LifeSkills Handbooks Activity 50

This is a single activity session plan from The Lifeskills Handbook. There are 61 activity sessions in this book and this is Activity 50. The book is available from our resources section where you’ll also find downloadable storybooks, booklets and posters to help you in your work.

LifeSkills Handbooks Activity 50 – Emotional Pressure

Purpose of Activity: To find ways of reacting to emotional pressure.

Life Skills: Coping with Stress & Emotion

Important Points
Before doing this activity, do Activity 21: Negotiation. It is helpful for children to recognise, understand and cope with their emotions so they can use them positively. Children can be angry when their rights are disregarded and they can use this anger to help give them energy to make decisions. High stress levels are bad for our health but some stress makes us think more clearly and work harder to achieve whatever we want.

Materials

Two sets of pressure statements like the ones below.

  • Oh, come on, everyone else is doing it!
  • Just this once!
  • Don’t you trust me?
  • Come on, we’ve been friends for three months now.
  • Just have one drink and you’ll feel much better.
  • You’re not a man until you start smoking.
  • Using a condom is like eating a sweet with the wrapper on.
  • You would do this if you loved me.
  • If you don’t want to, then go home. We’ve no place for little kids here.
  • They’ll never catch us.
  • When you smoke this, you’ll feel like a completely new person.
  • How dare you accuse me of having other lovers?
  • I promise you you’ll really enjoy it.
  • You’re too young to know what you’re talking about.
  • When I say do something, you do it!
  • Whenever I look at your clothes, I feel sorry for you because you don’t know what you are missing in life by having no boyfriend.

Steps

  1. Divide group into two teams, A and B. Within the teams, ask children to pair up. (If numbers are uneven, this activity can be done two groups of three.)
  2. Give each pair two or three pressure statements and ask them to create roleplays in which one person uses at least two of the phrases and the other finds answers to resisting this pressure.
  3. All the pairs from both teams perform their roleplays and the group discuss which roleplays were better at showing resistance to emotional pressure. Discuss why. If appropriate, give the winning pair a point and at the end see which team has won.

Final Discussion:

How have people tried to make you do things you do not want to do? What did you do? Was it easy? What is needed to resist pressure? Were some statements easier to respond to than others? Which ones? Why? What made some more difficult? Did some of the statements make you angry or embarrassed or confused? Which ones? Why?

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