How do you teach your children to speak kind words? This family night lesson will help demonstrate the amazing power of compliments and positivity. Use the free printable Kindness Activity Sheet to help make this lesson easy and fun.
This Let Us Oft Speak Kind Words Family Night Lesson was inspired by an experience I had as an Activity Day’s Leader. Find out what I learned and how it can change your daily life…
My current calling in the Church is an Activity Day’s leader. It is one of the best jobs around. The girls I have in my group are 10 and 11 years old. They teach me amazing things about friendship, kindness, acceptance, and faith. A few weeks ago, our little group had a lesson about gossip and speaking kind words about people. Words can be a serious weapon…especially at that age!
We did an activity to drive home the point that words can be used for good. It changed my life. I would never had suspected how my testimony would grow from a simple “children’s exercise.” I felt inspired to share it with our blog readers (YOU!) and hope that it will be as impactful in your homes as it was for me at our activity.
Lesson: Wisdom From Solomon. Three Reasons Why We Speak Kind Words.
Bring the spirit into your home by singing the hymn Let Us Oft Speak Kind Words as a family. Explain that the word, “oft” is short for “often.” We should speak kind words often. Have you family name some synonyms for the word often like: frequent, many, numerous, repeatedly, a lot, usually, and commonly.
Why is it important to speak kind words often? Find the answer in the Bible. Read two verses from Proverbs Chapter 15 and one verse from Proverbs Chapter 12.
15:1 “A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.”
15:23 “A man hath joy by the answer of his mouth: and a wordspoken in due season, how good is it!”
12:25 “Heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop: but a good word maketh it glad.”
What do these verses mean? Solomon was a Biblical king most well known for his wisdom. He was one smart guy! In these scriptures, he taught three important truths about words.
First Lesson from Proverbs 15:1: Kind words can diffuse an argument and bring peace. Think of a time when someone has said something to you in anger. Does it ever help to yell and fight back with more unkindness? That typically makes the argument escalate. Instead of answering with anger, try using kindness. Soft words and love can deflate irritation.
Second Lesson from Proverbs 15:23: Speaking kind words at the right time is good. There are certain times when a positive comment or a phrase of praise is required to help someone in need. Look for opportunities to encourage and build up your friends and family when they need it most. For example, give your friend a high five and say, “You will do great!” just before they run on the field to play a soccer game. Or, send a good luck note in your sister’s lunch box when you know she has a test that day at school. Be aware of times when you can speak kindness.
Third Lesson from Proverbs 12:25: Good positive words can make someone feel better when they are sad. We have been commanded to mourn with those that mourn and comfort those in need of comfort. Much comfort can be shared with words. You can turn a frown upside down with kindness and understanding. Help a friend who is sad by telling them how much you care. Offer hope and comfort by sharing your testimony. Say, “I’m sorry!” when you have hurt your sibling’s feelings. Tell them you love them. Uplifting conversation can bring joy and gladness.
Now we know why we are asked to speak kind words often! There are so many opportunities to do good things with our language.
Use kind words to gladden a heart, give courage and hope, show love, bring cheer, build friendships, grow testimonies, and strengthen family bonds.
As with all things, there is opposition. If speaking with kindness builds, then gossiping, name calling, harsh criticism, and anger destroys. What will you choose?
Activity: How Kind Words Build Relationships and Improve Self-Worth.
This activity is one of my favorite! First, download the free printable activity sheet here. You will need one sheet per person.
Sit around a table. Each person will need something to write with. A pen or marker works great. Hand out one paper to each person in your family and have them write their names on the top.
The purpose of the kindness activity is to collect positive comments about each person in the family on their activity paper.
To start, each person should give their paper to the family member sitting to his or her left. Everyone should have a paper that does not have their own name at the top. Then, write a nice comment about that person. It can be something that you admire or love about that person or your favorite personality trait they possess.
When everyone has finished, pass the papers to the left one time. Everyone should have a new paper in front of them at the table. Look at the name on the paper and write a kind word about this family member!
Continue to pass the papers around the circle until each person has had a chance to comment on them all. It will end when you get your own paper back.
Take turns reading the papers with their compliments out loud. Be sure to watch the face of the individual being spotlighted. It will glow with happiness!
Encourage your family to keep their papers and refer to them often. These heart felt kind messages can be used to brighten a gloomy day.
When I did this kindness paper activity with my group of Activity Day girls, I let my five year old son, Ollie, join in on the fun. I didn’t really expect him to understand the concept, but he really wanted to use the markers that we had out on the table.
I helped Ollie write things about the girls in the group. When we got his paper back at the end of the activity, I read it out loud just like the girls did with theirs. His reaction to the compliments on his special page made me cry. As I read things like, “He is funny and makes me laugh.” and “He is so handsome.” and “He is cute and is good at soccer…” Ollie literally grew an inch. His eyes lit up. He was beaming with pride and happiness. With each kind statement his smile got bigger and bigger. He was bursting. The girls in the group reacted to him as well. Their eyes were shining because they understand that their words made him happy.
I thought he wouldn’t even understand what the activity was all about. I was so wrong. He understood. He taught his Mama that everyone, big or small, can benefit from kindness. Ollie asked to hang the paper up in his room. He treasures it and I hope that your family members will treasure theirs as well.
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