Give each family member five post-it notes and ask them to stick them on valuable things.
How did you decide what was valuable?
Do you think God rates people and values one more than another?
Students learned three principles about God and His thoughts about people.
- God loves all people (John 3:16).
- God never favors one person over another (Deuteronomy 10:17).
- God values all people (Psalm 139:14).
Write “valuable” on a sticky note and place it on each person in the family. Ask family members to imagine the word, valuable, written on the forehead of each person they meet (and then treat them accordingly).
What are some ways to respect others?
Role-play ways to respect others. Write some of the following different people and situations on slips of paper.
People: different race, person with a physical limitation, person with a mental limitation, elderly person, principal, person who is rude, person you disagree with, etc.
Situations: at the park, in the grocery store, walking on the sidewalk, sitting in the lunchroom, at a ball game, at church, at a friend’s house, etc.
Invite each family member to draw a person and a situation and then act out what they might do if they meet that person. (Brainstorm ideas as needed: Look at others when they speak. Use kind words. Say, “I’m glad to meet you.” Say, “Would you like to play?” Say please and thank you. Treat others like they want to be treated. Smile.)
God loves everyone and we can respect every person.
As parents, we don’t always know what to say when our children loudly ask about a person’s disability or difference. Courtney Westlake, mom to Brenna who has a rare and severe skin disorder, shares some thoughts on what she wishes people would do when they see her daughter’s red face.
- I wish you would close that small gap by relating to us as you would to any other family on the playground, instead of making the gap bigger by treating us as unapproachable.
- When your child points and tells you to look, I wish you would respond clearly, “Yes, look at that pretty little girl. It looks like she’s having so much fun playing, just like you are!”
- When your child asks you “why is that baby so red?” or “why does she look like that?” I wish you would answer honestly: “I’m not sure, but the way someone looks isn’t important. We all look different from each other, don’t we?”
- I wish you would encourage your child to say hi and to ask my kids’ names.
- I wish you would apologize without feeling ashamed if your child is offensive right in front of us: “I’m so sorry; we’re still learning how to ask questions respectfully.”