This activity is best done in the kitchen or even outside. Get a bottle or can of warm soda pop. Begin talking about how sometimes things happen that shake up the day. (Begin shaking the can or bottle.) Sometimes it’s big things that can be upsetting. (Shake harder) and sometimes it can be just a lot of little things (shake softer). Discipline is all about how we react when things don’t go our way. Ask the family how they think someone would react if they didn’t possess discipline. (Yelling, Throwing, Tantrums) Demonstrate those reactions by opening the soda pop and watch the explosive reaction. Involve everyone in the clean-up. Discuss what happens when you “POP”. You may say things you regret, you may break something you didn’t want to, it may be off putting to friends who don’t want to be around anger, you may hurt yourself or someone else, it physically makes you feel bad, etc. Now discuss ways that each person can diffuse such a reaction. Bring up things like counting to 10, screaming into a pillow, walking away, taking a walk, etc. If the pop can were allowed to sit undisturbed, the carbonation would settle down and not be so explosive. What would have happened if someone would have stopped the soda from being shaken early in the demonstration? Would it have been easier to settle down if it were stopped earlier? Discuss ways to identify when you are getting angry or reacting inappropriately. Perhaps recognizing others in the family as “being about to Soda POP” when they need a discipline reminder is a kinder way to settle someone down. Be sure to include a discussion on that it is okay to feel angry and to react in anger but you do not want the response to be more intense than a situation requires.
To process this activity, ask these or similar questions:
- When the activity started, could you predict what was going to happen?
- When someone is getting mad can you predict when they are going to “pop”?
- Which would you rather be around: an explosive soda pop or one you can drink and enjoy?
- Have you ever gotten really upset at something but later realized it wasn’t worth that reaction?
- Do you think you can use some of these ideas to refrain yourself or others from “popping”?
- If someone tells you “Don’t soda POP” will you remember this exercise?
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How did this activity go when you used it? Did you make any modifications that worked better for you? Share your experience below!