I don't want to feel this way
Big emotions, and the relational and behavioral difficulties that often accompany big emotions, can be so hard for so many of our Mightier players. We often hear kids say how alone they feel, that they think something is wrong with them, or that no one understands what they're going through. Alongside all the strengths that come with big emotions (big happiness, deep empathy, a strong will), there can also be a powerful feeling of isolation.
This feeling that "something is wrong with me," is a heavy burden. It leads to sadness, low self-esteem, and often (very often) anger. Our team has seen how sometimes, when kids feel that playing Mightier is connected to this worry or belief that something is wrong with them, playing Mightier becomes a very symbolic activity. "If I have to play Mightier, it means something is wrong with me. I don't want anything to be wrong with me. I don't want to play Mightier." The reality is that we all feel big emotions at times, and we all can struggle with appropriate ways to manage those emotions. The other reality is that Mightier play is meant to be fun, light, empowering, and strengths-based.
Our team of scientists and clinicians believes strongly in the power of shared, normalizing experiences around emotions. Kids often take our lead in how we think, talk, and act. How we approach our own emotions, and the ability to be openly communicative and self-reflective, is something they'll pick up on. One easy way to explore this area with your child in a casual, almost indirect way, is by playing Mightier yourself. In the video below, Kimberly Siefkes, MSW, LISW and Senior Program Specialist, shares some really amazing benefits that come when parents play Mightier.
Mightier is all about discovery and experimentation. What gets your heart rate up? How do you get it down? Does your body tell you you're in the red zone before the lavalings do? If your child has been playing Mightier for at least a few weeks, they are likely an expert in all this.
Game recommendations. At this point, your child likely has their favorite Mightier games picked out. Do they have recommendations for you? Do they think you would prefer fast paced games like Race the Sun, or more strategic games like Mini Metro? Do they think you can handle Unpossible?
Calming strategies. What strategy works best for them? If they decide to pause the game to cool down, when do they make that choice? Do they have tips on how you can cool down as fast as possible?
Excitement and appreciation. Showing your child the value of their advice and how much you enjoyed learning from them is a huge confidence boost. For many kids, Mightier is even more fun, and they feel even more competent and successful in their play, when parent excitement is part of the equation.
Just play. It also doesn't have to be anything more than that. Give Mightier a try. Show your interest in what your child is learning purely through your own actions. Let them watch if you'd like.
Big emotions can be lonely, but playing Mightier doesn't have to be!