Social Stories for Frustration

Instructor: Bethany Calderwood

Bethany has taught special education in grades PK-5 and has a master's degree in special education.

Social stories can be used to teach students about their emotions. In this lesson, you will find social stories designed to teach students about frustration.

Feeling Frustrated

Frustration is an emotion that almost all students experience at one time or another, but many of them don't know how to talk about it or handle it. Dealing with frustration is a skill that needs to be taught. One tool for teaching about frustration is social stories. Social stories explain how to deal with situations and emotions using simple scenarios that students can relate to.

Let's look at some social stories about dealing with frustration, which you can use as they are written, or as templates. Remember, any time you personalize a social story you add to its impact.

Social Stories for Frustration

I Can't Do It

Math is hard. I try to do my math homework, but sometimes I can't do it. When I do the same problem over and over and I still can't get the answer, I feel upset. I want to stop. I don't want to try anymore. Sometimes I want to throw my pencil or tear my paper. I want to stomp my feet and yell. I can't do math, so I don't want to do it.

Mom says this feeling is called frustration. Frustration happens when I can't do something, even though I'm trying hard. When I am frustrated, I shouldn't hurt anybody or break anything. I can ask for help. I can also take a break and try again later. I don't like to be frustrated.

Leave Me Alone

I was in the middle of drawing a map for the game I was playing. I was drawing very quickly, because I had lots of ideas and I wanted to draw them all before I forgot anything important. Just then, my little brother David came up to me and asked me to play Candy Land.

''No! Leave me alone!'' I told David.

''Please, please, please?'' said David.

''No! Go away!'' I pushed David away and tried to ignore him.

David started to cry and went to tell Mom. Mom came over to me and asked why I yelled at my brother and pushed him.

''I was in the middle of drawing! Now I can't remember what I was doing because David talked to me and now you're talking to me,'' I told Mom.

''I understand,'' said Mom. ''You felt frustrated because you were interrupted while you were in the middle of something. It's okay to feel frustrated. It's not okay to push your brother or yell at him.''

Mom and I talked about what to do next time David interrupts me. I can tell him I'm busy and ask him to wait. If he doesn't want to wait, I can ask Mom for help. And sometimes I need to stop what I'm doing and pay attention to David, because that is being kind to my brother.

When people interrupt me I feel frustrated, but I am trying to learn to respond appropriately, the way Mom told me.

They Won't Listen

Recess was no fun today. No one would play what I wanted to play.

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