Irritants and blessings

Any time, Drive time

Clothing tags can be uncomfortably itchy. Use this idea to impress on your children how irritating it is to have to listen to someone who is constantly complaining.

Begin by attaching a small piece of hook-and-loop tape fastener inside each child’s shirt collar. Have everyone wear their “itchy tag” for 10 minutes or so.

During your 10 minutes, talk about how someone’s whining and complaining can be really annoying and draining for others around them. If you wish, read Judges 16:16 aloud and explain how Delilah’s whining irritated Samson, ultimately leading Samson to make a very bad decision.

Invite your children to suggest scenarios where the stress of listening to whining could lead someone to make a mistake. (For example, driving in a car with a whining child could distract the driver. Or trying to make dinner while dealing with a whiny child might lead to the supper being burned.)

Next, remove your itchy tags and instead let everyone wear a soft scarf or fleecy sweater instead. Leave your soft clothing on as long as you like.

Share Ephesians 4:29 and impress on your children how nice it is to be around people who notice the good things in their lives and who express thanks to others and to God. These kinds of people are like soft fleecy clothing or cuddly blankets: they bring joy to others and are “comfortable” to be around!

As you continue your lesson on gratitude, whenever one of your children lapses into complaining, gently ask them if they are being like an itchy tag or a soft scarf.

Relevant Scripture

Judges 16:16 “And when she pressed him hard with her words day after day, and urged him, his soul was vexed to death.

Proverbs 16:24 “Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.

Ephesians 4:29 “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.