Major Concept: You are responsible.
This Week's Concept: You are responsible for your choices.
Background: Last week we began a discussion about giving children the opportunity to make choices. We must remember that "good" choices don't just happen. It takes time and effort to guide children toward making good choices. And it requires lots of practice on their part. Guide them toward making good decisions and then allow them plenty of opportunities to practice using this new "skill." Consequences are inevitable when making choices. Natural consequences provide great opportunities for learning. For example, if your child refuses to wear a jacket - let him/her experience the chill of a fall morning. Sometimes related consequences must be applied. For example, if you ask your child to put away his/her toys and your request is denied, you might pick them up and put them away until he/she is capable of putting them away. Consistency is the key here. With your encouragement and guidance, good decision making on your child's part will develop. Hang in there!
Activity: Continue to allow your child to make decisions. Agree to some areas where he/she can have "control" to make those decisions. Include opportunities to discuss what a good/safe choice is and what a bad/unsafe choice might be. Then allow your child to make the choice. If he/she makes an unsafe choice, talk with him/her about what other choice could have been made and why.
Proverbs 4:5 - "Learn to be wise and make good choices."
Lunch Notes: Revisit choices your child has made recently. Lunch notes can encourage him/her in the decision making process.
For example, "Thank you for using kind words with your sister. That is a good choice and pleasing to God."
It is also appropriate to recognize an unsafe choice and teach through it as well. "You hit your sister when you were angry. We use words when we are angry in our family."
Prayer: Help your chld learn to ask God for wisdom to make good choices that are pleasing to him. Help them learn to ask God's forgiveness when they don't make good choices (and provide reassurance that God's love never gives up or lets go no matter what we say/do.