Teaching children to be joyful always. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

This teaching tool can be used with children at a very young age. Kids need to be taught that screaming, yelling, crying and throwing a temper tantrum is not an appropriate response. Teach this lesson in the time of peace, not in the midst of a meltdown. Bring out a ball and show them the face on it (some are happy faces and some are angry faces). Mimic a child crying hard, “Waaaaaa” and then slowly and firmly shake your head back and forth and say, “No. No fussing” and then smile real big and pat your checks saying, “Happy face.” Practice doing this often and in the time of peace. Model “Happy face” by patting your cheeks with a big smile and ask them to do it. This will become a fun game.

In the days ahead when your child begins to have a melt down go to their level and bring the ball with you. Model for them the crying child and say, “No. No fussing” and then do Happy face. It is okay that they are upset about something, but they can be taught to be joyful, even in the midst of stress.