Practice Scenarios for Parents and Children

What Would You Do?


Practice Scenarios for Parents & Children


Children love playing “What would you do?” games. You can ask them “If this happened to you, what would you do?” These role playing games offer you a great opportunity to discuss safety education with your child, without scare tactics or making them feel threatened. It also gives you great insight on how your child thinks and would behave in certain situations. These are games you can play in the car while driving to school, going to soccer practice, or at the dinner table.


We are big advocates of interactive learning with our children — especially when they are younger. The “What would you do” games offer you an opportunity to engage your child in the learning process by allowing them to tell you what they are thinking and to show you how they would act in certain situations. This is a much better approach than just having your child listen to you lecture to them about safety.


Here are a few simple rules to follow with the “What would you do?” game:


  • Don’t be too specific.
    • For example:“What would you do if you were walking down the street in our neighborhood and an older man wearing a baseball cap in a black van pulled over and told you to get in his van?”

      The problem with this scenario is that it may teach your child to fear older men in baseball caps.

      A better question is this:

      “What would you do if you were walking down the street in our neighborhood and a car made you feel uncomfortable or the driver made you feel uneasy?”

  • Let your children answer the questions. Give them time to respond. The goal is to allow them the opportunity to provide their thoughts before you give them the answer. It is better that you wait and let your child give you the wrong answer now than to have them make a mistake in the real world. You can then correct their mistakes, and praise them when they give you the right answer.
  • Make the game fun and interactive. You can even role-play in the game.
  • Avoid scaring your child.
    • For example:“What would you do if someone smashed in your window, climbed in, grabbed you by the arm, and pulled you out the window and stuffed you into the trunk of their car?”

      The thought of that scary scenario ever happening would have your child sleeping in your bed until they go off to college.

      Here is a better way to ask:

      “What would you do if you were in your room by yourself and you heard a noise outside?”

  • Adapt “What would you do?” scenarios for internet use too.
    • For example:“What would you do if you where on the computer and received a message that was mean and harassing in nature?”

      “What would you do if your best friend asks you to accompany her as she wants to meet with a very cool friend she met on the internet?”

  • Encourage your child to talk. Again, there are no right or wrong answers. If your child does not come up with the desired response, explain how to best handle the scenario.
    • For example:Teach your child to not respond to threatening or inappropriate messages and to tell a trusted adult. Children need to be taught the differences between “real-world” and “virtual-world”, including how easily persons can mask their true identity including gender and age. Children should never agree to meet anyone in the “real-world” that is only known through the “virtual-world.”
  • More “What would you do?” Questions for practice:
    • For example:What would you do if you were coming home from school and realized you forgot your key?

      What would you do if you were home alone and someone dressed as a plumber insists you let him in because he has an urgent repair to make?

      What would you do if you were walking back from a friend’s home and someone in a car stops and asks you for directions?

      What would you do if your soccer coach offered to drive you home after practice?

      What would you do if you were at the mall and an elderly person asked for you to help choose a gift for his/her grandson?

      What would you do if you were walking back from school and a neighbor invited you into his home in order to see his new puppy?

      What would you do if you were at a friend’s house and his/her sister, who is babysitting you, leaves with her friend and says that she will be back soon?

      What would you do if it was raining while you are at the school bus stop and the mother of a student in your class stops and offers you a ride?

      What would you do if you were at a restaurant with your parents and on the way to the restroom a waiter asks you to follow him because he has a surprise for you?

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