the previous post on the pause button inspired a great question! Q: “how should one introduce a new program to a child?” A: it will depend on the child. generally though, the following four-step process is recommended for children with developed verbal skills:
(1) advertise a day before you want to begin the program. something like, “oh boy we will get to start something new tomorrow!”
(the next day – allot about thirty minutes to make the introduction.)
(2) provide a short but sweet explanation. something like, “we are going to start something new. i am going to teach you magic words and give you a magic button. you can use them if you want to wait a minute before following some of my instructions.”
(3) get buy-in. something like, “would you like to help me decorate your new pause button with stickers and glitter?”
(4) do three role plays with the child. (first role play), something like, “let’s try the way that will work best first! let’s pretend I say, ‘it’s time to clean up your room.’ if your pause button is available, you can say, ‘ok dad! may i take a pause first?’ then I will say, ‘sure you can have a pause for a minute! what a polite way to ask!'” (second role play) something like, “let’s try the way that will not work next! let’s pretend I say, ‘it’s time to clean up your room.’ if your pause button is available, but you forget, you might say, ‘no way dad! i am not cleaning my room’ then I will say, ‘you forgot to ask in a polite way for a pause. guess you will have to start cleaning up right away.'” (third role play) something like, “oh boy that did not work very well! what can you do to get a better outcome?” and the grown-up and child would just repeat the first role play again.
good luck and happy advertising! please share your successes or challenges!