Learning to control our anger
1 block of wood for each child (I used 2x6 cut square), nails, and a few hammers; extra blocks of wood for story.
"In your anger do not sin": Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry. Ephesians 4:26 (NIV)
There was a boy that was having a terrible time with anger. Every time he got angry, he said ugly things, "I hate you" "You're ugly" "I don't want to be your friend any more". These were things that were said in anger and the boy often regretted saying them later.
One day his father took him out to the fence out back and gave him a bag of nails and a hammer. He told the boy that every time he lost his temper, he should come to the fence and pound in nails until he was no longer angry.
The first week there were a bunch of nails (hold up block of wood full of nails, and comment - "He must have had a very bad week"). But the next week, there were not quite so many, and after a while, hardly any at all (hold up a block with only 1-2 nails.)
So he went to his father and showed him the fence and told him that he hadn't had to pound in a nail for one whole month. His dad told him that was wonderful, now what he needed to do is that every day the boy could keep his temper, he should go and pull the nails out of the fence until they were gone.
It took awile, but soon all the nails were pulled (hold up a block of wood that has alot of nail holes), and the boy went to his father again to show him the fence.
His father told him he was proud that the boy had learned to keep control of his temper, "but look at all the scars that the nails left in the wood. Every time you lost your temper, you left scars like that in the people that you love. These scars are not healed easily."
Discuss with the children different ways to deal with anger. Hand out a block of wood (I wrote on the top "Don't let anger get control, Eph 4:26) give each child a few nails and help them to pound them into their block of wood. Encourage them that the next time they get angry, to go look at the wood block and think about the scars that angry words can leave behind.