Lesson Notes: Conscience and Temptation

A few years ago we completely reworked this lesson, but simply had to save the Devil’s Food activity that you’ll find on the cover.  If you’ve never done it before (or think you may be able to trick your kids a second time), this is a must-do activity!  Not only is it a great illustration of temptation and the deceptive nature of sin, but it’s a memorable experience and you’ll be able to refer to the “sin cookies” long into your children’s teen years.

The next major theme is that of conscience.  People inherently know that it’s right to do good, but how do we know what is good?  Conscience is not just about what we feel is right, but must involve thinking as well!  To illustrate that process, this lesson leads your family through a series of stories where Mama just wants to take a nap, and the children are left to their own devices for a short time.  In each of the three stories there is a small decision to be made and your kids will be led through three key questions as they decide, is it a good thing to do?  Not only do these simple steps apply to Mama’s nap, but they apply to every “right vs. wrong” decision they’ll ever make.

The process has to be more deliberate at first, but before long it becomes more automatic and it’s at that point that they are developing a well-formed conscience and this lesson truly becomes a success.  Speaking of that, just how can we form our conscience?  Page 6 of the lesson have all sorts of suggestions of things that will make your conscience stronger and things that make it weaker.

So what preparation is needed for this lesson?  Read it ahead of time, of course.  If your kids are very young, you may want to just stick with the three Mama’s Nap stories and save the rest for when they’re older.  Anyone 2nd grade and older, though, is at the age of reason* and should be able to go through more of the lessons, especially using the My Good Decisions Book.  You’ll want to follow the activity directions on page 2 to have the booklets cut and ready to go ahead of time.

*Age of reason: The time when a person reaches a level of moral responsibility that enables him to choose between right and wrong and to observe various obligations (e.g., to attend Mass on Sundays and holy days of obligation).  The end of the seventh year is typically considered to be the age of reason.  (Catholic Dictionary)

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