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One isn't necessarily born with courage, but one is born with potential. Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can't be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest. — Maya Angelou
DURING TODAY'S SESSION ...
We focused on the virtue of courage, and how it is connected to love, caring and conscience. We heard a folk tale from South Africa about a young woman who found the courage to stand up to a hungry lion to save her cousin. We shared our own stories of courage and participated in an assertiveness training exercise. The children drew pictures of themselves acting with courage in a situation where they felt concerned or compassionate and felt the need to act, although that felt scary or risky.
As part of our Faith in Action project, Courage Stickers, children will be looking this week for opportunities to be courageous in performing an act of goodness or justice. They will also be looking for opportunities to reward others with a heart sticker who show the courage of their convictions. Next time we meet, the children will share about how they used their "courage stickers."
EXPLORE THE TOPIC TOGETHER: TALK ABOUT...
You can explore this topic together by reading stories of other people young and old who have acted with courage to do what they felt was right. You can also talk about your favorite examples of "heroes" and "heroines" who have acted with courage in the face of danger.
EXTEND THE TOPIC TOGETHER: TRY...
Extend the children's experience in this session where they pictured themselves acting with courage in a situation that concerned them. Make a list of situations in which each family member would like to act more courageously. Report to one another on how you are doing, and give one another credit for small steps.
A FAMILY RITUAL
Once a week at meal time share stories of things you have each done during the week that were new for you and that took courage. This helps to put value on (appropriate) risk-taking, and to encourage awareness of it in our everyday lives. These acts of courage and risk taking can be small things such as learning something new that you thought you couldn't do, asking for help, reaching out to a new friend, sharing something that you really wanted for yourself.
A FAMILY GAME
Play a cooperative game together called, "Monster Freeze Tag." In this game there is one monster, and everyone else is a "runner". Everyone wears a bean bag on their head and moves about a large open space. There is a designated "safe space" for the runners and a "home base" for the monster on opposite ends of the open space. If the monster grabs your bean bag or if it falls off, you are frozen. The risk taking comes in when teammates risk losing their own bean bags and being tagged as they run to the frozen people and put their bean bags back on their heads to unfreeze them. The monster can also lose its bean bag but just has to stop and put it back on. People can also try to steal the monster's golden egg (any object you designate, set near its home space.) Adding this element makes it easier for people to move about and free frozen teammates when the monster is guarding its egg. The more people the merrier. Also — when the monster is in its "home" the people must be out of their safe space. Adapt as necessary for the size of the group.
Try something new as a family that feels like a challenge at least to the children. This could be anything from trying a new sport, to volunteering in a soup kitchen. Talk together about how to prepare in a way that addresses fears and encourages courage.