How to "role-play" for better decisions

School Psychologist Stephen Gray Wallace, MS, Ed, shares advice for parents on how role-playing can be beneficial in teaching your child to make good decisions
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How to "role-play" for better decisions

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Stephen Wallace: One of the things we can do to help our kids avoid risky situations is to role-play with them on how they’re going to respond. We know that kids think in the moment, often very impulsively. And they may go to a party and intend not to drink or go on a date and not intend to have sex, they may get swept up in the moment and make a decision that they really don’t want to make, and that they will later regret making. So actually role playing with them and asking them how they would respond to a certain situation will help put a blueprint in their mind of how to respond. It’s like a football player practicing fumbling drills. When the ball hits the field, they don’t have to stop and think about what to do. They would know instinctively to dive onto that ball. These are the same types of instincts that we want to develop in our children.

School Psychologist Stephen Gray Wallace, MS, Ed, shares advice for parents on how role-playing can be beneficial in teaching your child to make good decisions

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Stephen Gray Wallace, MS Ed

School Psychologist & Author

Stephen Gray Wallace, M.S. Ed., is president and director of the Center for Adolescent Research and Education (CARE), a national collaborative of institutions and organizations committed to increasing favorable youth outcomes and reducing risk. He is a consultant to summer camps on staff training and teen leadership programming and has broad experience as a school psychologist and adolescent/family counselor. Stephen is a member of the professional development faculty at the American Academy of Family Physicians and American Camp Association and a parenting expert at kidsinthehouse.com, NBC News Learn and WebMD. He is also an expert partner at RANE (Risk Assistance Network & Exchange) and was national chairman and chief executive officer at SADD for more than 15 years. Additional information about Stephen’s work can be found at StephenGrayWallace.com.

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