Just how can we include each member of the family when the needs can be so wide in range? Although this is speaking towards families with special needs and typical needs, this can apply if you have a big gap in ages too. There can be a real challenge to find common ground and bring everyone together. My hope is that this gives you some ideas or sparks ideas on how to cultivate a better relationship in your family.
A way we have found to bring together the varied needs of our family is by playing games. Game playing is a great way to incorporate everyone (and work on skill building too). A few games that do this include, but are not limited to, Uno, Twister, and Hide-n-Seek (Yes! In the house). These games are a great way to include everyone because while your special needs child may need to work on color skills, recognizing numbers and knowing their left from their right is valuable as well. These games help to teach patience, sportsmanship and turn-taking, just to name a few, for your typical needs children.
Games are a great way to create memories and instill appreciation for all members of the house. Playing games allows for celebration of a skill mastered by the special needs child. It also affords the opportunity to catch your typical children showing kindness. Remember “he who wins a soul is wise”; any time you can catch praise-worthy moments without a long lecture or lesson will be received easier and remembered longer. But the most important rule of any family time game is to HAVE FUN!
As you look for ways to bring everyone together, incorporate lots of laughter. So, dust off those classic board games, pull out the rules to those favorite recess games or make up your own family games. (There is surely a game that will become a family favorite in your home). Whichever you decide, seek out those opportunities to catch all your children being amazing – together.
BY GENELL BOONE