"So Many Choices!"
KIDS ages 6-11. Have you ever been in a situation where you didn't know what to do? What is right or wrong? Life is filled with so many decisions every day. Let's learn about making positive choices, even when faced with temptations.
Take a moment to prepare yourself before sitting down together with your child. Pre-read the lesson, pray and reflect on the outcomes you wish to achieve. You may want to divide this lesson into two or even spread it out over several conversations. **Make sure to check out all the awesome links and resources at the bottom of the lesson!
This lesson is primarily developed for kids ages 6-11. However, every child develops at different times, so please feel free to use the lesson that best fits your child's needs!
Relevant lessons: Today’s topic on “temptations” may lead to other discussions as well! Check out these other related SOL lesson for kids:
God As My Compass- a lesson on your conscience and relying on God as your compass
Gift of a Kiss- the value of saving your kiss
My Valentine- the value of friendship (vs. dating) in childhood
We are faced with many choices every day! Sometimes it’s hard to know what the best decision is, especially when faced with a temptation. And the older we get- the more decisions we get to make! So how do we know we’re making the decision that’s best for us? Let’s find out.
A cozy spot to share together
Journal & drawing utensils
“Hearing the right things at the right moment can bring about a decision which will make an entire life a success. One right action at the right time can bring great success.”
- Rev. Sun Myung Moon
“Choices are the hinges of destiny.”
“Life is a matter of choices, and every choice you make makes you.”
—John C. Maxwell
“We know that God's heart is the center point of everything that exists. All decisions are made by the heart of God, not by His power or knowledge or wisdom. In yourselves too, your heart or mind is making decisions, not your body. Whether your decision will bring happiness or something good to your side is determined by whether or not the result is linked to your heart's desire.”
- Rev. Sun Myung Moon, To Whom Do I Belong
“Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.”
- Proverbs 3:5-6
“In order to shoot yourself high you need jet thrust. You need guts and energy. To shoot yourself high you need an Apollo 11, a million pounds of engine thrust to push yourself up. Do you have that kind of engine behind you? The person who is dozing, is his engine ignited? Dozing people do not know the right direction. If they are ignited, they could take off downward instead of upward! It is possible. All of you sitting here are Apollos. Are we all heading in the same direction? Do you want me to push the ignition switch?”
- Rev. Sun Myung Moon, Let Us Meet Opportunity Well
“And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left.”
Watch one of the two videos together: (note- you may want to watch the other video at the end of the lesson because they’re both just so good!)
(Share any thoughts on the video.) Have you ever had a moment where you didn’t know what you should do? You weren’t sure what choice to make and whether that choice was right or wrong. We are faced with so many choices every single day! And while little choices we make may not seem like a big deal, when we add up all of our little choices they become big choices. Does that make sense?
Today, we will share together about the special parent-child bond you share.
*LEARNING MOMENT- READ TOGETHER:
Whether we realize it or not, we make choices every day! Some choices are easy peasy. Others leave us confused or feeling unsure of what to do. Some choices are quiet decisions we make on our own. Other choices are in the presence of others, like our peers or parents. Whatever the situation, we of course want to make positive, good choices- right? Obviously making lots of good choices will lead to a happy, fulfilling life! Who doesn’t want that?
But how do we know what choices to make? Sometimes making decisions can be difficult or sometimes we may not know what decision to make. When we’re a baby, our parents make all of our choices for us but as we grow up, we begin to make our own choices more and more. We begin to gain more freedom like deciding what outfit to wear in the morning or whether to ride a bike or scooter on a family walk.
With this new found freedom also comes responsibility. The responsibility to make a lot of little decisions all day! That is actually pretty awesome but can also be overwhelming. Sometimes a split moment decision can even change our life! So let’s learn a bit about how to be confident in making our own decisions and learn some strategies that can help us make the choices that are best for us!
