Using Video Games to Help Our Kids

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by susiestar, Feb 2, 2013.

  1. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    thanks in advance for overlooking capitalization and the use of the letters i and g. Either my keyboard or hands are having their little PMS moments today (you know, PIcky Motherboard Snags) and I may miss a few as I try to correct this post.

    I was writing a post over on klmno's thread about software when I realized we haven't actually discussed this, at least not in my memory and not this way.

    I know many of us have our struggles and our smoother times with regard to video games. While they can be a big problem, they can also be a big help. With this in mind, what aspects of video games have helped your kids? What specific games or types of games have helped and why? How did you use the games to maximize their effectiveness? Has one video game system or platform been more helpful than others? How and Why?

    VIdeo games played on gameboy/gamecube were a big help for thank you. His hands work in a strange way. It is hard for him to use both hands to do a task. He does NOT pick up things with both hands unless he needs both hands to pick up one object or stack of objects. From early on, it took great concentration for him to be able to pick up one toy with his left hand and another with his right. He had a tough time coordinating them to do these things at the same time. Gameboy was a HUGE HUGE HUGE help with this. We later bought both the GameCube and the Wii as much as investments to help with this issue as for family entertainment.

    thank you also has trouble with bending his fingers as he does something. I can't really describe it except where you or I would fold our fingers around something by bending at each knuckle, he doesn't do this. He has made huge progress, but it is not something that comes naturally to him, not by a giant size long shot. If anything, as he tries to use his fingers for something like picking up a dropped coin or piece of paper, his fingers seem to bend backwards. It is one thing that the OTs had a really hard time working with him on. As it is tough to play gameboy with-o bending your fingers, it really has helped with that also. Wiz was also helped by video games in these ways, but his problems in this area were not nearly as bad as Tyler's.

    One computer game that we all love is called Sherlock. It is by Everett Kaser Software ( and is wonderful. I found it around 15 yrs ago and still am not bored. It is a logic puzzle, similar to the logic puzzles sold in magazine form. You figure out what items belong to which people and where those people are based on clues. You can use only 3 people and variables (people are included as a variable), up to 8. They have quite a few other variations and types of puzzles, including one where you are at a dinner party with Moriarty and he is poisoning someone. You must figure out who Moriarty is and who he is poisoning. These puzzles use a bit more of your brain than solitaire, but they can also be quite relaxing.

    We used these to teach basic logic and how to work through a problem one small step at a time. I spent days playing with j where we talked through each clue and how it changed the puzzle. I started out just verbalizing what a clue meant and then showing what it changed. After she got the method down, we have had hours of fun playing together. It is not a 2 party or competition game, so one of us moved the mouse and clicked things, and the other watched, but we both talked through what we saw and what we thought it meant.

    Wiz didn't take as much explanation of the steps because by the time I found it he had already been doing logic puzzles for fun for several years. We used this to help build a relationship and to learn to talk through our thoughts rather than assuming the other person understood them with-o us saying anything. That helped me almost as much as it did Wiz. It allowed us to work on a small task or problem together and to learn to listen rather than to just talk and talk. It also reinforced some very basic logic problem solving and thinking tools for him (and me, of course but not as much). At the time we started, we were working on his belief that women were evil and demons and stupid so they HAD to be controlled in every way and forced to do only what the man wanted. He was still in third grade! He was able to develop a respect for my ability to use logic to solve the puzzles. We were also able to slowly challenge those thoughts about women based on the logic skills he was developing. Sure, they were simple 'If a=b and b=c then a=c' types of logic, but it got Wiz to start really thinking about what all these things he was believing and saying truly meant and how my actions and reactions just didn't fit into his perceptions and beliefs of how things were. It also got him to spend time with me, something he was refusing to do unless I spent substantial amts of money on him and did/purchased what he wanted only. If I even mentioned J or got something as a treat for her? He would FREAK and insist that she had ruined the entire outing or whatever simply because he thought that I had a fleeting thought about her. Using the logic skills, we were able to begin to change that pattern.

