Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Pacific NW longing for the Midwest
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Will she play with stuffed animals or do role play?
Our 9 year old is terrible about talking about his feelings. He always has been. I'm not sure he's ever said "I love you." The closest he's come is "I really really like you." (I pity his poor life partner, should he have one.)
BUT, ds will act out all of his emotions and things he's processing with his stuffed animals. They lead very interesting lives. And it's enough distance from himself that he can process the emotion while not being directly threatened by it.
Sometimes he'll play role playing games too -- all during 1st grade he would come home and we'd play 'school'. We'd act out each and everything he did during the day, with him being the teacher and us being the students. (We did have to set a few limits such as we were not going to spend exactly as many minutes playing school as he actually did in school. He got over that pretty quickly because his lesson plans weren't detailed enough to go 6 hours. (And yes, he did write out lesson plans.)) But this was a great way for him to process school.
Now that he's older he's playing with power and relationships. One of the favorite games is 'president' where one of the kids is president, someone else is vice president, someone else is the body guard, and other roles are distributed in various ways (president's daughter, secretary of education...)
Really, he's his own best therapist, and I think many kids can be if you watch what they do to process things and encourage those.
Lynn, academic, wife, WOHM to T (4/01) and M (5/04)