* Follow up on golden Jim

Jim with bananas


I’ve been asked why I would let a puppet slap and tease my students in a social skills group.  It’s all Jim’s fault.  As much as I have worked with him, Jim struggles to remember how to manage his strong feelings.  He teases relentlessly.  He still picks his nose.  The kids in the social skills groups do their best to help Jim because they find him rather likeable.  Don’t ask me why he’s so popular.  His voice grates on my nerves.  But the kids create role plays for him, suggest strategies for managing that nasty nose thing, and even get used to his teasing.  You’d be surprised how attached they can get to this fuzzy critter with his ENORMOUS hugs.  Sorry, Jim, but I’m just telling it like it is.  Oh, you also need to learn how to share.

* Color my Jim pure gold

Jim with bananas

Jim is an exceptional puppet with a golden face, in case you were searching for the gold (thanks for the challenge, Jennifer!).   Jim requires three human hands for full mobility, but his mouth and one hand are sufficient to make him a real nuisance.  Some kids need a pest like Jim.  He has helped many unassertive kids find their voice and assisted others in recognizing the social effects of picking their nose, among other issues (yes, Jim is a notorious nose-picker).  For many rule-bound kids, it’s the first opportunity to test limits and discover that the world is still a safe place.  Others learn self-control safely by practicing with a pretend jerk!  Jim easily falls over the line of name-calling, doesn’t mind slapping someone, and is whiny and teasing.

It’s amazing how kids can learn social skills when faced with this golden opportunity primate!  Caveat: Not all kids respond well to this golden boy; he is too huge and intimidating for some.