The Beatitudes in Early Childhood
In teaching the Beatitudes, we are teaching the children how to be good people. This is a lesson in social skills, ie… showing empathy, sympathy, passion, caring, and love. This is teaching them how to be kind and forgiving, generous, and selfless. We might even call this teaching of The Beatitudes in Early Childhood as teaching life skills. We aren’t born with these skills, they are learned.
The Beatitudes are a series of blessings that are found in Chapter 5 of Matthew in the Bible. These blessings were given by Jesus to his disciples during the Sermon on the Mount. Each blessing offers a future reward to the person possessing a specific character quality.
Jesus summarized those values as poor in spirit (in need of God), mourning (recognizes a need for forgiveness), meekness (humility), hunger for righteousness (recognition of one’s own unrighteousness), mercy (extending mercy to others), purity (choosing to avoid sin), and peacemaking (seeking harmony and unity),
Like the law, no one can keep the beatitudes perfectly. But they are the goal for all who would seek to live under God’s rule and be a good Christian. While this is a lesson for early childhood education, we can certainly all use reminders.
During the month of January, Kidz World studies The Beatitudes and teaches the children these much-needed life skills. We encourage you to talk with your child about The Beatitudes. What are they learning? How can you help teach these skills at home?
THE BEATITUDES & THEIR MEANINGS
1 Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
(Be satisfied with what you have. Share the good things we have with others because God wants us to.)
Teach: (Happiness in sharing) Find happiness in what you have been given and share with others.
2 Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted.
(Comfort those who are suffering. Help others feel better about themselves after a loss.)
Teach: (Empathy & sympathy) Understanding emotions and helping others feel better, helps you feel better.
3 Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the land.
(Humility-a true sense of who you are. Get the ego out of the way.)
Teach: (Acceptance) Being comfortable with yourself and your abilities and not boastful.
4 Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied.
(Do what is fair for everyone. Think WWJD)
Teach: (Selflessness) Think of others before yourself.
5 Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
(We forgive those who are unkind to us. Look for ways to show kindness to others.)
Teach: (Forgiveness & kindness) Paying it forward.
6 Blessed are the clean of heart, for they will see God.
(We do what is right just because we know it is the right thing to do.)
Teach: (Decision making & critical thinking) Making good choices.
7 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
(We try to bring God’s peace to the world. We control our behavior so people can see Jesus in us.)
Teach: (Leadership) Being a good example for others.
8 Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
(We are willing to stand up for God’s laws even if we are teased or insulted.)
Teach: (Beliefs) When you make a decision, know why you made it and believe in your choice.
In early childhood education, we understand that it takes several years for the child to learn how to properly express emotion thus it takes that long to understand how to interpret the emotions of others. Repetition is key to the learning of anything, The Beatitudes and the life skills included. Don’t be afraid to repeat these lessons often.
Author: Belinda Davis ©2020