Tactfulness trivia

To have more fun, encourage your kids to come up with both likely scenarios and a few wild and zany scenarios for the inappropriate response. To avoid confusion, however, it’s best to keep the considerate response simple and to the point.

Scenario 1:

When someone passes gas while you are driving in the car, what should they say?

Inconsiderate response: (Invite your kids to suggest serious or silly responses, as you prefer.)
Considerate response: (Invite your kids to suggest a considerate response.)

Scenario 2:

Someone is very hungry and their favourite food is being served.

Inconsiderate response: (Possible answer: The person takes a large helping, leaving very little for others.)
Considerate response: (Invite your kids to suggest a more considerate scenario.)

Scenario 3:

One family member is playing on the computer, but others want to use it too.

Inconsiderate response: (Invite your kids to suggest inconsiderate scenarios.)
Considerate response: (Invite your kids to suggest a more considerate scenario.)

Scenario 4:

Your mom has a big piece of spinach left between her teeth after a meal.

Inconsiderate response: (Invite your kids to suggest inconsiderate scenarios.)
Considerate response: (Invite your kids to suggest a more considerate response.)

Scenario 5:

Your little brother is excited because you saw an ambulance on your way home from swimming lessons. At suppertime he is telling the rest of the family about it. He is so excited he keeps saying “ambliance” instead of ambulance.

Inconsiderate response: (Invite your kids to suggest inconsiderate scenarios.)
Considerate response: (Invite your kids to suggest a more considerate scenario.)

Scenario 6:

Your friend’s mom told your mom that their family pet died. The next day you see your friend at Sunday School. What do you do?

Inconsiderate response: (Invite your kids to suggest inconsiderate scenarios. These might include announcing to the whole class why your friend is sad.)
Considerate response: (Invite your kids to suggest a more considerate scenario. Ideally they will recognize the need to keep such a sensitive matter private and perhaps not talk about it until their friend brings it up.)

Scenario 7:

Your friend is wearing his or her shirt inside out. What do you do?

Inconsiderate response: (Invite your kids to suggest inconsiderate scenarios.)
Considerate response: (Invite your kids to suggest a more considerate scenario.)

Home sweet home

Set up a heart-to-heart family meeting – a chance for each family member to talk about times when they feel others are not showing them love, respect or consideration.

Note that you will need a copy of the memory verses from this lesson to complete this activity.

Immediately after a person shares, use the memory verses to pinpoint biblical answers to the issues brought up.

Example scenario 1:

Morgan says she feels she is not being respected when someone answers her before she has had a chance to finish her question.

One relevant Bible verse for this situation is James 1:19, “Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger . . .” To follow up, you could pray and ask God to help your family to be slow to speak and quick to listen when you are talking with each other.

Example scenario 2:

Tyler says he feels bad when someone helps themselves to food off his plate while he is still eating. “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude” from 1 Corinthians 13:4-5a could be the reminder you choose to help family members remember to be polite and to ask before helping themselves to Tyler’s food.

You could pray together and ask that family members would remember that Tyler prefers people to ask before taking his food.

Make it your family goal to have a truly “sweet” home where everyone feels they are loved, respected and treated with consideration. And now that you’ve completed this activity, try to make it a habit to use Scripture and prayer to deal with family problems in the future.

Considerate drivers

Begin by looking at the head-on view of cars and trucks. The lights and front bumpers often make a vehicle look like it has a face. As you drive, take turns suggesting what expression each car is wearing.

As you continue driving, talk about how each driver behind the wheel also has a “personality” too. Some are aggressive and inconsiderate, while others are polite and thoughtful. Explain to your kids that there are rules of the road that all drivers must follow in order to keep travellers safe and to keep the traffic flowing – but add that a driver can technically follow the rules of the road and still be an inconsiderate driver.

Ask your kids to watch for drivers’ actions that show thoughtfulness and those that are inconsiderate. Then see if your kids can come up with similar or equivalent interactions that take place between people when they’re face to face.

The table shows some examples to help you get started:

Considerate drivers and considerate kids

Considerate drivers

Considerate kids

Considerate drivers share the right of way, allowing other cars to merge or change lanes. Considerate kids let other kids take the first turn or let other people go ahead when they arrive at a doorway at the same time.
Considerate drivers move to the right-hand lane on a highway if they are travelling slowly. Considerate kids are careful that they don’t inconvenience others by being in the way.
Considerate drivers give others comfortable space. They don’t tailgate or drive closely behind another car. Considerate kids give others space to stand comfortably in a lineup. They don’t push, barge or shove to get ahead.
Considerate drivers wave to say thanks when another driver has been helpful. Considerate kids say “Thank you,” “Please,” “Excuse me” and “I’m sorry.”
In traffic jams, considerate drivers will notice drivers stuck waiting to get on the main road and will direct them to go ahead of them on the road (providing it is safe to do so). Considerate kids will notice if someone is waiting to use a toy they are playing with and will offer them a turn before they are ready to be done with it.
Considerate drivers do not honk their horns, unless it is to prevent an accident or emergency. Considerate kids are patient with others and don’t use loud voices to let others know they are unhappy.
Considerate drivers do not make rude gestures at other drivers. Considerate kids are gentle. They do not use aggressive actions and body language to get their own way or to threaten others.

