Sorry, I'll be good.

I think role-playing has a place in that it can teach kids what to do in a stressful situation. By knowing what to do they can respond appropriately rather than freezing up in panic. Here are some of the things that DW and I role-play with our daughters:

1. Bad dog! While out walking with my girls I'll occasionally say "Bad dog" and they will move behind me, kneel down into a ball and clasp their hands over their necks for protection.

2. Fireman. One girl will pretend to be on fire. She yells "I'm on fire" then drops to the ground and starts rolling. The other daughter grabs a blanket and helps smother the flames.

3. Princess and the bad guy. An evil ogre tries to kidnap the princess. She responds by yelling for help, fighting to get away, and runs to a king/queen/teacher/guardian and tells them what happened.

However, I don't know if these things really constitute "courage" rather than just doing the right thing at the right time. Perhaps by installing in them a sense of being able to cope with situations like these they are less likely to freak out in a stressful situation. The more exposure to controlled situations the more they build up the sense of self-suffiency which should lessen fear.

I really think the problem is we can't decide on a universal definition of courage.

I think you can teach a child to be self reliant which can lead to grace under fire for most situations. However when something really big comes up it may just boil down to brain chemistry.

I've read a lot about the brain. When it doesn't know what to do it will start scanning through past experiences to try and find out how it responded in a similar situation. Once it finds something it responds in the same way, whether or not this response is appropriate. Role-playing can help the child's brain develop a larger set of experience’s to draw from, hopefully allowing it to find an appropriate response.


Edited by Blast (09/21/09 03:04 PM)
Edit Reason: spelling
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