Heheheh…I have tricked my kids into working on socialization with such zest that they are currently sitting at our dining room table playing the game Michelle Garcia Winner made up and I have adapted long after I left the table!
I played my ace in the whole today with regards to not allowing them to gain any video game time the same day as work/chores/academics by bringing them this game when we just got back from a weekend conference (Terry Pratchett our families favorite author) made today a work day so they could only play video games on earned time and knowing that none of them had more than 1 hour to play the entire day! hahahahh…laughing manically.
So the game works like this but make it your own or you likely won’t use it:
fold paper in half and cut in 1/4’s and then cut those into 1/2’s so you have 8 rectangles now do this do this 2 or 3 times.
write support on 9 cards, add on 6 cards, question on 3 cards and change on 3 cards and find a kitchen timer.
Playing with 3 I gave out 3 support, 2 add, 1 question and 1 change card to each.
You can play with just 2 if you prefer or as many as 4. I don’t think going higher is something my son is ready for for most adults frankly.
We give out electronic time based on number of players to try and get the kids interested in playing with more than just one and maybe asking a friend or two at some point. Playing with just 2 means you get equal time to play electronics so 10 minutes of the conversation game equals 10 minutes of electronics, 3 players is 1.5 the time so playing the game for 10 minutes means 15 minutes electronics, 4 players is double the time! 10 minutes of gaming equals 20 minutes of gaming…hahah
One person starts the conversation without using a card and the time is set for 2.5 minutes (over time we will expand the time to 3 minutes and go as high as 10 minutes per single conversation). Each person takes a turn starting the conversation in a round and each person should try and use/play 5 cards per round. We looked at the cards left in hands at the end of each round to see what might need to be changed in how we are conversing. After each round and short analysis cards are returned to players (just a thought but I think one day I will have the kids make their own set of cards so they are unique to symbolize that conversations should be specific to our past, interests and values) and then the next round starts with another person starting the conversation. They played maybe 15 rounds today! This would be fun during dinner but maybe I would laminate the cards first.
The cards mean the following:
Support- “yes, I agree, I think so as well, really that’s how that works, I’m glad your feeling better now how awful” are all supportive statements which make people feel like you are interested and engaged in what they are saying and vital to building relationships.
Add-” yes, that really shocked me, he was so funny I’m glad you saw the humor in it, seriously I have never been so bored I’m glad you were there to keep me awake, oh, you did not like the avec it was my favorite part of the meal.” Add means to help carry on the conversation by adding to what has already been said.
Question- “can you give me more detail on this, where did you go again, doesn’t he have a brother at our school, what video games did you guys play.” Asking questions makes people think you are listening and likely interesting in what they are saying.
Change- sometimes the conversation touches on things we don’t really want to discuss because they are personal, boring, painful or the conversation dies and needs to change. Only one change card per 6 rounds is our rule as a lot of people on and off the spectrum might happily play Wikipedia and Bogart the conversations. This is not conducive to most relationships unless your wealthy and prefer relationships based on what you have not how you relate.
Here are the rules we made up as we played the first time.
1. Only play if your really interested or can pretend to be really interested (all socializing is not sincere)
2. You can’t remove other peoples cards.
3. You must look in the general vicinity of the person you are speaking to or you are out of the game.
4. You are not allowed to come back if you are removed from the games more than twice as it is disruptive. You will be allowed to play the next day unless or until you break the rules.
5. Don’t pick up a card when someone is speaking because you need to listen first before deciding what to say.
6. Rounds are 2.5 minutes long in the beginning but this will change.
7. You may only earn 1 hour of video game playing time with this game once a day.