Adapting to change is difficult for everyone, almost as hard as learning how to cope when things are out of your control. Right now, there are so many things out of our control. I know I have moments where I want to scream! I miss my family, my friends and just the ability to run into a store without having to “gear up”. We all need a little extra support right now, especially kids who can’t quite grasp the seriousness or the “why” everything changed.
Did you know UNO, Sorry, Chutes and Ladders, are just a few family games which help teach kids how to adjust to change? At first kids might struggle with reversing, changing hands with someone, being skipped, going back to start or being at the top of the board and having to go all the way back to the bottom. When these struggles happen, take time during the game to reflect and process with them about their feelings and responses.
Another game often used with families and kids to practice tolerating frustration and adapting to changes, is the Unfair game. (however, don’t tell the name of the game ahead of time, but ask them to think about what they would name the game and why).
The Unfair Game
You can use 1 die or 2 depending on how big your family is.
Everyone will start with an even number of candies
(m&m’s, skittles, starbursts, goldfishes, gummy worms, crackers, cookies, whatever you have)
Choose either a time limit or a number of rounds prior to the start of the game.
Roll a 1= Pass two pieces of candy to your left
Roll a 2= Pass one piece of candy to your right
Roll a 3= Choose 1 person to give a piece of candy to
Roll a 4= Choose 1 person to take 2 pieces from
Roll a 5= do nothing
Roll a 6= Pass one piece to someone across from you
If you run out of candy you do not get a roll.
The person can rejoin if a piece of candy is passed their way.
Process after the end of the game what each person felt and why.
Discuss if there is anything each person would change about how they handled their feelings; then practice using that coping skill during the next round.