A Fun Way to Develop Patience

children game operation patience play Nov 08, 2019

Ever get tired of your child's impulsivity?

Feeling bad for nagging all the time?

Guess what...you can use the same secret play therapists use all around the world...games.

Everyday games can be used for developing different skills and abilities in children.

For example, if you want to help your child develop patience, focus, and fine motor skills, play the game Operation. The classic version I had when I was a child didn't make any sounds, but now there is an edition which has silly, goofy sound effects to make the game more fun.

If your child gets frustrated easily and you want to increase his ability to tolerate stressful situations, start with this game. You prepare your child before the game and explain that they are amazing at lots of different things, but one thing they are working on is the ability to stay calm or comfort their feelings when things don't go their way. Tell them they are to work on this skill when they play. Some things to highlight is that you will be working on having good sportsmanship, not being a sore loser, and being kind to themselves if things don't go their way (aka not emotionally beat themselves up, since sometimes they can be kind to others but not to themselves).

Once you get started in the game, notice and comment when your child is able to stay calm even when things don't go their, take their time, keep the game fun even if someone else is doing better, etc. These specific praises work great for shaping a child's behavior because you are using positive reinforcement.

  • "Great job staying calm, even when things don't go your way."
  • "I really like how you took your time."
  • "I love how you are keeping the game fun, even if someone else is in the lead."

To get your own set, you can purchase the game below.


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