Teaching Guide:
The Three Rs of Growing Up

for grades 5-9

This material is from the teaching guide
for the video
"The Three Rs of Growing Up"
in the 12-part DVD series Big Changes, Big Choices.


Most people think of a grownup as someone who takes responsibility for his/her own life. And being responsible shows your parents that you are growing up and can handle more freedom. Here are six ways to be a responsible person:
Take care of your own affairs.
Follow through on commitments.
Answer for your own actions.
Be trustworthy.
Don't procrastinate.
Always use your head.

Some decisions are easy to make, others are more complicated. When it's a choice between right and wrong, you don't need to weigh the pros and cons. Choosing to do the right thing is an act of self-respect and responsible decision making. Here are some guidelines for deciding what's right:
What do my heart and conscience tell me?
Could it hurt anyone - including me?
Is it fair?
How would I feel if somebody did it to me?
How will I feel about myself later if I do it?
What would adults I respect say about it?

Respecting ourselves helps us make good choices. And making good choices lifts our self-respect. Good self respect helps every aspect of our personal and social lives, and makes it a lot easier to get through the tough times. Here are some things that are almost guaranteed to make you respect yourself.
Take responsibility for yourself.
Always do what you believe is right.
Be true to yourself and your highest values.
Respect others and treat them right.
Set goals and work to achieve them.
Say "no" to negative pressures.
Don't let others make your choices for you.


"The 3 Rs of Growing Up "
The Video

This video teaches young adolescents:

 That taking responsibility for their choices and actions is an essential part of growing up.

 That making choices based on what is right usually produces the best results.

 That when we respect ourselves we make our best choices.

see story synopsis . . .



"Big Changes, Big Choices"
the 12-part series
In Big Changes, Big Choices comedian/teen counselor Michael Pritchard helps young adolescents discover that they have the power and the responsibility to make the right choices for themselves.  more. . .

For more information about individual videos in this 12-part series, click on the title below.
•  The Three Rs of Growing Up
•  You and Your Values
•  Enhancing Self-Esteem
•  Setting & Achieving Goals
•  Dealing With Pressures
•  Handling Emotions
•  Preventing Conflicts & Violence
•  Saying No to Alcohol & Other Drugs
•  Speaking of Sex
•  Friendship
•  Getting Along With Parents
•  Respecting Others

If your school or organization does not have these videos, you can purchase them from Live Wire Media, or request them from your local library.




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To find additional teaching guides on this and related topics for K-12, click here.


If you are using the video, ask the first question before viewing.

1. What is a grownup? How do you know when you are one?

2. The kids in the video said that the process of growing up involves becoming more responsible. Do you agree? What do you think they meant by that?

3. Exactly what does being responsible mean? Name some responsible behaviors.

4. What are the benefits of being responsible?

5. Is there a connection between responsibility and freedom? What is it?

6. Does being responsible have any effect on your self respect? How, in what ways?

7. In the video, Michael Pritchard gave his own version of the story of the three little pigs. What point was he was making, and what did it have to do with self respect?

8. What does self-respect have to do with growing up?

9. The kids in the video identified several of the signs of self-respect. What were they? Can you think of any others? Make a list.

10. Do you think your self-respect sometimes affects the way you make choices? In what way?

11. Do you think the quality of your choices sometimes affects your self-respect? In what way?

12. Agree or disagree: When it comes to making choices, it's okay to do anything you can get away with! Why do you agree or disagree? Can you give some examples from personal experience?

13. When Pritchard asked the kids what they'd do if they saw somebody drop a $50 bill, some of them changed their minds during the discussion. Why do you think that happened? Did you change your mind? Why, or why not?

14. How often do you think about whether something is right or wrong before you decide to do it?

15. Why do people sometimes do the right thing even when it's not as easy or as much fun as something else?

16. Do you think you usually know right from wrong? How? What are your guidelines?

17. What is the "golden rule?" Does it help you distinguish between right and wrong?

18. What are the benefits of doing what you believe is the right thing? Does it make your decisions any easier? How?

19. Agree or disagree: By the time you are 35 years old you are certainly a grownup. Why do you agree or disagree?

20. Did anybody in this video say anything you disagree with? What would you say to that person?

(If you wish to copy or use any material from this website, please click here for Terms of Use.)

  Other teaching guides in this series:  

  •  The Three Rs of Growing Up
•  You and Your Values
•  Enhancing Self-Esteem
•  Setting & Achieving Goals
•  Dealing With Pressures
•  Handling Emotions
•  Preventing Conflicts & Violence
•  Saying No to Alcohol & Other Drugs
•  Speaking of Sex
•  Friendship
•  Getting Along With Parents
•  Respecting Others


Here are four hypothetical situations for the group to consider. For each situation, let them argue about what to do until everyone has come to a decision. Then ask the following three questions:
- Does your decision indicate that you are a responsible person? In what ways?
- Do you believe you decided to do what's right?
- Would you respect yourself more, or less if you actually carried out your decision?
For some help in considering each of these three questions, see "How To Be A Grownup" at the top of this column.

Hypothetical #1:  You've made a commitment to spend the weekend working on your part of a class project that's due Monday. Then, some friends invite you to go on a weekend camping trip in the mountains. You'd love to go, but you can't do both. What do you do?

Hypothetical #2: There's a group of popular kids in school that you've been wanting to get in with. They start liking you, but they think your best friend is weird and they want you to stop hanging around with him/her. You've been best friends for years. What do you do?

Hypothetical #3:  You and a girl or boy you really care about share an intimate romantic moment after a party and agree not to talk about it to others. A few days later you discover that a lot of people have heard about it. What do you do?

Hypothetical #4:  Your parents reluctantly permit you to go to a party after you promise there will be no alcohol or other drugs. Your date's older brother is driving. After an hour you notice that he's on his third can of beer. Nobody else at the party has a car. What do you do?

Have members of the group perform role plays on any of these situations.

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1. Write about some ways you are becoming more responsible for yourself. For your community. For our planet and environment. How does this increasing sense of responsibility make you feel?

2. Write about a time when you did something really responsible. Describe it. What was the outcome? How did it make you feel about yourself? Describe a time you did something really irresponsible. What was the outcome? How did it make you feel about yourself?

3. One girl in the video said that when a person does something that's wrong "it gets on your conscience and you don't realize it until the fun is stopped, and then you realize, well, maybe I shouldn't have done that." Has that ever happened to you? Write about it. What have you learned from it?

4. Write a letter to someone in the news who did something that you don't think was right. Be specific about why you don't think it was right, and why you think this action sets a bad example for young people. Mail the letter.

5. Write at least five things you can say to yourself when you are tempted to do something you feel is wrong.

6. Write about a time when you or a friend made a choice that showed good self-respect.

7. Make a list of the qualities you respect most about yourself. Pick two of them and write about why you respect those qualities and how you think they will benefit you as you grow up.


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