27 Apr Role-play. Role-play. Role-play.
As a mother of five children I look back and recognize that through their formative years there are things that we did right, and there are things that we did wrong.
One thing that we did right? We role-played with our children. When our children felt anxiety over a new situation at school, we role-played to help them feel confident. When our children were thoughtless or unkind, we role-played to help them become more empathetic to others feelings. When an awkward situation was handled inappropriately, we role- played to teach them social skills. When they followed the crowd unconstructively we role-played to teach them appropriate leadership skills.
Periodically we used a set of flash cards called “Smart Choices.” We would present our children with a problem, and then discuss what the appropriate choice should be and why.
Some of the flash cards read:
You and your sister both want to shower. You meet at the bathroom door. You:
1. Stand aside and let your sister go first without saying anything. You walk away and feel sorry for yourself.
2. Push her aside and say, “I was here first! I’m taking my shower now, and you’ll have to wait.”
3. Suggest you take turns. This time you let your sister go first but next time you get to go first.
Then the flash card explained the answers.
A. No. You can’t be first every time, but you can expect to be first some of the time if you speak up.
B. No. It was a “tie,” and one person will have to be second. Being bossy makes others less willing to cooperate.
C. Good idea! There should be no problem next time.
Another flash card read:
You are at a movie. Someone behind you is talking loudly. You:
1. Say nothing and hope the talking stops soon.
2. Say, “Would you please be quiet so that I can hear the movie?”
3. Yell, “Shut up or I’m going to get the manager.”
About your answer:
A. No. Saying nothing will not solve the problem. You and others can’t hear the movie when other people talk loudly.
B. Good! Most people will be quiet when reminded.
C. Not a good solution. It may make the talker angry and uncooperative.
Our children appreciated the teaching/learning moments we spent together. If not parents who else can teach appropriate behavior? It is our responsibility, and the memories shared are priceless.