A Safe Way to Fail
It is said that failure is the best teacher, but as parents we struggle with ourselves in letting our children fail. It seems almost counter-intuitive to our duties! We do know however that for our children to grow, they must learn to fall and pick themselves up. The more consistent, and more often they can do so, the better it is for their personal development.
The question is how can we allow them to fail safely.
The hero's journey modality
Developed by Eugene Tay and tested over a period of five years with hundreds of primary school students, Eugene has created a modality using games to put children in situations where they can experience the cycle of a Hero's Journey - resistance, reiteration, awareness, discovery, permeance.
It's easy for a child to imagine him or herself as the hero/heroine of their own narrative. If we approach each challenge as just another quest that the child has to overcome, learning becomes natural and enjoyable. Failure is viewed and accepted as part of the learning process.
The Perfect Sandbox Environment
Children from a non-digital era has had to hone their social and mental skills through table top games. Powers of persuasion, negotiation skills, emotional resilience, accepting defeat with dignity, accepting victory with grace, were all part of our childhood skillsets that came from playing games like Monopoly and Snake N' Ladders
These days we have a lot more table-top games with varying levels of complexity, giving us an abundance of resource we can use to train children in various soft skills. The difference between playing at home with the parents or grandparents and a session organised by us is in the setting, interaction, and post-game discussion. Our trainers are equipped to look out for teachable moments, and asking the guiding questions to help children expand their thought process, and select through what they had experience.