Updated: Jul 17
Franklin Forgives is a new type of resource. It is a book/game combo! The book sets the scene and introduces many of the concepts in the game. The game is designed to make it personal, drive home the points, and to better help kids apply the concepts to their own lives.
The story is about an angry boy who lashes out at everyone. He has been hurt by others and uses anger as a way to protect himself from others. A sweet girl in his class explains that he must forgive in order to feel free from the emotional bondage of what has happened to him.
Misconceptions about forgiveness are discussed:
Forgiving means I have to reconcile. No, it is quite possible to forgive without resuming the relationship. It may be best to not reconcile if the relationship was harmful and boundaries were not respected.
Forgiving means they get away with it. False. Forgiveness does not exempt others from experiencing consequences for their behavior.
Forgiving means that I have to act like it didn't hurt. Honesty is important in relationships. It is good to tell others when they have been hurtful.
The person has to apologize for me to forgive. If this was true, we'd probably all be carrying a huge load of anger! While it is validating and healing to hear an apology, it is not a requirement to forgive.
I'm letting them off the hook when I forgive. The opposite is true with this one. Holding on to anger keeps emotions strong and the pain of the situation fresh. Forgiveness allows separation from the situation by choosing to let go of the emotion attached to it. Often the other person is unaware of the pain they caused. However, forgiving lets YOU off the hook.
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Franklin learns that holding on to the pain has only made him miserable, making him feel anger day after day instead of enjoying life. He learns to walk through the process of forgiveness so that he can free himself from the burden of the pain. Once he is free from anger, others enjoy being around him and are no longer scared of him.
The game has 4 categories of cards:
Forgiveness - These cards address steps to forgive and misconceptions about forgiveness.
Friendship - Kids will discuss the benefits of healthy relationships and ways to resolve conflict. Healthy communication habits are included.
Anger - These cards focus on helping children understand triggers for anger, body response, and ways to cope.
Control Your Thoughts - Cognitive behavioral concepts are integrated into these cards to help children stop intrusive thoughts and redirect them to positive thought patterns.