year old just wanted to put the rocks or marbles in her jar, regardless of why...
Practicing Tone: Let's practice speaking in different ways. First say "No Thankyou" but in an angry voice. Now say "No Thankyou" in a happy voice. Which was a kinder tone? Now try shouting "Go get the book!" Now whisper it. Which was better? Now say "I love you" with a frown and a pouty voice, then with a smile and a sweet voice. Point out that it is much kinder to smile while saying nice things. Emphasize that to speak kindly it's not just the words that matter, but it's the way we speak- our tone, volume, expression/body language. You may want to practice more phrases depending on your children.
Help children to decorate their jars, use sequins, beads, stickers, ribbons, whatever you have on hand. (Both my girls loved this part)
Closing Song: “I'm Trying to Be Like Jesus" Children's Songbook #78
Closing Prayer: Mommy
Goblin Tongues from FamilyFun.com (mouths and tongues to emphasize paying attention to what words are coming out of our mouths)
2. Use a butter knife or kitchen shears to cut a tongue shape from a half slice of bologna. Then gently press the base of the tongue into the bagel hole.