If you’d like to extend this activity, ask your kids to think about other situations – such as at the grocery store, at the shopping mall, or at a swimming pool – where kids can show consideration by going above and beyond the basic rules for appropriate behaviour. As part of your discussion, ask your kids to share real life circumstances they can recall where the considerate kids rules were followed – or not followed.

In closing, read your choice of the relevant Scripture verses. Pray and ask God to help you to be considerate of others.

Relevant Scripture

Romans 12:10 “Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.

1 Corinthians 10:24 “Let no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor.

1 Thessalonians 5:15 “See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone.

Titus 3:1-2 “Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people.

God fear and good fear

Set some time aside to explain to your children the difference between fearing God (wow fear), fearing harm (wise fear) and unreasonable fear (boo fear). The explanations below will help:

Wow fear
Fearing God means to have a deep respect and appreciation for Him. Let’s call it wow fear. We can feel wow fear when we see beautiful scenes in nature, are fascinated by things God has made, or hear stories about God and the miracles He has done. Wow fear applies to any time we are in awe of God, respecting Him as the Creator and Lord of the Universe.

Wise fear
Another kind of fear happens when we sense danger or when we know something can harm us. This is fear that is wise. It’s wise to be wary around things that can hurt you. Some examples include fear of wild animals, or power tools, or fire, or heights or water. God gave us this kind of fear to keep us safe.

Boo fear
On the other hand, fear that is out of control is not good fear. When we are fearful of something that is not truly harmful, that’s boo fear. For example, when we go boating, wise fear of water reminds us to wear a life jacket so we will stay afloat if the boat tips over. However, when a person has boo fear, they may be afraid to go near water at all. When out-of-control fear limits our choices and actions, we can ask God to provide confidence and peace.

Once your kids have a good understanding of wow fear, wise fear and boo fear, play this simple game where you suggest scenarios and your children identify the type of fear involved. As your children understand the idea of the game, allow them to think of examples as well. Here are some ideas for starters:

  • Moses removed his sandals in front of the burning bush. (Wow fear)
  • While walking the woods, a family sees a moose in the distance and retreats back along the trail. (Wise fear)
  • On a family hike, Stephanie’s family comes to a high swing bridge. Stephanie doesn’t want to cross because she’s afraid the bridge will break. (Boo fear)
  • Jesse is afraid to go to the dentist to get his teeth cleaned. (Boo fear)
  • A boy named Eutychus was killed when he fell out of a window and Paul raised him from the dead (Acts 20:7-12). (Wow fear)
  • Jake won’t use felt-tip markers because he is afraid the smell of the ink will hurt him. (Boo fear)
  • Mandy doesn’t talk to strangers unless her parents are with her. (Wise fear)
  • Kids are climbing on some equipment at a construction site. Even though it looks fun, Lucas doesn’t join in. (Wise fear)
  • Carlie is afraid to go to a friend’s house to play because they have a dog. (Boo fear)
  • There is a sunset that makes the clouds look like pink and purple cotton candy. (Wow fear)
  • A friend has a new puppy and you get to cuddle him. (Wow fear)
  • There is a bonfire blazing out of control in the park. (Wise fear)
Questions for discussion
  • Is there something you’re afraid of?
  • Is it boo fear or wise fear?
  • Do you want to ask God to give you peace about any fears you have?
  • What could remind you to ask God to give you courage and confidence when you are afraid?
Relevant Scripture

Psalm 92:4 “For You, O Lord, have made me glad by Your work; at the works of Your hands I sing for joy.

Psalm 121:2 “My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.

Just imagine

As you suggest each new miracle, preface each one with the phrase “Just imagine what it would have been like to ___________.” For example, you could say, “Just imagine what it would have been like to eat manna from heaven.”

Don’t rush through each one but encourage your children to use their imaginations as they think about what each event might have been like. Play until you run out of ideas. The last person to share a “Just imagine” phrase wins.

Here are some ideas to get the game started. Just imagine what it would have been like to . . .

