By GreatSchools Staff
Child's Age: 9
Child's School Level: Elementary
Area(s) child struggles: child struggles: Attention, Behavior, Emotions, Psychological Issue
My son, who has AD/HD, was having trouble working in small groups at school. He insisted the other kids weren't listening to him, or that he was doing "all the work," or that he didn't understand the teachers' instructions to the group and the other kids wouldn't explain them to him.
I decided to try some role playing at home. We asked his grandma to play the "teacher" and I acted the part of a classmate in his small group. We reenacted a situation he had described to us, pausing to offer him helpful hints, acknowledge his frustration, or even "rewinding" the scene to try it again.
He was angry with his classmates for not including him in a way he felt was fair. Initially, he thought role playing at home was useless. But as we went through the exercise together, he realized we had heard his frustration and he was willing to try out different ways of listening, responding, and asking questions. After a few practice sessions, he started trying the techniques in his small group at school.
I might have asked my son's cousin to join us in role playing so there was another kid involved.
Let your child express his frustration with the situation until he is able to get it out of his system. Then he'll be more willing to try role playing at home.
Try your best to be patient - and have a sense of humor - especially if your child tells you that role playing is "stupid."
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