Goal: To improve decision-making and problem-solving skills
Objective(s): The student will be able to prepare for a difficult situation.
1. Think about how you will feel during the conversation.
2. Think about how the other person will feel.
3. Think about different ways you could say what you want to say.
4. Think about what the other person might say back to you.
5. Think about any other things that might happen during the conversation.
6. Choose the best approach you can think of and try it. (Goldstein and et al, 1980 p. 126)
Definition: When you anticipate a difficult situation you are making yourself aware of the potential for problems, conflict, or stress.
Rationale: You will be better prepared to handle difficult situations if you are aware of them ahead of time. This allows you to rehearse or do research.
Discuss the difference between healthy awareness of difficulties and negative or pessimistic thinking.
Teacher asks class member to recall situations where they have felt tense, anxious, or impatient.
Categorize these as "difficult" situations. Note that the way a person approaches a situation can influence the final outcome.
Review individual situations; seek multiple approaches that could be used.
Assist class in identifying positive outcomes.
Model the Process Steps
* Each time, repeat process steps with different approaches.
For students with adequate reading/writing skills, teacher may present a sample situation and assign individuals to write out the preparations they would make. For non-readers, individual conferences could accomplish the same objective.
Role play situations:
You talk with teacher about dropping a difficult subject.
You get ready to tell parent about failing a test.
You get ready to ask someone for a first date.
You are captain of a team where one team member attempts to bully teammates and anticipate how to handle it.
You anticipate being teased during lunch, recess, bus ride.
You prepare to explain absence to a supervisor.
Application with Feedback
Students present written or oral review of their use of process steps, within a time frame.
Students review a plan with teacher in anticipation of a difficult situation at home/school/work.
Journal documentation of use of process steps. Sample sentence, "One day I was so smart I ________." "I knew there would be a problem so I ________." Or "I knew ________ would be difficult so I _____."
Social Skills Curriculum Guide, 1992
Special School District of St. Louis County