The tale of two families

Any time, Drive time

Share this story about children at a playground; some are selfish and greedy, others are generous.

Discussion point: Selfishness creates misery; generosity brings joy.

While driving or waiting in a line up, tell this story while making modifications to draw maximal interest from your children:

A day at the park

One family had children named Me First, Gimme the Biggest and That’s My Toy. The second family had kids named Go Ahead, You Have It and It’s Your Turn. At the park, Me First shoved to the front of the line all the time. At snack time, Gimme the Biggest took the largest chunk of puffed wheat square, leaving almost none for the other kids. That’s My Toy wouldn’t share any of his sand toys with the others.

These kids went home early from the park because their mother was tired of intervening in the trouble they caused and stopping their fights. When they left, everyone at the park felt like cheering (although they didn’t because they knew this would be rude). The kids in the other family had a wonderful time at the park.

Go Ahead let others go in front of her at the slide. You Have It passed around his snack of oatmeal cookies to the other kids in the park. It’s Your Turn delighted the other children by sharing his new sand rocket. When they were going to leave, the other children at the park begged them to stay as they had made everyone else’s afternoon at the park so enjoyable.

The lesson to emphasize is that the outcome of the greed in one family is misery. In the second family, their generosity blesses others, and everyone enjoys spending time with them. After the story, use the questions that follow to create dialogue with your children. You can tell a similar story and change the setting if your children would relate more to a family visiting the circus, going shopping, at the swimming pool or even Disneyland. James 3:13-16 can also be reviewed to give a Biblical perspective.

Questions for discussion
  • Which child in the story would you like to play with?
  • Which child in the story would you like to be like?
  • Have you ever seen any of these kinds of kids at the park?
  • If so, which ones?
  • Would you want to be a part of a family that is full of envy and selfish ambition or full of peace and consideration for others?
Relevant Scripture

James 3: 13-16 “Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in humility that comes from wisdom. But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such ‘wisdom’ does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and every evil practice.”