When is a Game a Game?

FROM BECKY: I was having a conversation with a wonderful Son-Rise Program Mom recently and we were talking about how to track her child’s games. I would love to give some thoughts and ideas on this subject for those of you who are using forms to track your child’s interactive attention span.

A game in Son-Rise Program terms means any interaction that you have with your child which is roughly over 30 seconds long. This could be a time where you are playing back and fourth together (e.g. catch, a board game, etc), a physical activity (e.g. tickling your child, chase, giving them a ride, etc), a conversation (e.g. a two way conversation or a time when one of you is talking and the other is listening) or simply a period of time where you are entertaining your child.

To know they are engaged in the interaction with you, they will be doing one or more of the following.

1)They are looking at you, focused towards you or they stop what they are doing and look at the item you are playing with.

2)They are talking to you (for a child who is stage one on The Son-Rise Program Developmental Model, they could be making unclear sounds).

3)They are being physical in some way (e.g. holding your hand, sitting in your lap, touching your hair, etc).

4)They are walking away from you but not yet focused on something else in the playroom (e.g. what they were doing before, an ism toy, etc).

There will be different levels of engagement that your child will give you during these interactions. It might be as much as full on belly laughs and sustained eye contact as they pull you toward them for more or as little as a fleeting glance.

Look out for the following cues to know the game is over.

1) Your child walks away and you try calling them back a couple of times to no avail.

2) They stop responding to you.

3) They start paying more attention to something else (e.g. staring off, playing repetitiously with a toy, etc).

If your child plays repetitious games where they want you to play a very specific role, see my previous blog about what to do with repetitious games.


Have fun tracking those games!

2 Responses

  1. Penya says:

    ok, so if my child looks and me and keeps talking to me to ask me to push him on the swing, even if it's repetitious, it's still a game. thanks, becky, this is helpful.

  2. Hi Penya,

    Yes, absolutely. This would be a time to also experiment with adding small changes to the game and work on flexibility with your child. See stage 2 flexibility on The Son-Rise Program Developmental Model, Peripheral Variations.

    Love Becky x

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