Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Go Fish, Crazy Eights and Tears

We have been playing cards!  Whippy Skippy I hear you saying.  But it has been FUN!  And Chuck asked me to play again!  This has not happened before.

Above are the cards we used...perhaps that had something to do with the attraction.

I started analyzing our play, (as all good crazy intense RDI parents will do), and was thinking about the differences between RDI and other therapies in relation to our card games.  You can TEACH a child to enter into a game of cards but will they really PLAY WITH you if you just TEACH them?   Is it FUN if they mechanically go through the motions?  What makes a game enjoyable?

RDI takes a different approach with objectives.  Things like teaching a child to play cards is NOT about teaching a child to play cards.  It is about finding opportunities to fill in the gaps of child development and using those as frameworks.  When playing games there are many many opportunities for waiting... for mistakes.. for mis-calculations.. for potential meltdowns.   These were all times when I was able to guide Chuck.  (Even a year ago the 'framework' of card play would have been too much to handle.)

Of course when you initially teach there are many words used, at least for me.  But in general you can play a whole game with no words once you get the rules down.   (RDI is big on non-verbal.  As is child development!  Watch some kids at the playground.  They don't talk.  They play.  Especially if they are boys.) I found that Crazy Eights was actually a much easier game than Go Fish.  The rules are actually less complicated, or perhaps the pattern of play was simpler.  But again, the experience is not about the rules.  It is about the back and forth.

And we had so much of that.

There were mini-opportunites for disappointment when there was no match.  There were a tad bigger disappointments while playing crazy eights when he had to draw 12 cards to get a match.  This is where the tears, if only internally, came, on MY part.   What did Chuck do when he had to draw all those cards?  He did NOT melt down.  He.... laughed.  HE LAUGHED!!!!  There was a bit of a disappointed frown under the laugh but it touched his funny bone.  (I don't even think we have 'mastered out' an RDI objective to this regard so I will have to remember this when we get to it.)  You can't TEACH that.  "Chuck.  You must not have a meltdown when you are loosing.  You must maintain your composure.  You must laugh at yourself."  Nope.  Can't be taught.  I am still a bit weepy thinking about this moment.

And.. We.Had.Fun.  It is a rare thing where we have FUN doing something together.  We do chores, we do work, we go on walks.  But it is hard to find SIMPLE fun things to do with a teen.  Most of the objectives we work on with RDI are things that a one year old has mastered!  But a teen does not want to play peek-a-boo.  And I did not even set out with the card game to achieve an objective.  I just wanted to 'see what happened'.

In any event..  this is a picture of our day the past few days.    (Oh and what started this all?  I am cleaning out our hoarders room that is closed off all winter.. the one where I just dump stuff.. and found decks of cards.  Each day I am taking something out of that room that we have not used and .. well.. using it.  Novel concept.  Can you spy Chuck in the photo?)

1 comment:

  1. It is really fantastic that playing the game was all about the experience. I don't know about you but when I can really *feel* that connection with Nick I do get a bit overwhelmed with emotion.... and pure delight that my boy is engaging with me. Wow, love that room and am dying to get in there for a good explore! :-)