The golden rule is the foundation for getting along with others. Even the littlest kids can understand the premise of this Biblical principle: ''Don’t pull her hair, because I don’t want her yanking mine." Make this lesson come alive for little ones with activities to teach and reinforce the golden rule.
1. Read About It
When you’re talking scripture with little ones, it’s helpful to go right to the source – the Bible. Open the Bible to Matthew 7:12 and Luke 6:31 to read the parallel scriptures where Jesus said to treat others according to how you want them to treat you. Read each scripture to your youngster – the scriptures are short, so even the smallest kids with miniscule attention spans should hang in there to listen. After you read the scriptures, go back and rephrase so your child understands the concept.
2. Talk About It
Delve into the subject to help your youngster get the gist of the golden rule. The crux of the principle is to put yourself in another person’s place so you will treat them with love and kindness. Ask your little one, “How do you feel when someone is kind to you?” Wait for a response – you’ll probably hear “happy” or “good.” Follow up with another question, “How do you feel when someone is mean to you?” This time, you’ll probably hear “sad” or “mad.” Explain that following the golden rule means treating other people how you would want to be treated because other people are just as important. You might say that following the golden rule often means thinking carefully before acting to make sure you’re treating someone how you would want to be treated.
3. Make it Real
Brainstorm some real-life situations with your youngster when the golden rule would come into play. Time at daycare, at preschool, at the park or just hanging out with siblings are all situations when the average youngster could apply the principles of the golden rule. Do some role playing so your child can see how to put the golden rule into practice. For example, while playing at the park, your child might see another child sitting alone without any playmates. Talk about how your child would feel in this situation – probably sad and lonely. Suggest that your child could approach the lonely child to invite her to play because this is showing love and care to another person – exactly the actions that everyone wants to receive.
4. Golden Rule Collage
Flip through some old magazines, looking for photos of happy, smiling people. If your little one has cutting skills, encourage her to cut out as many pictures as she can find of happy people. If your little one hasn’t yet mastered scissors, cut out the pictures for her. Once you have a hefty pile of smiling pictures, glue them onto a sheet of poster board to create a collage of people showing love and happiness. Hang the golden rule collage in a prominent spot where you can talk about it frequently to encourage this mindset.
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