Teachers and parents can follow these instructions on how to make a game to help your students or children learn to handle not always being first! It can be played with the whole family at home, or classmates in school.
SKILL TO LEARN: How to be second, third, or….last, and feel okay no matter what position you find yourself in (as in a line, queue, or a race).
NEW UNDERSTANDING: It’s okay to be second, third,…or last. I don’t always have to be first. Other people can be first sometimes. Being first doesn’t mean “right”; just like being other-than-first doesn’t mean “wrong”. It’s okay to be in any order. The order can change from day to day, and activity to activity.
EXAMPLE SITUATION: The child may have a routine of having to be the first one down the stairs in the morning, the first one to buckle her seat belt, the first on in line, queue, etc.
MAKE A GAME OF IT: Help her develop a new routine of sometimes being first, sometimes second, sometimes third, even last…initially, in the form of a game. Each day decide together, ahead of time “which position” she will plan to be coming down the stairs. To make it more structured, clear, predictable, and easier to handle, the child and parent together write the number (1st, 2nd, 3rd) on the calendar square that day for that day. Each day, the child and/or the parent can choose a different number.
The intent of this game is to give your child practice in being a position other-than-first, changing day to day, practicing it in a way that will become fun, rather than anxiety-provoking.
And always remember to write Social Stories™. Social Stories™ describe life. Teachers and parents are encouraged to be trained in writing Social Stories, by Catherine Faherty, or another member of Carol Gray’s Team Social Stories.