Games to Teach Teens Forgiveness


Teenagers are going through a tumultuous change physically that will change them into full-fledged adults, but in the meantime they may still have problems with emotional control. Anger and resentment are some of the prevalent emotions of teens, so take the time to organize a game that teaches them about the importance of forgiving others.

Role Play Game

  • It’s easier for some teens to understand the process of forgiveness when they see it from an outside view. Asking two children from the group to stand up and perform a skit helps the other teens visualize the proper steps to forgive. Have the teens write a brief description of a conflict they experiences on a scrap of paper. Put the paper in a hat for one of the actors to pull out. From there, he and the other actor create the scene for the other teens to watch. Afterward, let the children dissect the scene and come up with a possible solution. Make them raise their hands to give a suggestion and provide a reward for a nonviolent and plausible solution.

The Rock of Anger

  • Performing a 50-yard dash isn’t hard for many decently fit teens, but it gets more difficult when something is weighing the children down. The same goes for living a life with a grudge holding them down. Choose a rock for each teen; the rocks should be cumbersome and heavy so the teens actually have to struggle to hold them. Line the kids up at the start line of the race and make them run while holding the stones. They will understand how much the rock inhibits their performance and by proxy, how much a grudge inhibits them.

The Lemon Squeeze

  • Sometimes it’s hard to fathom just how many grudges you have until you see them laid before you. The same goes for teens, so the lemon squeeze provides children with a game that requires physical involvement as well as providing a visual aide to show how many grudges each child holds. Ask the children to make a list of people they have yet to forgive before you tell them anything else about the game. Place a lemon in front of the children for each name on the list. This is the clear visual indicator of the children’s numerous grudges. Set up a manual juicer for each child on a table 10 yards away from their resting point. The teens have to sprint between the juicer and the pile of lemons, carrying one to the juicer at a time. They will cut and juice each lemon, with the first one to finish being the winner.

Balloon Darts

  • Playing a game of balloon darts improves a teen’s aim while helping him understand what anger can cost. Inflate balloons and write words such as “friendship,” “trust” and “compassion” on each balloon. Tape the valves of the balloons to a piece of cardboard and prop it against a wall. Write the word “grudge” on the dart the children will use. As they toss the dart at the balloons, they see what grudges can cost them as they systematically pop the balloons on the board.


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