Following social rules

4 Social Situations to Role-Play With Your Grade-Schooler

By Lexi Walters Wright

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Kids rehearse for the school play and attend practices between soccer games. Why not rehearse social situations, too? Role-playing can be a fun way to help build social skills and learn about social rules. These mock situations can get you started.

239Found this helpful
Young children at a backyard party
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The Birthday Party

Pretend your child is going to a classmate’s party. When he arrives, the birthday boy is busy talking to other kids. (How can your child greet him?) Everyone starts playing party games and it’s too loud and overwhelming for your child. (What can he do to calm down?) The birthday boy opens his presents. Someone else has brought the same gift your child has. (How might he handle that?)

Teen girls shopping for blue jeans
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The Shopping Trip

Imagine you’re in a store looking for a gift for a friend. Your child is with you and sees something he really wants for himself. (How might he ask you to buy it for him?) You need to think about it while you keep looking for the gift. (How can he control his emotions and wait?) You agree to get your child what he wants, but only if he handles the purchase himself. (How might he interact with the cashier?)

Teen girls sitting together in a cafe with milkshakes and coffee drinks doing homework
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Eating With Friends

You’re at a restaurant with another family, and the conversation turns to something your child is interested in. (How can he join in without interrupting?) The food arrives, but your child’s order is wrong. (How might he react? What might he say?) Your child is finished eating before everyone else. (How should he behave while he waits?)

Close up of kids eating watermelon at a backyard family get together
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The Family Barbecue

Your aunt hosts a big barbecue, and the whole family attends, including some out-of-town relatives. A great-uncle your child has never met approaches. (How can your child introduce himself?) Your aunt asks your child how school is going, but this hasn’t been a great year. (How might he talk about classes and afterschool activities?) Your child wants to play with his cousins’ video games. (How can he ask? What if they say no?)

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8 Social Situations to Role-Play With Your Middle-Schooler

All tweens want to fit in with their peers. But following basic social rules can be tough for some kids with learning and attention issues. You can help your middle-schooler build social skills and feel more prepared to work with others by role-playing these common situations.

7 Social Situations to Role-Play With Your High-Schooler

The No. 1 goal of many teens is to avoid embarrassment. That requires following basic social rules. You can help your high-schooler build social skills and feel prepared by role-playing common situations like these.

About the Author

Portrait of Lexi Walters Wright

Lexi Walters Wright is a veteran writer and editor who helps parents make more informed choices for their children and for themselves.

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Portrait of Mark Griffin

Mark Griffin, Ph.D., was the founding headmaster of Eagle Hill School, a school for children with specific learning disabilities.

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