What should you do when faced with a difficult decision? When you’re not sure of what to do. Or maybe you know what you should do, your gut IS telling you what’s right, but it’s really hard or just awkward to stand up for yourself. Maybe you’re outside at recess, and someone makes fun of your friend. You’re not sure whether to laugh along because everyone else is, whether to grab your friend and just walk away, or whether to stand up for your friend and say something. Or maybe your friends are teasing you that someone in the class has a crush on you. You feel shy and awkward. (You’re honestly feeling a bit flattered that they think you’re attractive or sweet or funny) But you don’t want to pursue having a boyfriend or girlfriend. Or lastly, you’re at home and tempted to tell a little white lie to your sibling or parents because you don’t want to admit your wrongdoings; you’re afraid of disappointing someone. What would you do? What would you want to say? And what should you actually do or say in these moments?
Making the right decisions can sometimes be tricky, especially when faced with a temptation of peer pressure from friends, or even pressure you put on yourself. You may think- well everyone else is doing it, it might not be that bad. But deep inside your heart you know it doesn’t feel right. So let’s find some ways to tell right from wrong. Here are some questions you can ask yourself when faced with a big (or even small) tough choice:
How does the decision make you feel? (happy & fulfilled or disappointed and guilty?)
Will this choice impact someone else? (Does it help someone out or hurt someone?)
Will this choice impact you? And your future? (Does it help you reach your future goals and dreams or hinder you?
What would mom or dad say? (That’s a great choice- I’m so proud of you! Or That was not a good choice; I’m feeling sad for you right now.)
When I pray to God about it- how would He respond? (My dear child, that’s such a hard choice! I’m so happy that you made the right choice and you will be blessed! Or I was praying for you and cheering you on- I’m disappointed you made that decision. I still love you but I hope you can make a better choice next time.)
Sometimes it feels easier to go with the flow, to go with whatever everyone else is doing, what society tells you is “cool”. Sometimes it feels easier to just talk to your friends about your questions, thoughts, secrets, problems. You feel that they live in your world and understand you best. It’s true they are your age but they are actually just like you! Just a kid still figuring out life- figuring out what’s right and wrong. Figuring out what’s important. They actually may not always know what’s best for you, even if they have good intentions. You should build awesome friendships and be there for each other but you shouldn’t rely solely on just your peers. It’s like if you had a toothache or a broken arm, would you go to your friends for advice? You’d probably go to a dentist or a doctor, who has more experience and training, right? Similarly, as you navigate being a kid, it’s important to ask questions and talk to your parents who were kids once too and have learned a lot through all of their life experiences!
Confide in your parents. (or another trusted adult in your life) When a hard decision comes up- ask yourself What would mom or dad do? If you have a phone, send them a text message or give them a call if it’s urgent and you’re not at home. Your parents always have time in their day for you! Better yet- share your heart with your parents when you get home from school. Let them know about how hard life is as a kid these days! Ask your parents about some of the challenges and temptations they went through as a kid or pre-teen. Ask them what they would do in your situation. Ask your parents to pray with you. In the end, our best council in times of need- will be our parents and ultimately God, our Heavenly Parent. God is eternal and will always have your back. So make your decisions centered on Him.
You are worth it. You are valued. You are beautiful, smart, capable, brave! God and your parents see you in this light. They see your growing heart, your curious developing brain, your sprouting appearance as you mature- they see you as you're meant to be seen- a beautiful son or daughter of God! You may not be as tall as Jadon or have curly hair like Emma; you may not be as crafty as Marley or as strong as Michael, but there is no one in this world like YOU! When you can see yourself in the same light that God and your parents see you- it will give you the confidence you need to make the right decisions and stand up for yourself and others! That’s ultimately what will help you discern right from wrong. Seeing your amazing self, believing in yourself and making decisions that can only make you more and more awesome! ;)
So be your awesome self, make those decisions and share your light with this world!
We encourage you to watch some of the videos, read some of the articles listed below and engage in further discussion. Discuss any or all of the questions in any order. Parents, listen to your child first, then share your experiences and wisdom.
What are some decisions that are hard for you to make? Little ones, bigger ones.
What is a temptation you’ve faced?
