Evidence That It Works
In a study, children were asked to complete a boring task for 10 minutes, but they had the option to take breaks to play a fun video game. Children who were given directions to embody and speak to themselves as a favorite character, like Batman or Dora the Explorer, spent more time working on the task compared to other children.
Why Does It Matter?
Perseverance is key to becoming someone whom others can count on—someone who is reliable even when the tasks they have to do are boring or hard.
Teaching our students perseverance will not only impact how reliable they become in cleaning up their toys, but may also support their overall academic success. Research shows that students who are better able to resist temptations and practice self-discipline perform better in school.
In addition, role playing allows students to distance themselves from a situation by taking an outsider’s perspective. This self-distancing tactic allows them to stop focusing on their own negative emotions and their desire to do something more interesting. By removing these distractions, role playing can help students focus on the end goal of completing the task.