Should I or Shouldn’t I? What Would Others Think?
The Should I or Shouldn’t I? What Would Others Think? ™ game encourages players to think about their own behavior choices and then compares how their perceptions match (or don’t) those of the other players. It revolves around the idea of perspective taking – being able to think about others, their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, and how this interrelationship plays out in social situations. The game is based on the Social Thinking concepts and vocabulary introduced by Michelle Garcia Winner and outlined in her many books and articles on the topic.
Object of the Game
Think about your own thoughts and behaviors and those of others during various situations; match the other players’ responses to score points and win.
About the Game
During the middle and high school years, preteens and teens are being increasingly exposed to both academic and non-academic tasks and situations that require them to use their social thinking. This time of development is uncomfortable and anxiety producing for many as they seek to establish themselves as independent social entities who desire to be included by others, even if they don’t want to admit it.
The Should I or Shouldn’t I? game is designed to give teens a fun and motivating way to improve their social sense, practice taking the perspectives of others, and discuss relevant teen issues in a nonjudgmental setting. Questions posed on the Prompt and Challenge cards address a wide variety of teenage-related situations: interacting at home, at school, at a friend’s home, the mall, the grocery store, at a party or the library, at the movies or on a date.
While the Should I or Shouldn’t I? game can be a tremendous help to individuals with social learning challenges it also encourages greater self-awareness of social expectations and related social skills for any middle/high school player.
- Game Instructions
- Prompt Card Deck with 100 cards
- Challenge Card Deck with 50 cards
- 6 sets of Voting Cards (numbers 1-5 in each set)
- 6 copies of the Should I or Shouldn’t I? Behavior Scale
- Teaching Guide
Ages and Players
- Game questions, events, and scenarios are geared toward individuals ages 12-18
- 1 to 6 players
- An adult facilitator (parent, educator, therapist, or other engaged adult) who guides the game and is also one of the players
The Should I or Shouldn’t I? game is best suited for higher functioning individuals with at least emerging perspective taking abilities. It requires players to use perspective taking on two levels. First, they must think about the situation posed on the Prompt card and then think about their own response and how it will be perceived by others. Second, players will also compare their responses to those of the other players to learn if their own social thinking and related response aligns with what others in the group agree would be an expected response.
The game can be played across various settings: within a clinical setting as a therapeutic tool, in a regular education classroom to discuss different perspectives, within social learning groups to practice skills, and at home with parents and teens. When using the game as a teaching tool it is recommended that the facilitator have an understanding of, at minimum, social learning concepts such as theory of mind, perspective taking, pragmatics, central coherence, and behavior management strategies.
To gain maximum benefit from the game, the facilitator should have a working knowledge of the Social Thinking framework, the levels of the social mind as described in the Social Thinking-Social Communication Profile™, and basic Social Thinking Vocabulary terms.
The Should I or Shouldn’t I? Behavior Scale
A basic component of the game is the Should I or Shouldn’t I? Behavior Scale, a tool that further extends to players a common language to think about social behaviors and how they are perceived by others. The behavior scale included in this Middle/High School edition has a five point format and was inspired by the work of Kari Dunn Buron and Mitzi Curtis and their book, The Incredible 5 Point Scale (2003).
5 Behaviors that are against the rules
4 Behaviors that make others feel annoyed
3 Behaviors that make others have weird thoughts
2 Behaviors that are fine or okay
1 Behaviors that make others have good thoughts
- For: Parents and professionals
- Ages: Middle through high school