Think of a time you made a wrong decision. What happened? How did it make you feel? What could you have done differently? Why do you regret it?
Think of a time you could’ve easily given in to a bad choice but you made a good choice! What led you to making the positive choice? How did it make you feel? How can you do this again next time you’re in a similar situation?
Who do your decisions affect?
What are some decisions as you get older you may be faced with? How can you prepare yourself to make the decisions that are best for you and your future?
How can you help out others when they face a difficult decision? How can you teach a younger sibling about making good choices? How can you be an example to them?
What’s an easy way for you to share openly and honestly with your parents? What helps make awkward conversations more comfortable for you?
How do you feel now? What can I pray about for you?
Create some Catch Phrases & Exit Strategies when you're faced with a temptation! Example: You’re at your neighbor's house and your friend's big brother puts on a tv show or music video that you don’t feel comfortable with. Everyone else is sitting around the couch watching but in the pit of your stomach you don't feel you should. What should you do? Here are a few ideas and options to try. What are yours?
Distract Yourself & give yourself space to think
Excuse yourself to use the bathroom to give yourself time to think.
Text mom or dad to give you a call.
Remove Yourself from the Situation
Go to another room and draw or play a game.
Oh I forgot I have a chore to get done at home, I'll see you later.
Confront it and Speak Up
Mom and dad wouldn’t let me watch this, can we change the channel? (or can I watch something else on another device?)
This makes me uncomfortable, can we change the channel? (Say it out loud to the whole group, your friend or go to the grown up in the house.)
We make choices every day! And the choices we make lead us to the life we’re creating. Sometimes it’s hard to know which decision to make; sometimes we can see the answer spelled out very clearly but we’re scared to take a step towards it. Remember that your parents and God believe in you and are here for you. Believe it or not, your parents have been in your shoes once upon a time- and may have a nugget or two of wisdom to share with you. ;) The older you get- the more choices you get to make! It’s really exciting that you get to choose the life you’re creating. While it can be overwhelming at times, the more you do it, the more good decisions you make in your life- the more you believe in yourself- the easier it will become. You can do it. You are brave. Just be open, real and honest with yourself and always consider how this decision might impact you, your friends or family. And if you do make a wrong decision; if you do make a mistake. Let your parents know- say sorry. Get back up and try again. You’ll get it right next time. You’ve got this!
Dear God, please help me to make decisions in my life that are best for me! Help me to not be too nervous, inconfident or insecure. Help me to believe in me the way you do. Please give me strength and courage to make lots of awesome small decisions each day so that they can turn into beautiful life moments I’ve created. Thank you for entrusting me with the gift of making decisions.
Use these activities together with your child today and over the next month to create ongoing conversations. Click on the links:
Overcoming Temptation- SOL Animation
Making Tough Choices with Kid President
The Choice- Short Animated Movie
Vision Board- create a vision board of the type of person you want to become & life you want to live! Then discuss the types of positive choices that will help you get there and achieve your dream!
Positive Choices Roadmap- create a roadmap for your life using pictures or words and arrows! For example, working hard in school and doing all your homework → good grades → good college + scholarships → good job → fulfilled self → using your gifts → providing for your future spouse & family.
Role play scenarios of making good and bad decisions
Question or sharing journal- A space where kids can write what they are feeling or questions they have if they are to embarrassed or scared and parents can write back. This is also great if a parent is absent a lot for whatever the reason
Make a Pro and con list for a major decision that your child is trying to make
Parents sharing how they make decisions, what strategies do they employ like: prayer, pro & cons list, self reflection, exercise, getting input from others etc.
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”
“For the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth comes knowledge and understanding.”
“We are the creative force of our life, and through our own decisions rather than our conditions, if we carefully learn to do certain things, we can accomplish those goals.”
"The hardest decision a parent will ever have to make is letting a child make a decision on their own."
- Michelle A. Homme
“...the fact is that kids learn to make good decisions, by making decisions, not by following directions.”
SOL “Parent-Child” Parent Blog- coming soon