Paul gave Timothy some guidelines for leaders. The first leaders that kids must learn to respect are their parents. (A child who is allowed to be disrespectful to his parents will not have true respect for anyone. Billy Graham)
Ask: If you were the parent, what would YOU want your kids to say/do when you tell them what to do?
If you have older kids, swap places. Kids become parents and parents play the role of kids. (Maybe role play getting everyone off to school or getting everyone to bed)
Talk about it: What is hard about a parent’s job and a kid’s job?
Read Exodus 20:12.
What is God’s command? (honor your parents)
What is the reward? (long life)
Together, make a list of acceptable and unacceptable words and actions. (For example: A kid might be allowed to say, “I’m very angry with you” but not, “I hate you.”)
Write these on a piece of paper and post on the fridge. When kids get lax, re-read the list to remind them that their attitude is important.
You said WHAT?
Can you say something without any words?
Pantomime (no words) the different attitudes we might have toward those in authority! Write the words, respectful and disrespectful on an index card or piece of paper. (Place these face down so kids can’t see the word.) Share a situation and ask for two volunteers who will choose a card and then act out a possible response, per the card they chose.
Some situations to get you thinking: (I’m sure you can think of some that apply to your house!)
- Parent says, “Turn off the TV!”
- Teacher says, “You’re having extra homework.”
- Coach says, “You’re on the bench!”
- Pastor says, “God wants us to forgive others.”
- Mom says, “No snack before dinner.”
- Dad says, “Pick up the trash in the yard.”
- Teacher says, “Today we’re going to play a get-to-know-you game.”
- School bus driver says, “Get quiet!”
Read Hebrews 13:7 and ask: What attitude should we have when the person in authority tells us to do something?
We can “say” a lot about respect/disrespect without saying a word! We can still be respectful even when we disagree.
Show appreciation to the leaders God has placed over us. Choose one of the leaders (teacher, coach, pastor, Sunday school teacher, etc.) and ask kids to make a thank you card. Brainstorm with them specific qualities they like. (I like how you are patient when I ask questions. I think you tell good stories. Thank you for helping me know God better.) Add a small gift or $5 gift card.
God wants us to respect our leaders.