Even though children want to share their feelings and thoughts with their peers, they cannot since they are not aware of what feelings they are going through and how to express them. Therefore, they avoid sharing them. Games are their communication medium.
How games help them to express themselves?
Instead of expressing their thoughts and feelings directly, children prefer to tell them with their behaviors during these games. Even though “playing games” sounds as a fun and entertaining activity to us, their behaviors are a reflection of the situations which they fear, feel anxious or worries about. Children who express themselves freely through these games, find solutions to the problems on their own. During these games, it can be observed that sometimes they are impatient, can’t control their feelings when they lose and feel competitive.
When the opportunity to create a game is given to children, it can be also observed that they build entertaining games with their unlimited imagination and also discover how to cope with problems they are facing with. It is important to motivate children when you spare time and play games with them. Motivation would increase their self-confidence and make them braver, outgoing individuals. Since plays provide to demonstrate emotional experiences with toys, it gives the opportunity to understand the problem and how children act about it. It also gives the opportunity to create a solution to a problem. Through these experiences, children understand what they feel and what others might feel as well. Games allow children to see the cause and effect relationship, understand what outcomes their actions might create and how others might feel upon their actions.
Building a game, deciding who is going to start, defining rules together maintain collaboration between children and you. It also gives the message that they are given right to speak and their thoughts are valued.
When you play games with your children, don’t forget to;
- Start the game together
- Define rules before the game jointly,
- Focus on the game and the child, not to pay attention to something else,
- Listen carefully their thoughts and opinions and encourage them to express.
- Avoid negative criticism and pay attention to what they say,
- Maintain eye contact.
- Make them feel that you are there with physical language, voice tone and gestures.
- To show that you are excited and willing to play.