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What Will You Do? Scenarios

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Tween-age boy looking at camera and thinking with his finger held to his lips
Jani Bryson/iStock
How will your children respond when confronted by a moral dilemma? Prepare them before they are.

Does your child know how he or she would respond if faced with a moral dilemma? Thinking through difficult decisions now can help calibrate your child’s moral compass and provide guidance for real-life situations. Use these scenarios as a basis for engaging in conversation about making decisions between right and wrong.

Ages 4-7

1. Your dad told you to clean up your toys, but you’re having fun. You don’t want to stop playing. Besides, the room is messy, and you don’t feel like cleaning up. What will you do?
(Ephesians 6:1)

2. Your mom made only enough cookies for your brother’s class. She tells the family not to eat any. You really want a cookie, so you decide to take one. Mom notices a cookie is gone. What will you do?
(Psalm 119:30; Proverbs 19:5)

3. Pretend you’re playing with another child who is younger than you. That child has a toy you want to play with. You could just take the toy if you wanted to. You could switch it with the toy you have. The other child might cry, but maybe you won’t get in trouble if you pretend you didn’t do anything. No one is looking now. What will you do?
(Proverbs 3:3; 1 John 3:18)

4. You’re throwing a ball in the house and break your mom’s favorite table decoration. Mom hears the crash and comes running to see what happened. If you tell the truth, you know you will be punished. You could say you accidentally bumped the table. What will you do?
(Psalm 51:6; Proverbs 12:22)

5. Suppose Mom or Dad has been telling you to do stuff all day. You’re tired of it. You want to say, “No” and “I don’t have to” and “Leave me alone.” You want to walk away and do what you want to do. What will you do?
(Exodus 20:12; Leviticus 19:3)

6. You got in trouble, and you’re angry. Your parents punished you, but you think your sibling deserves to be punished. You could hit, pinch or trip your brother or sister when no one’s looking. You could hide or break one of your sibling’s toys. What will you do?
(Ephesians 4:32; Romans 12:17)

Ages 8-12

1. You’re with friends when they start teasing an unpopular kid, taking his things and calling him names. If you stick up for him, the group could turn on you. You start to slip away, but someone throws you the boy’s backpack. What will you do?
(James 4:17; Ecclesiastes 4:10)

2. You’re in the middle of an intense video game. Just a few more points and you’ll beat your high score. You hear Dad say it’s time to turn off the game. The game’s loud, so it would be easy to pretend you didn’t hear. That way, you could finish the game. What will you do? (Colossians 3:20)

3. Some of your friends have started using bad language because it makes them feel cool. Each day you hear words you know your parents don’t like. Your friends even use the names of God and Jesus as if they were just bad words, and they call you a baby because you won’t talk like them. What will you do?
(Exodus 20:7; Ephesians 4:29)

4. You heard your best friend and some others lying to the principal about who started a fight. You didn’t see the fight, but your friend told you another good friend of yours started it. Now an innocent person has been blamed and will be suspended from school. What will you do?
(James 4:17; Proverbs 12:17)

5. You’re playing with two good friends. They both want to be your best friend. You think you like one friend better. That friend says, “Let’s go play by ourselves.” You know your other friend’s feelings will be hurt if she’s left out. What will you do?
(Proverbs 17:17; Luke 6:31)

6. There’s a new kid at school who hardly talks and seems to look at the ground a lot. The other kids laugh at him, and they expect you to laugh with them. You know this child needs a friend, but if you become his friend, the other kids might not be your friends anymore. What will you do?
(John 15:12-14; 1 John 4:11)

7. Your friend has invited you over for a fun afternoon doing all your favorite things. You have your parents’ permission to go, but you have to get your homework done first. The assignment isn’t hard, but it would take time to do well. You could just tell your parents you did the work even though you didn’t. They’ll never know. What will you do?
(Job 31:6; 1 Corinthians 10:31)

Ages 13-18

1. You’re tired of blending in. You want to be noticed. You’re good-looking, and with the right clothing styles, everyone would be able to see that, especially if your clothes fit tighter or showed more skin. Other kids dress that way. What will you do? (1 Corinthians 8:12-13; 12:23)

2. You’re at a friend’s party. At first, everything seems normal, but then you notice some people pouring something into their cups from a thermos. They’re acting weird. Someone offers you a drink from the thermos. What will you do? (1 Corinthians 15:33; 1 Peter 2:11)

3. Suppose you have one test question left to answer and time is running out. You’ve studied hard and you know the material, but you just can’t bring that answer to mind. You could copy your neighbor’s answer without the teacher knowing. Besides, you know the answer is somewhere in your brain, so it only seems fair that you should get credit for it. What will you do?
(Deuteronomy 25:15; Psalm 5:6)

4. It seems that just about everywhere you look — grocery stores, convenience stores, TV, billboards — you see pictures of people wearing revealing clothes. Some friends look at magazines and access Internet sites where they can see even more. One friend has figured out how to get past parental blocks on these sites and has offered to show you how. What will you do?
(Luke 11:34; Matthew 5:28; Psalm 101:3-4)

5. You love the power you feel behind the wheel, and you want to see what it feels like to drive fast. You get your chance while driving alone in the car. The speed limit is 50, but there’s no traffic on the road. What will you do?
(Titus 2:11-12; Romans 13:1)

6. You have a teacher or coach who is always getting on you for no reason, and you’re tired of it. You’re not a kid anymore; you deserve respect. He is coming toward you. You can tell he’s angry and you know what’s coming. Right now you have to determine how you’ll react. What will you do?
(Romans 12:19; Proverbs 15:1)

7. A group of friends is saying some pretty mean things about another friend. Some of what they’re saying is true, but then sometimes those things are true of you, too. “Hey,” someone says, calling your name, “you haven’t said anything. What do you think? You agree with us, don’t you?” What will you do?
(Proverbs 16:28; 26:20; 3 John 1:11)

8. Some of your friends have started drinking alcohol, and they seem to be having more fun than you. They’ve asked you to try it. What will you do?
(Ephesians 5:18; 1 Corinthians 15:33)

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