  • experience the 10 plagues in Egypt
  • see all the water piling up on one side as you crossed the Jordan River on dry ground
  • drink the water that poured from a rock
  • touch Aaron’s rod after it budded
  • feel the ground opening up and see it swallowing Korah and the rebels
  • see the sun and moon standing still
  • have been one of the 300 soldiers in Gideon’s army when God made the Midianites fight each other instead of you
  • see the whole Aramean army struck with blindness after Elisha prayed
  • have watched David take on Goliath and win
  • march around Jericho and then see the walls fall down
  • smell the smoke-free robes of the men after they were in Nebuchadnezzar’s fiery furnace
  • be with Daniel spending the night with hungry lions
  • be with Mary when the angel of God visited her and told her she would be the mother of Jesus
  • see Jesus calm the stormy sea
  • be one of the 4,000 or 5,000 whom Jesus fed
  • have been in the boat and seen Jesus walking on the water
  • be healed of leprosy
  • be one of Jesus’ disciples and to see Him heal the crippled and the blind
  • have been one of Lazarus’ family members and see Jesus bring him back to life after being in the grave for three days.

Respecting God’s holy name

Have fun decorating for your party and preparing snacks. Find as many ways as you can to show honour to the toy being celebrated: let the toy sit in a place of honour, wear a special party hat, blow out the candles, be served first, receive gifts etc.

Questions for discussion
  • Where is your favourite stuffie sitting?
  • Why did you choose that special place for it?
  • Why did we serve your special stuffie first?
  • How would you feel if I were to squirt ketchup on your favourite stuffie?
  • If your brother, sister or a friend started calling your stuffie rude names, what would you do?
  • Would it be okay if I called your stuffie not rude names but just silly names, like Foo-Foo Face?
Key concepts

It would likely make you angry or upset if someone disrespected your prized stuffed animal or toy by getting it dirty or making fun of it. When we value something, we are protective of it. Likewise, if others are going to mistreat a person we love, we are quick to come to that person’s defence.

We honour a person or possession when we treat them with extra care. God deserves more honour than people or toys and we should be careful to give special honour to Him.

The Bible tells us that it’s wrong to misuse or dishonour God’s name (Exodus 20:7). People dishonour God when they use His name as a swear word, by saying “Oh my God!” or writing the letters “OMG.” Another way people dishonour God’s name is by saying “Holy cow” or “Holy smoke” or even “Holy hell.” Only God is holy, so using the word “holy” to describe these other things is extremely dishonouring to God.

Acceptable ways to use God’s name are during prayer or if we are talking politely about Him. It’s unacceptable to use God’s name, Jesus’ name or the word “holy” as an exclamation of any sort. An important part of loving and fearing God is honouring His name.

Relevant Scripture

Exodus 20:7 “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.

Malachi 2:2 “If you will not listen, if you will not take it to heart to give honor to My name, says the Lord of hosts, then I will send the curse upon you and I will curse your blessings. Indeed, I have already cursed them, because you do not lay it to heart.

Revelation 4:11 “Worthy are You, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for You created all things, and by Your will they existed and were created.

The boy who complained about everything

Add your own creative ideas to the story if you wish.

Thomas and his disappearing day

One day Thomas woke up in a grumpy mood. The first thing he said was, “I don’t want to brush my teeth.” And suddenly, right before his eyes, his toothbrush disappeared! Thomas thought that was very strange, but he was happy he wouldn’t have to brush his teeth.

At breakfast Thomas whined about his porridge being cold and sticky. Suddenly Thomas’ porridge vanished too!

Thomas didn’t mind that his breakfast was gone. He simply got down from the table and went outside to play. Thomas’ friend Gordon came out to play too – but Gordon wanted to play fishing instead of tag, so Thomas groaned about his friend. “Gordon, you never want to play what I want to play,” he said. As quickly as you can blink your eye, Gordon was gone. Thomas just shrugged his shoulders and chased a butterfly around the yard instead.

By lunchtime Thomas was hungry and a little bit bored with playing butterfly tag. He went inside and said to his mother in a whiny voice, “I have nothing to do. And I am so hungry! A good mother would have my lunch made already, wouldn’t she?” Then in a flash, Thomas’ mother was gone too.

Finally Thomas was starting to get upset. If you remember, his porridge had disappeared, so he hadn’t had any breakfast, and he was now very hungry. Thomas searched the kitchen to see if he could find anything to eat. When he couldn’t reach the shelves in the pantry, he grumbled that the food had been stored too high up. Then Thomas looked in the fridge and muttered to himself that the fridge had no fun food in it. Suddenly the cupboards and fridge were empty of everything!

By now Thomas was thirsty as well as hungry, so he tried to get a drink. But before he could stop himself, he complained about how hard it was to reach the faucet. Suddenly the faucet was gone too and he couldn’t turn the water on at all.

“Oh no!” said Thomas. “All there’s left for me to do is play with my toys, but they are all so old and boring.” And as soon as he said that, all Thomas’ toys floated up and away out the window.

Then Thomas heard the house creaking and echoing. It seemed to say, “You should stop complaining.”
Feeling sorry for himself, Thomas said in his saddest voice, “Even the house is bothering me.” And before he could take back what he had said, the house was gone too.

