Do Your Part
Stage a little competition to see how long family members can keep a balloon in the air (without touching the ground). Give each family member a balloon. Blow up and tie each balloon. Time them to see who can keep it in the air longest. Then pair up family members and give each pair one balloon and time them to see which pair can keep their balloon in the air longest.
Which was harder: keeping the balloon in the air by yourself or with a partner? (Probably with a partner.) Why? (Sometimes my partner was supposed to hit the balloon and he failed; I couldn’t control what my partner did; etc.)
This reminds me of getting along with people. It is not always easy to get along with others. Even when we try to be kind and helpful, they do not. We say or do things that hurt one another. Sometimes we get mad and don’t want to be friends anymore.
What are some things we can do when things get broken with a friend or family member?
Read Ephesians 4:2-3, 28-32. What does it tell us to do? (Be kind, tenderhearted, forgive, say words that build up, put up with one another, etc.)
We can’t control what others do, but as much as it depends on us, we must try to get along with people and make things right when we hurt one another.
Help kids learn to repair a broken relationship. When kids have a spat with one another, ask them to stand on opposite sides of the room, facing each other. Set the timer for two minutes and ask one to share his side of the story while the other listens without interrupting. Set the timer again and allow the other one to share his side, without interrupting. Then ask, “How can we solve this?” Reach an agreement and decide to forgive.
Then ask each one to take a step toward the other and say one good thing about the other (something good about the other person or something he enjoys doing with the other) until they are face-to-face and can shake hands or embrace.
Relationships are broken when we hurt one another with our words and actions, but we can be reconciled (brought together) when we listen and forgive.
Siblings/families can sometimes get lax in the words said to one another. Call a family meeting and talk about what words are permitted and which aren’t.
“I don’t like what you are doing” might be permitted; “I hate you” is not.
Make sure that everyone contributes and decides on what is acceptable and what is not.
Give each person a roll of quarters (or dimes or nickels). Announce that every time they say unkind words, they must forfeit a quarter (coin). At the end of the week, the money they have left is theirs to keep or spend.