Pretend Play Games and Working Out Feelings

 

So Michael and I are back to playing school. And when we play school, Michael usually recreates more or less his school day and has the main character/figurine of Pocahontas. This Pocahontas does not listen very well and/or struggles with similar issues to Michael. It’s quite funny and instructive for me as a parent to observe this. I am also learning how he is starting to figure out how to decompress properly through this play. He makes her react negatively to stress most of the time, and he is now seeing slowly that this does not have to be the way he reacts to stress. Yesterday when we were playing with the figurines I became distracted. Michael was upset and needed time to calm down after. He reacted in his usual way at first, swearing, throwing a toy, and slapping me on the arm. I calmly told him that hurt, to apologize to me, and then to calm down. He immediately apologized, then went on his platform swing,¬† his trampoline, lay down on the floor and began doing deep breathing. When I asked him if he was feeling better, he told me he needed a few more minutes to breathe. After that, we resumed the game of school with no more mishaps. Amazing!

The new chapter that is opening up in our lives, where we will be consulting Behavior Technicians and/or Psychologists in the future to help with Michael’s difficulties not getting his way at home, has sparked some worry, but also some compliance in Michael, I think. It has been awhile since we have seen that on an ongoing basis. He is beginning to see, or at least I think he is, that whatever professionals come in his life will be part of his “team,” and will be there to help him continue to learn great stress management techniques so he can be happier and healthier. I am also happy to see that he is putting together all the lessons he is learning from his school psychologist and from me and his father. It is wonderful to see him coming into his own. This is another terrific offshoot of play. It teaches kids to be strong, social and deal with emotions. And imagine, some people still don’t realize that kids are learning when they play.

How does play help your Exceptional Children work out their difficulties, Exceptional Parents? Do you notice a pattern in favorite games, characters that they are playing with? If not, see if you start seeing a pattern in how and what games they play. It will give you a great insight into your child’s brain and what they are struggling with and coming to terms with. Until next time.

 

 

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