When I am working clinically with families we do a lot of work with games - this is particularly important with the children who have the most challenging difficulties. Why should this be?
Well one of the issues that is most overlooked is that children who are anxious and challenging, particularly the most vulnerable is that they often have some substantial gaps in their social emotional development and one of the most important ways that social development progresses is through games.
The key is that games that are helpful have to start with the very simple and then progress in small steps to the more complex.
I will be writing more about this but for now here are some games I always have by me for helping the process of discussions about relationship health development flow more easily
Social Development Progresses in Steps
One of the most important steps involves getting a back and forth turn taking process going in which we think together about a shared interest.
There are two forms of basic social interaction
+ Dyadic Social Interaction - that means back and forth with one person eg adult-child
+ Triadic Social Interaction - that means two people thinking about a shared interest.
The process of thinking about something together is referred to as an Interactive Attention Span.
Disruptions to a child's early care can impact the development of both of these skills and the development of Interactive Attention.-
Interactive Attention depends in the early stages of development on feeling relaxed and safe with another person and on finding the relationship experience enjoyable.
So the best games support this process.
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The Five Steps To Success with Anxious or Challenging Children!
Dr Cathy Betoin
Clinical Psychologist, Teacher, Parent
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