The Wisdom Page 

Teaching Preschoolers About Wisdom — An Approach

Synopsis: A lesson for preschoolers in what wisdom is.

LESSON: (read these stories to the children with animation in your voice. Then discuss.)

Having Wisdom means knowing what is going to happen at the very end of a situation.
Having Wisdom also means knowing what will make you happy at the very end of a time or situation.

That is why older people are often referred to as wise or having wisdom. They have seen many situations over their many years of life and how each situation ended, so now they are able to know, pretty well, what is going to happen at the very end of some new situation or what will make them or someone else happy at the very end of a time or situation.

How can they do this? Well at the very beginning of a new situation, they see some signs and they remember a similar situation from before and how it ended, and they know this one will end the same. Let's take an example.

Situation 1:

Karen's family moved and she started the first grade in a new school. She didn't know any of the kids there. But when she was assigned her seat in class, the girl in front of her turned around and said "Hi" pleasantly and talked with Karen before class began. That girl's name was Megan. At recess, Megan invited Karen to play with her and some of Megan's friends. It was a good first day at school. Karen continued to talk and play with Megan and her friends for the next few weeks.

Then, another girl, named Brittany, who was popular but bossy, asked Karen to join her at her lunch table with her popular friends. She left Megan and Megan's friends and began to hang out with Brittany and her friends. This went on for a few weeks until, one day, Karen wore a beautiful new dress to school. Karen got more attention at the lunch table than Brittany and Brittany was mad. Brittany was mean to Karen and told her she was not welcome at their lunch table any more.

When Megan heard that Karen was kicked out of Brittany's friends, Megan invited Karen to rejoin her lunch table and her friends.

Who was the true friend to Karen? Megan or Brittany? (Megan) What signs did Megan give that she would be a true friend? (Megan befriended Karen when Karen had 'nothing to give'. Megan was looking to give friendship to Karen, not receive increased popularity or power by having another person in her group, like Brittany. This is very important - help the children to understand this fact; in life, there are "giving people" and "taking people". The moral is that associating with giving people makes life much more pleasant. )

Situation 2:

Bobby's Mom was taking him to the store with her. Mom allowed Bobby to get one small toy or piece of candy if he was good and quiet on a shopping trip.

So Mom and Bobby went to the dry cleaner's where the smell was bad and the car repair shop where they waited a long time while the mechanic drove the car and listened to the car's squeaky wheel. Finally they went to the grocery store. Here there were toys and candy! Bobby loved Goo-Goo bars. They were chocolate and marshmallow together and they were up by the counter where they checked out.

But, while Mom was still shopping in the aisles, Bobby saw Gummi Bears in a bag hanging from the shelf. He asked Mom for the Gummi Bears and she said, "Don't you want to wait and get a Goo-Goo bar when we check out?" But Bobby made a fuss and said no, he didn't want a Goo-Goo bar, he wanted the Gummi Bears, so Mom took one bag off the rack and opened it for Bobby. He ate the sweet, gummy candy and it tasted good, but after he had eaten some, Bobby realized he did not like it as much as he liked Goo-Goo bars. He had tried many candies over the years, but Bobby had never found one he liked as much as the Goo-Goo bars.

When it came time to check out, Mom wheeled the cart to the checkout counter. There, hanging right where it always was, was the candy rack containing Goo-Goo bars. Bobby asked if he cold have a Goo-Goo bar, but Mom said, "You got your treat, you asked for the Gummi Bears!" Bobby got upset. He cried and wailed. He threw himself back and forth in the cart. Mom got upset then, too. Mom told Bobby to settle down or she would take what was left of his Gummi Bears away. Still, Bobby was so upset he cold not stop. He was mad that Mom would not let him have a Goo-Goo bar.

When he would not stop wailing after several warnings, Mom reached into Bobby's hands and took the half-eaten bag of Gummi Bears away from Bobby. Now he had no Goo-Goo bar and no Gummi Bears. Bobby had made a bad choice, not to wait for a Goo-Goo bar at the checkout and now he was crying, Mom was mad and he had no candy of any kind!

What kind of candy makes Bobby the happiest? Goo-Goo bars or Gummi Bears? (Goo-Goo bars) What mistake did Bobby make that made him unhappy? (This is very important - help the children to understand this fact; sometimes life presents us with a less desirable choice sooner, when what we really want is to wait for the ideal choice which appears later. We just need to wait patiently for the right one to come along.)