Games capture and hold a child's attention, enabling her to retain a lesson learned, explain Dr. William Sears and Registered Nurse, Martha Sears, combined authors of over 50 books on parenting children. Games can promote positive traits such as fairness, honesty, sensitivity, and obedience to the rules, while raising issues such as competitiveness, selfishness, peer pressure and cheating. Supervised play can promote positive values and offer a forum for discussing questionable behavior, note the authors.
Stage a conflict, suggests Westwood Elementary School, Texas. Designate a pile of healthy snacks and provide each player with a different written instruction, such as eat, avoid, share, hoard, convince others to eat or discourage others from eating. After playing, discuss the emotions of fulfilling these roles. Alternatively, offer students awards for unfair reasons, such as children wearing the same color as the teacher. When children object, initiate a discussion of merit, rewards and fairness.
Honey I Love You
Explore peer pressure lightheartedly, suggests Maxwell International School, Canada. Play, "Honey, I Love You," a game where players must resist smiling or laughing, even with their friends. Players form a circle, with one person in the middle, who asks anyone else as comically as possible, "Honey, do you love me?" That person must answer, "Honey, I love you, but I just can't smile." If they laugh or smile, they become the next "It".
Share the Wealth
Encourage sharing on a large scale to drive home issues of fairness, suggests AskDrSears.com. Give a child a few crackers, flowers, toys or art supplies, and ask her to share them equally with everyone in the room. The source material may be destroyed in the process, and disputes between giver and recipient may arise, all of which raise the need for a group discussion about fairness.
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