Upper Elementary

What’s Up with You?

Lesson 3 


Summer 2020


By: Paula Yingst 


June 21, 2020

Lesson Focus:

Even when it seems parents don’t understand us, we must obey.

Bible Basis:

Exodus 20:12; Luke 2:41-52

Materials Needed:

Step 1:

  • Internet access

Summary & Links:

Students will talk about things that cause mothers and fathers to worry in preparation for the Bible lesson about God’s directive to honor and obey parents.

Memory Verse:

Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.
—Proverbs 1:8

Step 1:

Students will talk about things that cause mothers and fathers to worry in preparation for the Bible lesson about God’s directive to honor and obey parents.

Materials Needed:

  • Internet access

Ask your preteens if everyone had a safe week. Share something from your experience that caused you to feel worried during the week. For example, perhaps news reports about rioting concerned you or a family member lost a job or came down with COVID-19.

  • Have you ever noticed that sometimes your parents worry about you? What are some things that parents worry about? (Call on students who seem to have a story to tell, and encourage them to explain their answer. Answers will vary, but may include topics like safety, crime, finances, friends, and social distancing.)

Let’s watch a news story about some parents who may have good reason to worry.

Show the following video to your students [:51]:
Parents worried about drivers at Springfield bus stop

Remember school buses? They could cause lots of concerns. The parent who was interviewed in the video seemed genuinely concerned about the safety of the kids getting off the school bus.

  • Do you think she was right to be worried? Explain. (Allow your preteens to analyze the situation.)
  • What could have happened if an excited child—or even a teenager—had run across the street without looking to see if a car was coming? (Discuss the possibilities of injury and perhaps death.)
  • What’s it like when your mom or dad starts to worry about something, and they make a big deal about it? How does that make you feel? (Feelings may include annoyance, anger, or embarrassment. Or perhaps gratefulness and effort to understand.) 
  • When your parents are making a big deal about something, are you ever tempted not to obey them? Explain. (Encourage individuals to share their perspective.) 

When it comes to obedience, there can be misunderstandings between kids and their parents. That’s nothing new. It even happened to Jesus!

Looking for Steps 2, 3 & 4?

You can find Steps 2 and 3 in your teacher’s guide. To purchase a teacher’s guide, please visit: Bible-in-Life or Echoes.

Step 4:

Materials Needed:

  • Paper
  • Pens/pencil
  • Poster board/whiteboard and marker

If using a social conferencing platform or meeting in a classroom, write the following questions on a whiteboard or poster board; cover them so they can’t be seen until the appropriate time:

  1. What is your favorite day of the week? Why?
  2. If you could make your own ice cream sundae using three different flavors of ice cream, which flavors would you choose?
  3. When you are tired, how do you sound and act?
  4. If you were an amazing sculptor, and you decided to build a sandcastle, what would it look like?
  5. What things about growing up confuse/confused you?

Sometimes, the reason why parents misunderstand their children and kids misunderstand their parents, deals with the fact that they don’t know each other well.  Parents get busy; kids get busy—no one takes the time to find out about each other. Even in the recent quarantine we may find it hard to take time to learn something new about each other.

  • Do you think it might be easier to obey your parents if you understood them better? Why or why not? (Answers will vary.)

Today let’s look at something that will help your parents (or guardians) better understand how you think. And if you are completely honest, this will help you know your parents better as well.

Make sure your students have access to paper and a pen or pencil. Then reveal the questions that you wrote earlier. These questions may seem a little odd, but they’re all about bonding.

  • What does it mean to “bond” with someone? (Responses may include getting to know someone, learning what individuals have in common, and understanding someone better.)

Look at these five questions. Decide which one (or more) would you like to ask one or both of your parents. Write down the question(s) that you’d feel comfortable talking with them about.

Sometime this week, invite them to sit down with you—maybe in the kitchen over a dish of ice cream. Tell them about what you talked about in our class today and say, “Would you mind if I ask you a question?” Then ask the question that you wrote on your card. Once they have answered, give them your answer to that question as well. Use the time as a springboard to ask other respectful questions and see if you can get to know your parents better. You may be surprised where that conversation leads and how much you learn that you never knew before. Allow time for students to write on their paper.

Ask a volunteer to read Proverbs 1:8: “Listen my son, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.” Spend a few minutes in closing prayer by allowing your students to turn that verse into sentence prayers. (Examples might be: “Father God, help me to really hear my parents when they are talking to me” or “Help me remember and obey everything my parents teach me.”)

Spread the word

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