Today we did one of our favorite things for developing character – role playing. These 10 Role Playing Situations that Teach Compassion will engage your children in an intentional way. For kids to actively engage in acting out a situation helps develop a deeper level of empathy. By doing compassion role playing with kids, we not only teach them another way to walk in someone else’s shoes, but we also teach them to express themselves, build confidence about how to respond in situations and help them become better at problem solving. For more lessons on compassion, please visit my compassion tab in my character development series (found when hovering over the kids tab).
In this activity I gave my kids 10 scenarios, and then we acted them out. One person was on one side of the situation, while the others were suppose to respond with compassion. For some kids, compassion will come naturally. For others, doing activities like I’m proposing today are needed for them to think outside themselves. In general, kids tend to be very egocentric. It’s a developmental stage. That said, it can also be a life stage for everyone. We all can be somewhat egocentric, can’t we? Asking relevant questions and brainstorming responses is absolutely encouraged.
10 Role Playing Situations that Teach Compassion
- You are playing with friends at recess. You notice one person alone who seems sad.
- Your mom is working hard to get dinner on the table.
- Someone fell down and hurt themselves.
- Your sister is sick.
- Dad just came home from work, and it’s been a hard day.
- You hear of another child who isn’t going to get any presents for Christmas because her parents can’t afford it.
- You notice a homeless person as you walk through the city.
- Your friend is over at your house for the first time and really wants to play with your favorite toy.
- You notice a person on crutches struggling to open a door.
- A friend of yours had their pet dog die.
I hope you find this role playing time as a fun and yet meaningful experience as you working on building character in your kids. It’s a simple exercise that can make a difference in how our kids operate in this world, with the aim to make it a better place.
Have you had any humour stories or anecdotes that have backfired from people as they’ve tried to integrate these lessons? love to hear them….email@example.com
I haven’t heard any. I’d like to hear them too. 🙂
I was going to try this with my 6th grade class. I teach in Detroit, and some of my students don’t get Christmas presents, are homeless, and don’t get homemade dinners. Any scenarios for none middle class kids?
Thanks for commenting. I’m so glad you are going to use this. I would say helping kids brainstorm non-monetary ideas for some of the give scenarios would be good. For example, the Christmas one can be solved with a homemade gift or a coupon with the gift of time like: I will teach you to throw a free throw. or I will go to the playground with you. or I will help you with one of your chores. Other scenarios? I can definitely say you’d probably have great ideas by seeing what their daily lives are like, but some off the top of my head are – You see a smaller kid being picked on by an older kids…Your mom is working two jobs, and there’s a lot of laundry, dishes and cleaning at home… You see an elderly woman alone on her front porch often. Again, encouraging the gift of time, relationship, and doing the right thing for someone else is the key. We are built for relationship, so that kind of solution is often more needed than a monetary solution. Hope that helps.