When talking about the downfall of pride, make it clear to your child that you mean conceited and arrogant pride that causes a person to think he is the most important person around. A prideful person frequently refuses advice, instruction and correction, even starting arguments rather than admit he is wrong. Activities to teach kids the downfall of pride should focus on developing the ability to honestly and soberly assess their own strengths and weaknesses.
1. Consequences of Pride
"Pride is a source of destruction. It destroys everything – friendships, relationships, even yourself. Pride ends up all alone. Pride leaves you disgraced, destroyed and humbled," according to the website Ministry to Children. A proud person's negative, aggressive behavior tends to make him unpleasant to be around and push others away. Illustrate this by trying to push the similarly charged ends of two magnets together and watching them repel one another. Have your child role-play scenarios such as a player thanking a coach for teaching him a more effective batting strategy or telling his whole class repeatedly what a wonderful artist or musician he is without waiting for a compliment from someone else. Discuss whether the child is displaying pride or humility and what could happen because of the interaction.
2. Obstacle Course
A prideful person might not have anyone to turn to for help when troubles come, both because she has alienated everyone with her arrogance and because her pride keeps her from asking for help from those that might still be willing to help. To demonstrate the difficulties of going it alone, set up a maze or obstacle course and blindfold your child. Let her try to navigate the course on her own, keeping an eye out for her safety but letting her bump into soft obstacles and get turned around. After a few minutes, ask her whether she would like some help. Give her directions or guide her by hand through the maze. Discuss how much easier it was to surmount the difficulty when she admitted she needed help and couldn't do it on her own.
3. Recognizing Strengths and Weaknesses
Explain to your child that it is OK to recognize her own strengths and ask for help with her weaknesses. Make it a family habit to notice when someone does something well and take the time to tell him that you noticed or that you admire his skill. At dinner, have each person practice complimenting someone else at the table. Stress that everyone has strengths and weaknesses and establish a relationship where your child can feel safe asking for help. Have every family member tell something they do well and something they need more practice to improve.
4. Moral of the Story
Many stories and fables illustrate the dangers of letting pride run away. Your child might enjoy re-enacting some of these stories through creative dramatic play or with puppets. Aesop's fables provide stories such as "The Fighting Cocks and the Eagle," "The Lamp" and "The Gnat and the Bull.” The Bible also has several examples, including the story of King Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel 4, the tax collector and the Pharisee in Luke 18:10-14, the fall of Lucifer described in Ezekiel 28, and Isaiah 14 and the story of Naaman's leprosy and Elisha in 2 Kings 5.