The Character Construction Site:
June

Value: GOOD JUDGEMENT

Introduction
The most beautiful sight in the world is a child walking confidently down the road of life after you have shown him the way. - Confucius

Definition of Good Judgment
Making good choices, thinking about consequences before acting.

Guidelines

  • Offer choices.
  • Ask for options.
  • Talk about possible consequences.

The purpose of these discussions is to help children think about a situation, not to tell them what to do. 

Family Activities

Memorization

  • You have brains in your head.
  • You have feet in your shoes.
  • You can steer yourself
  • Any direction you choose-Dr. Seuss, Oh, The Places You’ll Go

Teach Children to Solve Problems
Read the situations below and follow these SIGEP problem-solving steps suggested by Dr. E. Trupin.

  1. Matthew has trouble getting up mornings in time for school.
  2. Julie receives $1 extra in change at the ice cream stand.
  3. Justin forgets to turn his homework in at school.
  4. Suzy has a messy room and her mom wants her to clean it up.

Make up situations that more closely apply to the situations that your child faces.

SIGEP

Stop.
Stop and think.  Collect information about events and feelings.
“What happened?”,  “How did you feel…?”, and “What happened then?”

Identify.
What are you upset about and why do you have a problem? Define the problem

Generate.
Brainstorm and list ideas and choices: Focus on the child’s ideas and avoid criticizing.  If you do not like an idea that your child lists, you can help him or her evaluate it in the next step.

Evaluate.
What will happen with each of the ideas?  Look for positive and negative consequences. The purpose is to help children distinguish between good and poor ideas.  Encourage children to consider the question, “What might happen if you_____?” OR “How will Mary feel if you ______?”

Plan.
Decide what to do and plan how and when to implement the idea. 

What Might They Do?
Purpose: To introduce alternatives to children by helping them imagine what different people might do.

Introduction:  I am going to tell you a problem.  And then we are going to pretend we are different people, and guess what they might do in the same situation.

Situation:
Your younger brother has a new toy that you would like to play with.  You ask him nicely to use it and he says “No!”  You still want to play with it. 

What might you do?  What might your big sister/brother do?  Your grandfather or grandmother? The smartest person you know? The kindest person you know? A magician? Mr. Rogers? A Police officer? Superman or Wonder Woman?

Other situations:

  1. You are sitting looking at a book.  Your little sister wants you to play with her but you want to be left alone.
  2. Your sister just changed the TV channel away from the show you were watching. 

What Might Happen
Purpose:  To practice predicting consequences.

Introduction:  We are going to play a game of guessing consequences.  Consequences are things that might happen. 

Situation:
There are two kids, Mandy and Brian.  Brian is holding an apple and Mandy wants it. 

  • What might happen if she ASKED FOR IT?  Wait for response.  Yes, he might…(insert child’s prediction).
  • What might happen if she ASKED FOR IT?  Wait for response.  Yes, he might…(insert child’s prediction). 
  • What might happen if she GRABBED THE APPLE?  Wait for response.  Yes, he might…(insert child’s prediction). 
  • What might happen if she OFFERED TO TRADE FOR SOMETHING?  Wait for response.  Yes, he might…(insert child’s prediction). 
  • What might happen if she ASKED BRIAN TO SHARE THE APPLE?  Wait for response.  Yes, he might…(insert child’s prediction). 
  • What might happen if she ASKED A GROWNUP FOR AN APPLE?  Wait for response.  Yes, he might…(insert child’s prediction). 

Variations:

  1. Julie and Paul were playing outside.  Julie was using the wagon and Paul wanted a turn.  What might happen if…? (Fill in phrases from above)?
  2. Evan and Jason were playing in Evan’s room.  Jason was playing with Evan’s building blocks.  Suddenly, Evan decided he wanted to play with them.  What might happen if…(fill in the phrases from above)?

These comments and exercises were excerpted and adapted from two books, Kids Can Cooperate: A Practical Guide to Teaching Problem Solving and Pick Up Your Socks…and other skills growing children need!, Elizabeth Crary, Parenting Press, 1990.  For more information contact www.ParentingPress.com
 

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