Goal: To improve conflict management skills
1. The student will maintain self control when faced with an accusation.
2. The student will be able to accept responsibility of something when justly accused.
3. The student will be able to calmly and sincerely explain self when faced with an unjust accusation.
1. Stop and say " I have to calm down."
2. Think about what the person has accused you of.
3. Ask yourself "Is the person right?"
4. Think about your choices:
a. Explain, in a friendly sincere way, that you didn't do it.
c. Offer to make up for what happened. (McGinnis and Goldstein, 1980 p. 152)
5. Act out your best choice.
Definition: An accusation is when someone says you did something. It may or may not be true. Dealing with an accusation means you are able to keep self control when this happens, and either accept the consequences or explain the truth.
Rationale: If you deal with an accusation appropriately, people will be more likely to listen to what you have to say and believe you. Overreacting could result in negative consequences.
Use this skill whenever someone accuses you of something you did not do prior to teaching this skill.
Ensure that students have mastered skill of accepting consequences prior to teaching this skill.
Discuss reasons why one person may falsely accuse another person (i.e. not having all the facts, jumping to conclusions, etc.)
Discuss our judicial system of being innocent until proven guilty. Set up a mock trial with judge, jury, defendant, plaintiff, and lawyers.
Ask students to describe situations when they have disagreed with their parents and how they came to an agreement.
Ask students how they feel about a person who always has to have his way and is unwilling to "bend" a little.
Prepare and read situations where there is a disagreement between two people. Tell them what ended up happening. Have the students determine if any compromising occurred.
Prepare and read the students a story that sounds as if one person did something wrong. Ask the students to make an accusation based on the information given to them. Next, give additional information about the situation which shows that someone else did it. Lead into a discussion that things are not always what they seem.
Discuss why it is important to gather all the facts before making an accusation.
Differentiate between receiving constructive criticism and an accusation.
Set the stage:
Watch a TV program i.e. "Perry Mason", in which the defendant is innocent. Discuss how students were convinced that the defendant was proven innocent. Discuss how students were convinced that the defendant was innocent.
Play the game "Clue".
Model/Role-play with Feedback
Students can complete worksheets on skill steps (listing, filling in blanks, etc.).
Students can be broken into small groups and participate in composing a script, practicing roleplays and/or providing feedback to each other.
Students can watch videotapes (pre-recorded television shows or roleplays) to determine which steps are demonstrated.
Students are asked to keep a list of any incidents in which an accusation was made of them. Students then report back and discuss incident and response in small groups or class discussion.
Role play situations:
Your teacher has accused you of cheating.
Your parents accuse you of breaking something.
Your friend accuses you of stealing something that wasn't yours.
Your neighbor blames you for breaking his window.
Your friend calls you a liar.
Your parents say you are too irresponsible to stay out late.
You are accused of shoplifting the sweater you are wearing by a store owner but you have the receipt at home.
Your best friend hears another person spreading an untrue rumor about you.
Application with Feedback
Prearrange situations with other school staff where students will be faced with an accusation. Examples: Playground staff reports that student would not follow directions, neighboring teacher reports student was running or was loud in halls, PE teacher reports student didn't shower or was poor sport, etc. Teacher completes checklist and gives student feedback on use of steps.
Checklist can be sent home for parent to monitor for use of skill or for student to use as self evaluation tool.
Student can be given accusation to make of classmate (i.e., you have my pencil etc.). Accuser can then complete checklist or teacher can evaluate response.
Parents rate students based on their use of this skill at home.
Social Skills Curriculum Guide, 1992
Special School District of St. Louis County