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, director of the Center for Adolescent Research and Education (CARE), has broad experience as a school psychologist and adolescent and family counselor. He is also the senior advisor for policy, research, and education at SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions), an organization he served as national chairman and chief executive officer for more than fifteen years. 

Stephen serves the Cape Cod Sea Camps as a resident camp director and the director of counseling and counselor training and the American Camp Association as a feature magazine writer, media spokesperson and faculty member at its e-Institute for Professional Development, a role he also plays for the American Academy of Family Physicians.

The White House, the American Camp Association, SADD, Camping Magazine, and the Susquehanna University Alumni Association have formally honored Stephen for being a tireless and passionate advocate for youth.

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