Sharon Scott, LPC, LMFT – This article will make you smile.
When my elementary age clients come to my counseling office with their homework completed I always have a small "prize" for them. It might be a piece of candy (with parental permission), a comic book or a little toy. I show the child two items and he can select which "prize" he wants.
Recently a 10 year old boy whom I have been working with for a few months did a great job on his homework. So I opened my prize box and selected two items for him to pick one. In one hand I had a piece of candy and the other hand I had a small action figure (I thought) wrapped in celephone. As he looked closer, he noticed that the wrapper to the action figure had a name on it-and it was Barbie! He begin yelling, "Why would you offer me a Barbie?" I replied, "It's not Barbie, it's an action figure." He replied with great frustration, "NO! It's NOT! It's a Barbie!"
Sure enough, when I looked at the wrapper it indeed said Barbie and she appeared to be dressed Goth-like-all in black. I had never seen such a doll before. So I put Ms. Barbie back in the box and offered him something else.
Last week when he came in and I was opening the prize box, the darling child said, "Don't give me that Barbie again… I've been having nightmares about that doll you offered me." I don't think this boy will ever forget me-not necessarily for my helping him-but for offering him a "girl's toy!"
Copyright © 2011, Sharon Scott. No reproduction without written permission.
P.S. Please see my other column "Underage Drinking Has Changed."
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The guide for parents/educators on how to peer-proof children and teens is Peer Pressure Reversal: An Adult Guide to Developing a Responsible Child, 2nd Ed.
Her popular book for teens, How to Say No and Keep Your Friends, 2nd Ed., empowers kids to stand out,not just fit in!
A follow-up book for teens, When to Say Yes! And Make More Friends, shows adolescents how to select and meet quality friends and, in general, feel good for doing and being good.
Sharon also has a charming series of five books for elementary-age children each teaching an important living skill and "co-authored" with her savvy cocker spaniel Nicholas who makes the learning fun.Their book on managing elementary-age peer pressure is titled Too Smart for Trouble.