Thursday, June 28, 2018

Bullying . . . Our Words & Attitudes Matter

Children typically do not have trouble seeing physically harming others
and saying unkind things as unacceptable acts of bullying, but they
may not consider having an unkind attitude as an equally
unacceptable type of bullying. We need to help them understand it is
NEVER acceptable for them to be unkind to others. Consider the
following from Ephesians 4 -
"I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all  humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love”
God wants us to treat others with humility and gentleness, with
patience and love. We need to help our kids learn to choose the words
they use and the attitudes they show with others by this standard.
Take a few weeks and jot down some of the things you hear children
saying about others and attitudes you’ve noticed – both positive and
negative, then – without naming names – read what you’ve
heard/observed and ask children if these things show humility,
gentleness, patience and love. Ask the children how they would feel if
others used these words/attitudes with them and spend time in prayer
asking God to help us all be people who choose to say “NO!” to
bullying and who say “YES!” to treating others with kindness. Get
them to think about how they use their words/attitudes in the
following situations –
  • When their team has children on it who are not physically strong
players and they end up losing . . . what do they say to or about the
kids who were not able to help them win?
  • When a new child comes to class . . . do they warmly invite the
newcomer to join them, or do they point, stare and whisper instead?
  • When a child looks and/or dresses differently than they do . . . dothey share Jesus’ love or ignore them?

Urge your kids to make the choice to “walk in a manner worthy of the
calling to which they have been called, with all humility and 
gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love.”
And again, be sure to let children know they can talk to you if they
are being bullied.

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