Social Rules Book

Social Rules Book

Purpose:  This technique is intended to help children who find it difficult to understand how others respond emotionally to the various disruptive behaviors they exhibit.   These same children often improve when they have concrete rules to follow for given situations.  Unlike other children, disruptive children often do not come up with these social rules on their own.  Some of the children that could benefit from this technique include children suffering from severe reactive attachment disorders, autism and Aspergers syndrome would all possibly benefit from this program.  

Starting the Program:

  1. Purchase a hard cover journal for the child.
  2. Threw the day take note of one good thing that the child has done and one thing that they should try to improve on.
  3. During a quiet time of the day, take the child aside and write in the book the thing that they did right and the rule that corresponds to the good deed and then write down the thing to improve and the social rule that covers that behaviour.  The adult is the one that comes up with the rule but you can ask the child’s opinion about what rule covers the situation.  Use one page per day.
  4. After the rule is written out, write out the feelings that each person involved in the situation, what caused them to act the way they did and what they should do in the future.
  5. The person writing the journal is the adult.  The child is giving input nad watching as the adult writes out the responses.


The following is an example of a page in the journal:

Good Thing:  You helped Jamie pick up his books when he dropped them outside while getting off the buss.

Rule:  Help someone in need when you can.

My Feeling:                                      Proud

Their Feeling:                                   Happy
My reasons:                                      Wanted to help

Their reasons:                                   Needed help
What I will do next time:                    Help Again

What they should do next time:          He may help me when I need it

Thing to improve:  I pushed Jamie when he would not give me the ball.
Rule: Pushing is never a good idea.  Talk it out or get an adult to help.
My Feeling:                                        Angry

Their Feeling:                                     Angry
My reasons:                                        I wanted the ball

Their reasons:                                     They wanted the ball
What I will do next time:                      Share

What they should do next time:             Share

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