The Art of Discipline part 2: Role Play

The Art of Discipline part 2: Role Play
Originally written September 2012

Yesterday, I wrote part one of this series.   I want to cover several areas of discipline and what it looks like in our home.

Today, I want to write to you about ROLE PLAY.    I have written numerous articles on the importance of role play.

Role play is engaging for our children.  We have been doing role play for many years, not as much with our boys, though we did do it some…. but CERTAINLY we have done it for the girls since Sweetie 1 came home almost 9, yes NINE years ago!  (coming up in December)

When I ask somebody to do something, or see that they are really not understanding what I am saying, we try role play.  This has worked VERY well for all of the girls.  I need to do it MORE with Miss Sweetie 4.

When the other girls were smaller, I introduced them to role play just by playing in the van on a drive.

They would pretend to turn the channel on the radio, and I was the radio.  So every time they turned the channel, I had to sing a different song, speak in Spanish or give the news.  If they turned it UP, I had to be LOUD… If they turned it down, I had to whisper…. They LOVED this game!

Role play does not have to be hard.  It can be quick and simple.  “When we put the glass in the sink, we do it this way.”  That is modeling.    Role play however goes a step further.

“This is how you put the glass in the sink and show them what you are talking about by pretending to be them. MAKE IT FUNNY OR FUN.   Then, have them be YOU and MODEL to YOU how to put a glass in the sink.

This example can pretty much go for ANYTHING you are trying to teach them.

For instruction in respect, it can be a little more complicated.  Having the children be you and you be the children can always be funny and instructional.  There is nothing more funny than to see daddy or mommy pretend to have a tantrum, or say things that are often said by a certain family member.

Be careful not to be mocking.  But be real.

This opens the eyes of our children who really don’t see things the same way.

Miss Sweetie 4 has benefited from this NUMEROUS times over the last 18 plus months, as her sisters did when they were first home.

I remember having to teach Sweetie 1 and Sweetie 2  how to be compassionate through role play.  If sister is hurt, you always ask, “Are you ok?”  ( we pretended for one to be hurt and the other caring and then switched places)  They learned to come and get mommy if somebody was laying out in the drive way bleeding. 🙂

For Miss Sweetie 4, she has had to learn through role play and  verbal instruction.  Her voice can sometimes sound demanding or rude and she doesn’t like it.  She forgets, so role play has really helped her.

At first she would say, “I don’t sound like that!”  And I would have to say, “Ummm, yes you do! And I know you don’t want to!”

Practicing walking calmly down the hall, practicing putting dishes in the dish washer, practicing asking questions with the correct tone or complaining with the correct tone can DISCIIPLINE our children to be respectful, kind, and gentle.

Miss Sweetie 4’s verses for this week is Proverbs 15:1  A gentle answer turns away wrath! 🙂 And, Philippians 4:13-” I can do ALL things Through Christ who strengthens me.”

I can role play with her about speaking gently vs. harshly and it makes the verse REAL for her.  Role play can also be used in learning chores.   This week, each of our girls are taking over mother’s role in the kitchen.  I am offering LIMITED help. 🙂  They are having fun being “Queen of the Kitchen”.

Tonight was Sweetie 3’s turn.  By the End of the week they will have all had a day in the Kitchen.  I hope this helps them not only learn cooking, but how much work it is to prepare healthy meals for a family.
I love Role Play as a parenting tool.  Don’t forget to put it into your tool box!

Comments warmly welcomed!


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