Thomas found himself sitting on the lawn and began to cry. Soon his pet cat, Morris, came and rubbed up against him. “Silly cat,” said Thomas. “You want me to pet you? How selfish can you be? I have all these problems and you want attention. If only I could have a sensible pet instead.”

And what do you think happened next? That’s right. Thomas’ cat disappeared too.

When Thomas’ father came home for supper, he found a very lonely, hungry, thirsty, and uncomfortable little boy sitting in an empty yard.

“Thomas,” said his father, “where is our house, where is your mother, where is your cat and where is your friend Gordon? Mrs. Bates is looking for him.”

“Daddy,” said Thomas, “I’m so sorry for all my whining. All day whenever I complained, things just disappeared. From now on, I will try my best to be thankful for all I have instead of complaining.”

Then just as quickly as everything had gone, it reappeared. Thomas’ mother, his friend, his house, and his cat were all back again.

Never before had his home, family and friends looked so good to Thomas. And from that day on, Thomas hardly ever whined at all.

Irritants and blessings

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.

M&M game

Share with your kids the Bible story in Exodus 17:1-7 where the Israelites quarrelled with Moses so much that Moses called the place “Massah and Meribah.” “Massah” means “testing” and “Meribah” means “quarrelling” (Exodus 17:2,7). The Israelite’s complaining tested God’s patience too.

Note: This activity pairs nicely with the Bible story in this lesson called “whining about water . . . again!

Now you’re ready to play the M&M game. Every time anyone complains, the rest of the family gently says “M and M” or “mmmm,” reminding everyone of the words “Massah and Meribah.” This is a polite way of saying that you don’t want your home to be full of quarrelling, or a place where you test God’s patience.

As a penalty for complaining, the person who whined needs to think of three things to thank God for instead. Here’s an example of how an episode might play out:

Parent: “Please pick up those toys before supper.”

Child: “I don’t want to. Get my brother to do it. He played with them too.”

Parent: “M and M.”

Child: “But I don’t want to clean up.”

Parent: “Oops! I just heard you complain again. Can you think of three things to thank God for? I can help you get started. Which toy on the floor is your favourite?”

Child: “I like this giraffe best.”

Parent: “Great. Let’s see if you can put it in the toy box before I can say, ‘Thank You, God, for the giraffe.’ Can you think of two more things you are thankful for?”

Child: “Blankie and Bunny.”

Parent: “Thank You, God, for Blankie, Bunny and Giraffe. Thank You too for ______________________________ (insert all your children’s names here). Please give us thankful hearts. Amen.”

To add a fun twist to the game, also give out a few M&M candies each time a child expresses appreciation or thanks unprompted. Don’t tell your kids why you are handing out candy, and see how long it takes them to figure it out.

When someone whines or complains, you can also use your choice of the verses below to remind your children of the importance of praising God instead. Pray with your children, thanking God for His love and goodness. Encourage your kids to ask God to forgive their ungratefulness. Thank God specifically for the good things He provides and then close by asking God to give each person in your family a grateful heart.

Relevant Scripture

Psalm 95:6-9 “Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker! For He is our God, and we are the people of His pasture, and the sheep of His hand. Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts, as at Meribah, as on the day at Massah in the wilderness, when your fathers put Me to the test and put Me to the proof, though they had seen My work.

Isaiah 63:7 “I will recount the steadfast love of the Lord, the praises of the Lord, according to all that the Lord has done for us, and the great goodness to the house of Israel that He has granted them according to His compassion, according to the abundance of His steadfast love.

Cartoon critics

If your children have the maturity to evaluate television programs, have them practice discerning with you which cartoons and other shows are okay to watch and which ones are not acceptable. Use your discussion to establish some family standards in terms of media consumption.

Here are some ideas for standards you might want to adopt:

  • We will not view shows with characters who speak disrespectfully to each other.
  • We will not view shows with characters who are deceitful or lie.
  • We will not view shows featuring children who do not honour their parents.
  • We will not view shows featuring characters who do not respect authority.
  • We will not view shows showing violence or cruelty to people or animals.
  • We will not view shows that dishonour God or take His name in vain.
  • We will remember that shows and advertisements can contain subtle messages that do not agree with what is taught in the Bible.
  • We will remember that the advertisements on TV can tempt us to be discontent or greedy, or to desire unhealthy foods.

You may also decide to routinely pray as a family before watching TV or DVDs, asking God to provide wisdom, insight, discernment and understanding.

Relevant Scripture

Psalm 19:14 “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.

Proverbs 3:31-32 “Do not envy a man of violence and do not choose any of his ways, for the devious person is an abomination to the Lord, but the upright are in His confidence.

Proverbs 6:16-19 “There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to Him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers.