Games and Contests Teach Children Practical Life Skills
In school, children learn about history, science and the three R’s. What they might not learn, however, are practical skills to get them through life’s ups and downs.
Most people learn how to deal with conflicts, face their fears, overcome challenges and solve problems by trial and error. Thus, parents might be at a loss as to how to effectively teach their children these types of skills.
In my psychiatric practice, I’ve realized that children face many challenges and complex choices in their communities, schools and, yes, in the streets, said Dr. Michael Rayel, co-founder of Oikos Global, the maker of an emotional intelligence board game called Oikos Game. These challenges - pressure from peers, bullies in the neighborhood, strangers with bad intentions, dangerous street drugs – are difficult to resolve. Learning how to handle these tough issues requires more than just random advice and trial and error.
Oikos Game, which the entire family can play, aims to teach children personal development and emotional skills. Through active play, children learn positive strategies for handling common situations relating to anger, aggression, fear and conflict. Players also learn how to show empathy, be assertive, solve problems and deal with strangers.
In addition, Oikos Global sponsors an annual international competition called the Oikos Global Award, which recognizes and rewards young people who help their peers face challenges in their communities and schools.
Contestants must show that they’ve been effective at accomplishing any of the following goals: reducing violence or bullying in their schools or communities preventing the use of alcohol, cigarettes and drugs among peers improving communication among peers establishing a support network raising mental health awareness or otherwise improving the emotional health and well-being of peers.
The first-place winner is awarded 1,000. Second- and third-place winners receive 750 and 500, respectively. Each winner is awarded a certificate and a medal.