We all experience problems; they’re a part of life. We can’t avoid them even if we use our best social thinking. It’s a hidden rule that when we’re around others, our reaction size (the behavior we show on the outside) should match the size of our problem. But sometimes our feelings about a problem are much bigger than the problem itself!
Social Thinking teaches that problems and reactions come in different sizes. Big problems are really serious ones. When we have a big reaction to a big problem, that’s expected. Medium problems are things we didn’t expect to happen and can’t be quickly fixed. They tend to make us and/or people around us upset. Adults expect kids to help solve medium problems. Small problems, or glitches, are ones we can quickly fix on our own if we stay calm. Small problems are “no big deal.” However, when our reactions are larger than the size of the problem this can create a whole new problem. The way we react to problems can create its very own problem!
The Size of My Problem poster can be used to teach students to develop their awareness of this concept; it can also be used on the spot to help individuals figure out the size of a problem, their reaction size, and then visually see the relationship between them. The bottom of the poster provides some brief instructions to encourage adults to explore with children whether or not their reaction created a new problem.
Ages: 0-5 (Pre-School), Ages: 5-8 (Lower Primary), Ages: 8-10 (Middle Primary)
Michelle Garcia Winner, Pamela Crooke
Tools to Try Cards for Tweens & Teens is a visually rich card deck designed to help adolescents explore a variety of regulation tools and strategies.
A Two-Set Collection of 26 Visual Teaching Scaffolds for Social Learning & Self-Regulation
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