Goal: To improve conflict management skills
1. The student will be able to identify potential problem situations.
2. The student will be able to remain uninvolved in a potentially trouble-causing situation.
3. The student will choose alternative activity when faced with negative situation.
1. Decide if you are in a situation that might get you into trouble.
2. Decide if you want to get out of the situation.
3. Tell others what you have decided and why.
4. Suggest other things you might do.
5. Do what you think is best for you. (Goldstein and et al, 1980 p. 114)
Definition: Avoiding trouble is saying no to peers when they suggest a wrong or illegal activity; the ability to suggest an alternate activity and or graceful get out of an activity if necessary. It also may mean avoiding situations or people who are likely to involve trouble or conflict.
Rationale: Rationales for avoiding trouble, i.e. avoidance of negative consequences; pride in making good decisions.
Discuss advantages of learning to avoid trouble, such as avoiding possible consequences, feeling proud of ability to make good decisions, etc.
Discuss situations where avoiding trouble might be used such as playground, neighborhoods, homes, hallways, etc.
Brainstorm activities or environments conducive to trouble.
Discuss - Resist a potential trouble situation unless the person threatens to harm you. Go along only until you can get away or get help. Never argue with the person trying to influence you.
Model/Role-play with Feedback
Divide class into groups of 5. Give each member one of skill steps written on a slip of paper not including step #. Each group should line up so steps are in order. Each fully explains his step to group.
Students complete worksheet or quiz on skill steps.
Students review skill steps on Being Assertive. Students brainstorm on ways to tell their friends "no" in a firm but non-threatening way.
Students break into small groups and are given a situation. They must decide if it could cause trouble and list all possible consequences if they choose to join in.
Watch an episode of Wonder Years where main character gets in trouble. Write or discuss alternatives to avoid trouble. Or...show 'Up To Trouble' and have students write a new ending script where character avoids further trouble and consequences.
Role play situations:
You tell classmates he/she will not cut class with them.
You refuse to drive family car without permission.
You decide not to shoplift.
Your friends are using drugs.
Your friend asks you to smoke a cigarette.
A group of your friends are teasing a classmate at recess or at bus stop.
Your older brother tells you to lie to your parents to protect him.
Another student wants you to help him/her cheat on a test.
Your brother or sister wants you to take money from your parents.
A group of your peers are hanging out after curfew.
Application with Feedback
Students self record performance on a fill-in-the-blank worksheet or checklist. Student notes what they said to the others, final decision (join in or not), and alternative activity if appropriate.
Gym teacher, lunch staff, recess staff, etc., are given checklists and asked to fill in any instances where students are observed using skill. Teacher should provide appropriate positive reinforcement.
Blank checklists are made available in class for use as students observe others using skill.
Social Skills Curriculum Guide, 1992
Special School District of St. Louis County