One of the best things you can do as a parent to help a rigid or inflexible child is to allow him to see you making mistakes, and responding appropriately. And there is hardly a better way to do this than by playing video games with your child… particularly if you are not a gamer.
A hallmark characteristic of the rigid or inflexible child is that he does not like making mistakes. Often he will avoid new situations because he is unsure of what to do he is fearful of looking foolish in the eyes of his peers. An inflexible child may also get stuck in his problem solving approach, having difficulty varying his strategies or learning from his mistakes.
In the course of making mistakes, it becomes very powerful to show your child how you can adapt by “making light” of your bloopers, learning from your mistakes, and displaying new problem solving approaches.
While playing a video game with your child, he may revel in the many mistakes that you make when you start out. He might even mock you, when he observes your utter incompetence in beating even the simplest levels and tasks. But, if you can use this as a teaching opportunity, where you improve your video game play while modeling making mistakes and adapting your approach to the game, you can get the last laugh. So go ahead, play a game that you are sure will make you look like a buffoon… just don’t give up, and show your child about a very powerful way to learn.
Here are a few suggestions about how you can Improve your video game play and apply this strategy to almost any video game that you play with your child.
1. Always try your best. You don’t need to be concerned that you won’t make mistakes–you will! Any well constructed video game provides instructions on how to play the game when you do make mistakes.
2. Speak up, show a little frustration, and get into the game. In the real world, people don’t like to make mistakes, but successful people learn from them. That is what you want to show your child.
3. Actively learn from your mistakes. Talk out loud about what doesn’t seem to be working and demonstrate some methods to learn from these mistakes. Methods to model for your kids might include trying something new you haven’t done before, using an approach that worked in a previous level, or talking about alternatives out loud.
4. Find an expert to help you. Most likely that expert is sitting right next to you, laughing at you as you stumble along. But if he’s not, demonstrate how you can go online and find game guides to help you through a particularly difficult part of the game.