    These are some of my thoughts on the benefits that video games have brought into my family. What are your thoughts about this? How have video games helped your family?
  2. HaoZi

    HaoZi CD Hall of Fame

    Not video games, but YouTube videos for mine. She loves the science video channels. Vsauce is one her favorites. I shudder to think what she's going to do once she hits high school chem considering some of the things I've seen her watch on other science video channels (how to use chemicals to make fake blood, etc.) I can just imagine the calls!
  3. Ktllc

    Ktllc New Member

    Partner just received a DS for his birthday, first time video games entered our family!
    Since then, and V's new vision goal with Occupational Therapist (OT), I was wondering if a Wii could be a good investment. I was thinking we can play together as a family, hopefully have fun and work on visual and coordination goals all at the same time.
    But since I only go by what I've heard about the Wii... I really don't have much more to saY! lol
    I just thought it might be worth the try. V's optometrist has also mentioned video games as a way to help V improve with developmental vision/ perception. Of course not all day long, but a healthy dose would help him progress. He said that we would have to start VERY easy at first. Mario on Partner's DS for example is WAY to hard and therefor V has almost no interest in it.
    It kind of reminds me how I introduced TV to V when he was 4 and 1/2 years old. I had to start with baby shows, very repetitive in order for him to understand. Now he enjoys TV and knows why the whole family is watching a movie at night. It was important to me that V would get why TV can be fun.
  4. HaoZi

    HaoZi CD Hall of Fame

    If you're going for coordination, have you considered the Xbox Kinect? Since it uses the entire body as a controller instead of just the controller itself that might help more (or would that be more difficult for V?).
  5. Ktllc

    Ktllc New Member

    I thought that was the Wii was : whole body experience. I have not done a whole lot of reseach and I am completely video game illiterate! I'll have to compare the Wii and the Xbox Kinect.
  6. jal

    jal Member

    My difficult child was in an out of district placement from grades 1-4. He now is back mainstream. We kept him in district sports so he would know kids when he returned. We've had DS, DSi, Playstation and last year with-got Xbox with-kinect. This year we got an Xbox live subscription and now he can play games/talk with kids the goes to school with. It given him a base for discussion when he sees the kids at school. He actually was butting heads with one boy before we got this and now the two became good friends through the game playing and get along. So much so he's going to his house today for a superbowl party.
  7. TeDo

    TeDo CD Hall of Fame

    With the Wii there are remotes with buttons and then there's also a nunchuck to attach for many games to that takes 2 hands. There's also a balance board for games like skiiing, snowboarding, fitness, etc and a tablet for games like Pictionary and drawing. You have to use these things in front of a sensor bar that monitors the movement of the remote(s). From what I have heard about the Kinnect, it doesn't have remotes (the game system does but not for the Kinnect feature) because it senses the movement of your body. If I had known now what I knew then, we'd have bypassed the Wii and got an XBox with Kinnect.

    Our Wii has helped difficult child 2 with his hand eye coordination. With difficult child 1, it gives him things he needs to "strategize" in order to win. He has to actually think about actions and possible consequences. Now if only we could get him to generalize those skills to real life.

    A Kinnect system would be great to work on coordination, planning, frustration tolerance (although this may take a lot of time), concentration, transitions (changing games in one session), give-and-take (family members take turns choosing games and he HAS to play), etc. I think it would great for V..... yea, and the whole family.
  8. Jamieh

    Jamieh New Member

    Both of my boys have a a kindle and a leap pad. They are pretty much the only way that my oldest will sit still. When he watches Tv he is still constantly moving. It's exhausting to watch him. But if he has a game to play he will STOP moving and focus on it. But...I know it's not the best thing for him. But sometimes it gets us through dinner when we go out. The leap pad has been awesome with- my youngest because we downloaded the letter factory and he learned not only to identify but also say the letters.