“Like a city whose walls are broken down is a man who lacks self-control.”
Welcome to my character development series, where today we are teaching self control through role play. I have a number of lessons on self control if this is an attribute you are working on with your kids. I thought of a number of situations where my girls tend to lack self control. They especially struggle with an emotional response to frustrating circumstances. I have found it best to teach when you are not in the moment. Games and role playing can be a great tool to helping your children grow and mature in character.
For the activity idea, I wrote down frustrating situations where they have shown lack of control on little pieces of paper and had them pull the situation out of the bag. I read it to them, and then they were able to act out the right way to handle the situation. A couple times I jumped in and showed them the wrong way…just so they could realize how ridiculous it looks to fall apart for a silly reason. They’d laugh, and I would ask if I handled it in the right way. After acting each one out, I would ask them, “Should I whine? Should I cry? Should I fall apart?“ They’d always laugh and say, “No.” They handled each situation well, so we talked about how they know how to do the right thing, but sometimes it’s hard to have self control in the moment. However, I feel that if you practice it when you’re not “in the moment,” it translates more to that real life moment. Here are some of the situations we acted out:
* Someone took your toy.
* You can’t get your shoe on your foot.
* You want to be down from the table, but the meal is not over.
* You want a cookie, but your mom won’t let you have one.
* You can’t get your car seat buckled.
* Your dad asks you to come to him, but you are busy coloring.
* Your mom has asked you to clean up your room, but you don’t want to do it.
* Someone is touching you, and you want to be left alone.
I hope you are inspired to do a little role playing with your own kids so that they can learn to have more self control in the future.