Parenting Coach

Practical ideas for social, emotional and behavioral challenges

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Use TV to think about alternatives.

What you can do

Talk about a TV show, movie or book your child loves. Look at how one of the characters deals with a social problem. Ask your child about the choices that character makes. Get him to think about other ways the character could have responded, and discuss how those alternative choices might have played out.

Ask your child if he thinks the character would make the same decision or a different one the next time.

What you can say

“Wow, Jacob, another great episode of The Middle! Brick really blew it with his friend on this episode, right? How do you think his friend felt when Brick told him he thought his science project was lame?”

“I agree, it wasn’t the best project and Brick was being honest. But did you see the reaction he got? What do you think Brick could have said that would have been an honest response but not have hurt his friend’s feelings? Yes, telling him you liked his idea would have been a better choice than saying the idea was good but the design was bad.”

“Good job coming up with a way to react honestly without hurting your friend’s feelings. Brick could really use your help!”

Why this will help

Using shows or books your child enjoys can be a fun and powerful way to get him to think about good and bad ways to try to solve social problems.

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