The preteen years are turbulent for many children due to new emotions, physical changes and expectations set forth by society. Sunday school can help children ages 10 through 13 grow into productive adults knowledgeable about their religion. There is no shortage of different lesson plans you can derive from your religious texts.
Love Your Neighbor
As preteens and young teens start making lasting bonds with peers, they can sometimes forget the importance of acceptance and love to their fellow man. There are numerous references to loving fellow men in the Bible. First John 3:15-16, for example, says, “Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us and we ought to lay down our lives for our bothers.” Talk to your pupils about being kind and accepting of others around them. Tell them how important it is to Jesus and God that everyone feels camaraderie for his fellow man.
As a child reaches the preteen stages of her life, her attention span and memory improves. This is the ideal time to start teaching her about the significant characters in church lore. It’s a given that she should already know about Jesus and God, but you should teach her about other important characters, such as Luke and Paul. Teach her about all the founders of her religion so she has a firm grasp of how Christianity rose to be a worldwide religion. Let her know about the struggles of the Christian founders and how they worked to spread the word to their fellow man.
Handling Inappropriate Messages
Society sets some inappropriate expectations for young people. These expectations can hit your child at any time, but he is especially vulnerable in the preteen years due to the onset of puberty and the confusing emotions that come with it. These standards can leave a child feeling pressure to conform, which may lead him down the wrong path. Talk with the children about abstinence and modesty. Share scriptures such as First Timothy 2:9-10 (“Likewise, I want women to adorn themselves with proper clothing, modestly and discreetly … as is proper for women making a claim to godliness”) to explain why modesty and abstinence are important for religious followers and why it is important to God. Abstinence is a discussion for children closer to 13 than 10.
Daily Religious Activity
Teaching children to use their religion in their daily lives early can help ensure the habit sticks with them. Take instances from a child’s daily life and explain how religion can help him overcome obstacles. For example, if he gets in a fight with his friends, cite Bible verses that may calm his nerves and help him resolve the conflict. For example, Matthew 5:9 says, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” Instruct him to remember these verses in tough situations and forgive his friends.
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