I find myself frequently telling the more impulsive kids in my groups that there are two social strategies, that if they used them consistently, would make things so much easier in their interactions with peers and friends.
Strategy #1: Ask before taking any action. An example happened yesterday. Three of the boys were setting up Lego battle stations, and one of the boys (on the dark side) aimed at and destroyed the set-up of one his playmates. I coached him that even though it is a game that involves battles, you must also ask and make sure you have permission before touching someone else’s elaborate set-up.
Strategy #2: Stop when you hear the word stop. So many small problems that grow into big problems could easily be fixed if you learn how to stop when you hear someone saying stop. There are many kids who either miss this cue from their peers, ignore the cue because whatever he or she is doing is to amuse him or herself (but no one else is amused) or don’t know what he or she should stop. I coach kids to not only identify what it is they want someone else to stop to be sure the message is clear, but also to check-in if they hear “stop” or “stop it” anywhere around them.
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