Teach kids the social skill of Flexibility in their thinking is a complex task. Words such as: “rigidity,” flexibility,” “cooperate,” “compromise,” etc. are COMPLEX.
Start by teaching kids simpler words like: ”stubborn,” “bossy,” “get along with,” “let others have their way,” etc.
Explain it to kids like this:
“Some things around us are hard. What are some objects in this room that are hard? What things are soft? Name some soft objects and some hard objects in this room.
Now let’s talk about how things that we cannot see can also be hard or soft. Like our thoughts.
Here are some words for thoughts that are HARD: Bossy, stubborn, rigid, unchanging.
Here are some words for thoughts that are SOFT: Flexible, agree, willing to change, willing to try, cooperate.
Sometimes it is okay or good to be stubborn & bossy. Like if someone is trying to get you to do something really bad, it’s great to be really stubborn and say no! Sometimes it feels really good to do something the same way over and over to make you feel safe & calm. But very often, it is not good to be rigid. Being rigid can keep you from doing good, new things. Being rigid can annoy other people. Being rigid can keep you from having friends.”
HOW TO USE THE CARDS:
The cards are designed to help kids with the social skills of flexibility associated with accepting other people’s thoughts and ideas and dealing with unexpected and unwanted changes. You can shuffle the cards randomly or else “stack the deck” so that cards most fitting for the child will be drawn. Remove from the deck any cards you don’t consider relevant.
Do lots of role plays with this social skills game activity. For example, you, the adult, can pretend to be the rigid person depicted in the card. Strongly reinforce children when they show awareness of their own rigid traits. Try passing out tokens to acknowledge learning about flexibility and admitting to rigid habits.
Some Kids have a lot of problems with rigidity. They have problems dealing with changes and they have problems trying new ways of doing things. Some Kids find it hard to imagine the points of view of other people and they often don’t make accurate predictions about how others will react to stubborn and bossy behavior.
Free Flexiblity Card Game for you to download and use with your child/student/client/patient.