Teach your kids about peer pressure using a meddlesome stuffed toy who insists your playdough creations need some improvements.
Show your kids first-hand how they can be influenced by peer pressure! You will need a toy stuffed rabbit (or another stuffed toy) and some playdough. Here are the steps to follow:
- Join your kids while they are playing with playdough and make yourself a snowman with a long, carrot-like nose.
- Next, play the part of a talking stuffed rabbit. Have the rabbit come and talk to your children, admiring their work and making a few suggestions for small changes or additions.
- Then have the rabbit inspect your snowman for a moment. Make the rabbit tell the snowman that he (the snowman) should have long ears, a puffy tail and a short, twitchy nose with whiskers. Continue to have the rabbit give instructions about how the snowman should look, and re-mould your snowman until he looks exactly like a rabbit instead of a snowman. Say phrases like, “A little more pressure here” and “A little more pressure there,” while you are shaping the dough.
- After your children have had fun seeing the snowman transformed into a rabbit, explain that peer pressure is like that: friends can pressure each other to change. Explain that this is fine if it’s positive peer pressure where friends encourage each other to do what is right, but it’s not good when friends pressure each other to do wrong or to sin.
- Talk together about ways friends can pressure each other in good ways and in bad ways.
- Now give your children a chance to experience peer pressure from the rabbit. Have each child make a snowman, then have the rabbit come along and encourage them to make their snowman look like a rabbit instead. Let your children practice telling the rabbit that they like their snowman and that they prefer to leave him the way he is.
- Finally, have the rabbit suggest to your kids that they make fun of each other’s snowmen or rabbits. A little later, have the rabbit urge the children to disobey some of your family rules, perhaps by suggesting they throw playdough in the house, or demand junk food for lunch.
- Give your children a chance to respond to the rabbit on their own and observe their responses. After a little while, have everyone join in in response to the rabbit by saying in unison this slightly modified version of Psalm 119:115: Away from us, you evil rabbit, that we may keep the commandments of our God!
- Pray to end your time together, asking God to give you discernment and the strength to exert positive peer pressure instead of allowing yourselves to be shaped by negative peer pressure.
Psalm 119:115 “
Depart from me, you evildoers, that I may keep the commandments of my God.”