Social Stories for Not Getting What You Want

Instructor: Clio Stearns

Clio has taught education courses at the college level and has a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction.

It can be really hard for kids to learn how to handle not getting what they want! This lesson offers social stories you can use to help your students think through and respond to this experience.

Using Social Stories

Are your students struggling with what happens when they do not get exactly what they want? If we are honest, probably all of us have had a hard time with this at one point or another during our lives. Not getting what you want can create all sorts of feelings, ranging from sadness to fury. Teaching students how to behave with regard to these feelings will go a long way toward helping them manage their lives.

One way to help students learn more about not getting what they want is by using social stories, or explicit scripts told from the perspective of an imaginary student struggling with a similar situation. Though social stories are traditionally used with students who have language delays, social struggles or autism spectrum disorders, they can sometimes be beneficial to everyone. The social stories in this lesson help students think and learn about not getting what they want.

Not Getting a Thing You Want

There are lots of things I want! Sometimes, I want things like special treats to eat. I might want a new toy or a new game, or new music or a poster for my room. When I see a thing I want, I ask my parents if I can have it. I like it when my parents say yes, but it is really hard when they say no! Then I have to deal with not getting what I want.

When I do not get a thing I want, I feel really sad. Sometimes I even want to cry or have a tantrum! It is okay to feel sad about not getting what I want, but it is better if I can use words to describe my feelings. I can say, 'I feel really sad about that!' I can close my eyes and picture things I already have and love. I can take deep breaths until my sad feelings calm down a little.

When I do not get a thing I want, I also feel really angry. I even feel angry at my parents, and I want to hit them or yell at them! It is okay to feel angry about not getting what I want, but it is better if I can use words to describe these feelings, too. I can say, 'I feel really angry about that!' I can ask my parents to explain their answer. I can go into a quiet spot and count to ten slowly, so my angry feelings will calm down.

Not getting what I want is hard, but learning to deal with it is part of growing up. I am proud of myself for learning to handle not getting what I want.

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