Church Based After School: Helping Kids With Self-Control

Life Skills Prep

  • Do this lesson in mentor groups
  • Practice Stop. Think. Act with Control hand motions
  • Stop (Hand held away from body to stop someone/something)
  • Think (Point your index finger to head)
  • Act with Control (Hug your own body)

 The Activity

  • Self-Control isn’t always a very easy thing to do. In fact, it is quite hard most of the time. But God tells us that when we seek Him and ask Him for help, He will give it. When self-control is used God blesses us and those around us. Self-control keeps us from doing what we know we should not do. Today we are going to learn how using self-control can be a blessing to both ourselves and those around us.
  • Have you ever heard of the word conflict? What does it mean?
    Give the kids an opportunity to share what they think it means and then share what it means to you. According to Webster’s Dictionary, conflict means to fight; battle; contend; a fight or struggle; sharp disagreement or opposition, as of interests, ideas
  • What are some things which cause conflict for you?
    Some ideas they might share are: Argument with mom, sibling, friend, stranger; something s/he owns is stolen; his/her team loses a game s/he is playing
  • Show picture with faces of various emotions on page ( ). If you can, cover the description of each of the emotions shown on the page and ask the kids if they can figure out what emotion each face is showing.
  • How can we know how someone feels?
    Give the kids a chance to respond. Let them know after everyone has had a chance to share that we can know what someone is feeling based on three things: their facial expressions, body language and tone of voice.
  • Are you aware of what you feel at all times? What are some signals that can tell you how you are feeling?
    Challenge kids to think about what they do with their face, their body (including folding of arms, leaning against a wall, etc), their tone of voice when they are upset. Does their body shake when they are upset? Does their body and/or head get really hot? Do they stop talking or do they yell and shout?
  • Have you ever considered how another person is feeling? Why might s/he be saying or doing what s/he is saying or doing?
  • What might be some of the reasons another person is behaving in such a way it causes conflict with you or someone else?
    Something bad just happened to someone they love (mom, dad, sibling, friend); Just got yelled at by an adult; something as simple as having just spilled mustard on a new sweater s/he is wearing and is afraid s/he will get in trouble; afraid of something, etc.
  • Today we are going to practice something we can do when we feel angry.
  • We are now going to break up into groups and act out some skits of some possible situations that may involve conflict.
  • How a person handles a conflict will go a long way in being either a blessing to others or a bad situation becoming a whole lot worse
  • Break the kids into groups of 2-3
  • Hand out What do I do? What do I say? slips (one per group).
  • Instruct kids to think about the conflict in their hands and how s/he would respond. What are some of the emotions you might feel? How might your body feel? What are some things you do when you are angry? How do you act just before you explode?
  • Give groups 2 to 3 minutes to figure out who will do and say what. Challenge them to think about how they would really feel in such a situation and how they might really act. How might they treat a person that makes them really upset?
  • When everyone is ready have each group act out their skit one group at a time
  •  After each skit ask, what did you see in that skit? What were some of the indicators that showed you                                     was angry? How did you know s/he was upset?
  • When something bad has just happened our emotions change, making us feel upset, even angry. Our body shakes and feels warm, maybe even hot.
  • It is at this moment it is important to Stop. Think. And then act with Control.
  • To help us do this we want to practice something that will hopefully help us remember to not act until we have stopped and thought about what we will do first. Some of you may need to actually do this every time you are upset to remind you to think and act with control. Some of you may only need to do these actions in your mind to remind you to think and act with control. But for now we will all practice this important reminder on the important need to Stop. Think. And Act with Control.
  • Show the kids the hand motions you should have already practiced. They are very easy, but as you may already well know kids not only love to do hand motions, it really helps them to remember.
  • STOP (Hand held away from body to stop someone/something)
  • THINK (Point your index finger to head)
  • ACT WITH CONTROL (Hug your own body)
  • Now have kids go back to their groups of 2-3 and have them discuss and redo their skits with how they would handle the same situation if they stopped, thought about their actions/feelings, and how the other person felt, Then use self-control before acting. How might their response be different?
  • What didn’t work the first time you reacted to what happened in your skit? What should you do differently the next time?
  • How would your body feel in such a situation to help you know ahead of time how you are beginning to feel? What are some signals that let you know how you feel?
  • Can you think about why you got angry? Knowing what triggered your anger can help you have self-control.
  • What are some things you can do to help you?                     
    Stop. Think. Act with control. Pray: ask God for help. Think about the consequences (both good and bad) for your actions before you act.
  • How does stopping and thinking about what you should do before you act help? Have some suggestions for each group.
  • Challenge kids to think about what caused them to act the way they did and how they can change that behavior from happening again.
  • Challenge kids to be prepared and to try to predict what someone else might do based on body language and tone of voice; then act with control, not allowing another person to control his/her actions by what s/he says or does.

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