Tips and tricks for making parenting FUN again!

Tips and tricks for making parenting FUN again!

Friday, February 25, 2011

What Should You Do?

At church my children frequently play versions of the "What Should You Do?" game. In this simple game, a child chooses a slip of paper from a jar. On the paper, a fictional scenario is described and it is up to the child to decide what should be done in that particular situation. For example,

You are playing outside when your ball accidentally rolls into your neighbor's flower bed. What should you do?

The child would respond with something like, "I would go over to my neighbor's house and tell her what happened, then ask if I can get my ball and find out if there is a way I can make up for the damage the ball did."

Like I said, it's a simple game but it gives children an opportunity to practice their moral decision-making skills. I have discovered that I can use the format of this game to help my children make good real-life decisions as well. For example, if my son takes a toy from my daughter, rather than scold him and ask him to return it, I might pull him aside and say, "'A' has a toy that 'T' wants to play with. He asks her for it but she says no. What should he do?" By putting it in that format, my son quickly realizes the error of his ways and knows what he needs to do to rectify the situation.

This little game can defuse an emotional situation and allow the child a clearer perspective on their part in the disagreement by allowing them to see it from the outside. It also turns potentially negative conflict situations into a positive learning opportunity and invites a happier spirit into the home. :-)

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