Playing games is crucial for kids to understand to learn how life really works in a fun interactive way. Kids playing with other kids is so important but I beleive parent and child interaction in playing is more important. Playing is kind of like sparring as you are finding out what works and what doesn't. but when you play with your coach he/she will teach you how to play properly and a good coach will show you how to win. Parent you are the coach and the kid is our student.
In my last blog I wrote about the art of losing. We fundamentally need that tool as a child and adult to function in society and integrate well with other people. That blog was more about how to deal with loss when it happens but with that experience how we can learn how to win next time by focusing on improving weak areas that may need some attention. In games and in life.
Delivering clear instructions is key to a game being played successfully as that goes hand in hand with rules and objectives. In order for the game to be won we need to understand the rules, understand our objective and then plan. Implementing the plan takes time and patience as well as lots of practice but this a good test to see where one is at.
This will be practise for the real thing which is the game of Life and that game can be a lot more ruthless. Playing in this manner with clear rules , objectives as well as good coaching will teach your kids how to set clear goals while working within the rules of society and the rules of nature. It becomes hard wired into your little ones brain and if shown how to play games well they will then begin to be able to apply different concepts in different areas.
Swimming has been a big focus For my son and myself. He loves swimming and it's very challenging as you need to be able to use your whole body as well as knowing when to breath. A lot of our games are water based. We take 6 different coloured sticks, throw them and give each other 3 colours each to collect. You really need to think fast with this one because you don't know where your sticks are and you have access to each others sticks so that leaves you open to sabotage.
To progress the game we are not allowed to touch the floor with our feet and then we introduce other elements to make it more challenging.
We have loads of fun and strengthens our bond, earning each others trust while understanding a bit more about how each others mind works. Guiding him through loss and success showing him the correct way to win and the correct way to lose.
We now play "The Game of Life" which is life itself and we assess areas in which we need to work on for him to be happy in his life. He's forming his opinion of himself and the world around him so this allows to see what challenges he is facing and how we as parent can improve our performance as a leader.
If you are looking for any ideas drop me a message, come along to Little Gladiators or just ask when you see me.