I remember several times as a child where other kids were unkind to me. The memories still burn in my mind and the sting still remains. I can replay those actions out like an old real of black and white film.
No one likes it when others bully them or are unkind. But that is the reality of this world; we will have difficulty and have to deal with difficult people.
It seems to go against everything in our being to respond with kindness when we’ve been bruised with hurt. When someone wounds us, it seems natural to want to retaliate and lash out. To defend and put a guard up is the easy way out. No one had to teach us this; it’s just part of our sin nature.
So how do we teach our kids to love even when it’s difficult? How do we give them practical tools they can easily apply?
Teaching Kids To Love Others Even When It’s Difficult
1. Teach them how Christ acted and encourage them to imitate Him
Sermon on the Mount (Luke 6:27-31)
– Love your enemies
– Do good to those who hate you
– Pray for those who try to take advantage of you
Christ loved others even up until He died (Luke 23:34-39)
2. Remind them how we need to have an attitude of humility
The first will be last, and the last first (Matthew 19:30)
Do nothing for your own glory and think of others first (Philippians 2:3-4)
3. It is important to ask God for help and wisdom
We can do all things with Christ’s help (Philippians 4:13)
Ask God for wisdom to endure the trial at hand (James 1:5-8)
4. Talk about how we should seek peaceful relationships
If it’s at all possible, live at peace with others (Romans 12:18)
5. We are responsible for our own actions and response
As Christians, we are the Lords. We will give an answer to Him for our actions (Romans 14:7-13)
A soft answer turns away wrath. (Proverbs 15:1)
Practice kindness daily (within the home and outside the home).
Work on positive body language. Greet the difficult person with a smile and a friendly hello.
6. Ask Questions And Talk Through Some Ways To Respond Appropriately
Ask your child:
Maybe this person is having difficulty at home and they are taking out their anger on you?
How can we pray for him/her?
Listen to their concerns and role-play ways they can confront the person with respect.
7. Say I Love You at home often
When your children are well-loved, and know the one who is love (God), they will be more likely to show loves to others and express it. An “I Love You” Prayer is a great little book of rhymes showing kids way to say I love you and thank God for His amazing love. You can preview the book here, and purchase it over here.
How do you help your children deal with difficult people? We’d love to hear about your strategies and experiences!