WHAT YOU NEED: Pillows, toys, anything you can use to divide your space into two sides.
WHAT YOU DO: After dividing the space, gather on one side.
• Make a line down the center of your small group area with the tape. Gather all the kids on one side of it.
• Designate the left side “Parents” and the right side “Kids.”• You’ll say a series of jobs/activities, the group will decide together whose responsibility that is, and then everyone will jump to the corresponding side of the dividing line.
• Throw in a few that both parents and kids would be responsible for. The first time you do that, kids might be a bit confused, but once they realize they can stand on the line, they’ll understand the next ones pretty easily.
• For a shopping trip: driving the car to the store; navigating the car through a crowded parking lot; choosing the right size clothes; paying attention to the season; setting the amount of money that can be spent; riding in a booster seat or the back seat of the car; staying with your parents as you walk through the parking lot; trying on clothes. Some fun ones to straddle the line: wearing clothes; walking calmly through the store; not yelling or throwing a tantrum; etc.
• For mealtime: choosing, shopping for, and preparing the meal; remembering to make it at the right time; storing leftovers; coming to the table when called; setting the table; helping with cooking; eating what’s set in front of you; doing the dishes or cleanup. For both: listening to each other around the table; having respectful table manners; etc.
• For general: filling out school forms; making doctor’s appointments; going to work at a job; paying rent or a mortgage; going to school and studying hard; being cooperative at the doctor’s office; picking up their own toys and sports equipment.
WHAT YOU SAY: “There are a lot of things you do as kids to make sure your lives at home go smoothly, but for every job you do, your parents do a ton of work behind the scenes. The family pet that you would rather not look after this week because you just got a new book you’re dying to read? Someone had to plan on what kind of pet to get, buy food for it, go to the store, pay for bedding and accessories, and make sure it was healthy by researching a veterinarian and making appointments. They also have to step in to feed, water, and clean up after it when you don’t follow through. Your parents (and grandparents, aunts, uncles, stepparents—whoever kids in your group live with) work hard because they see the big picture. They keep track of all the little details it takes to keep you and the rest of your family going. That’s one of the reasons that God can promise that obeying your parents will improve your life. I know sometimes it’s hard to believe.
[Make It Personal] (Share an age-appropriate time when you had a difficult time showing respect to your parents and how that situation turned out. If you showed respect to them and obeyed them even if it was hard, what good thing happened? Has anything bad ever come from you disobeying or disrespecting your parents?) That’s when I learned that I should respect my parents because they really do have a lot of wisdom. And as much as they know and plan and make decisions, God is even bigger and even more deserving of respect. That’s why [Bottom Line] you respect God when you respect your parents. You’re saying that you trust His wisdom and understand His importance in your life.”