Praying and preying

Getting into nature

Consider the self-control of predatory animals as they stalk their prey. Take turns pretending to be both hunter and prey.

Discussion point: Review scenarios where you need to show self-control.

A careful study of the behaviour of preying animals can teach your children a memorable lesson about the value of self-control. Begin by asking your children to think of a time when an animal would need to use self-control. Use these questions if you wish:

Questions for discussion
  • Do you think only people need to use self-control or do animals have to as well?
  • Can you think of any animals that might need self-control?
  • Would these animals ever catch anything if they just charged in on their prey?
  • Are your parents more likely to give you what you ask for if you have a temper tantrum or if you ask politely?
  • Will your friend play your game if you speak gently and pleasantly or if you yell and whine?
Key concepts

Animals that stalk their prey need to use self-control. Some examples include owls, cats, coyotes, and wolves. If these animals charged their prey before waiting for an opportune time, they would make a ruckus and the prey would have time to get away. In order to catch their prey, these animals must very carefully sneak up on it. Even though they are close enough to attack and they are very hungry, they must use self-control and wait until exactly the right moment to pounce or they will have no dinner. To be good hunters these animals need a combination of self-control and patience.

These animals can set a good example for us. Let your children know when they are tempted to lose self-control in order to get something they want, they need to remember the wolf/cat/coyote. Remind your children, if they expect to receive something they need, they must use self-control. Prior to playtime, tell your children that if they speak politely, it is more likely that someone will play cooperatively with them.

To extend the learning time, pretend you are animals hunting. Take turns being the hunter and the prey. Have fun sneaking up and pouncing on each other. Then have your children role play some situations in life where they also need to use self-control in order to accomplish a task. Close your time with prayer.