Whether your family has experienced some kind of tragedy or simply lost track of one another through the chaos of life, your kids, as well as the adults, may struggle to find the words they need to express their feelings and their needs. Your therapist may have some games for you to play that can open your minds and mouths to bridge communication. These games also give the therapist a chance to watch your family’s interactions.
If your family is struggling to communicate, you may not be aware of what the blockage or problem is. Role play games allow the family to act out a particular situation for the therapist. You may stumble upon the words each is looking for, or the game may give you a topic to discuss naturally so that the therapist can observe. You may act out a specific situation you all experienced, retelling a story, or you may choose something that could happen, revealing fears and concerns. The therapist may ask you to all trade places. You be your teenager. She can act like dad, and your little one can be you. This will help you and your therapist see how your kids view you. You can use this at home too. If you are starting to argue over a rule or activity, have the family act it out to see the potential results.
Some games might help your kids project their thoughts about their family now or the family they want onto other families. Little toy families, in a dollhouse or out among some little buildings, can play the part of your family in their minds. You won’t tell them that you are looking for information about their family. Just play a game with the toys. Maybe see who can find a way home, with their little play family members. Encourage each family member to give a voice to their character, and let them talk through the game.
A Little Competition
A few rounds of a favorite board game might highlight some issues as well. Your therapist may pull out checkers or some other simple game. She may then listen to your kids interact with you and one another and listen for key words and reactions that might reveal their emotions. Video games can also serve this role. As kids, play their favorite games, getting absorbed in the game, therapists can watch the family interact and look for concerns.