Responsibility in Game ON

Game ON is a children’s book created to encourage resilience in our young ones.

Learn about responsibility in Game ON below

Responsible: the child accepts and is given responsibilities, and believed that their actions can make a difference. The child can do things on his or her own and accept the consequences of the behaviour. There is the feeling that what he or she does makes a difference in how things develop and the child accepts that responsibility. The child understands the limits of his or her control over events and recognizes when others are responsible.

One of the key components in the GRP is enabling children to be responsible for decision making and taking responsibility for the consequences of their actions. Coupled with responsibility is the notion of autonomy, which has been described above. When children take responsibility for their actions they demonstrate self-efficacy and this, in turn, builds resilience. When self-efficacy is achieved, the ability of the learner to utilise and coordinate their skills in challenging and changing situations increases, informed by the individual’s confidence. Within Game ON, Alex demonstrates very low resilience attributes by blaming, yelling and projecting his anger onto his friends. However, as the book progresses, Alex, through the process of reflection, understands how this has impacted his friends and finally role models the ability to take responsibility for his actions. This was an important aspect of the book. The ability to be so incredibly mad, and driven by defensive responses, can sometimes inhibit the cognitive appraisal process and reduce the adaptability and awareness required to say sorry through the notions of ego-control and ego-resilience. At the beginning of the book, Alex’s behaviour is in fight or flight, which reduces his awareness and ability to evaluate his behaviour and the effect he is having on his environment. By the end of the book, Alex is finally able to calm down and reflect, with the assistance of his peers, and self-author an apology for his behaviour. This aspect of the book enables children to view Alex as a role model who can take responsibility for his poor actions.

The book teaches the children to take ownership about their own emotions and their own reactions and not to blame others. Like in the book, Alex attempts to blame others for making him angry, well NO! Alex chose his feelings and he was the one who needs to take responsibility for his anger. In terms of the GRP, the children can see that their actions can make a difference and that every action has a consequence either good or bad, so the children can choose to either join in with the game or they can choose to be angry and this can spiral out of control. This is the side of taking responsibility which is a key part of both the curriculum and the resilience model. (Year 2 teacher, Round 1)

The ability to empower children with responsibility in regard to decision making and ownership of the associated consequences has significant long-term wellbeing and academic benefits. Empowering people with their health enables people to take ownership and responsibility of their condition, empowering them with the dexterity to have some control or influence over the outcome, thus providing autonomy. When this level of awareness, engagement and empowerment is adopted by a person, they are able to independently take responsible control of their wellbeing.

With resilience it is building empowerment, you know that everyone can make a choice, sometimes we make poor choices and good choices and no matter what our choice there will be consequences to them. This is a great resource for these purposes. (Kindergarten teacher, Round 1)

In most instances the children were able to recognise through Alex’s behaviour that it was imperative to take responsibility for your own actions and, if required, apologise for the behaviour:

Don’t blame others, you need to think about what you are doing when you get angry, and take a few deep breaths and walk way.

I walk away, think about what I did wrong and then take a few deep breaths and get the confidence to come back and say that I am sorry. (Year 2 children, Round 1) 

Alex should have said sorry to Reina, he needs to take some responsibility for his behaviour (Year 2 child, Round 2).

Don’t blame others, you need to think about what you are doing when you get angry, and take a few deep breaths and walk way (Year 2 child, Round 2)

I go outside and get some fresh air, I now think that I shouldn’t have such a bad temper. Because getting angry and making choices while I am angry isn’t good. So I try just to walk away and take some time out. (Year 1 child, Round 2)

Observing the children’s responses uncovered that many of the Year 1 and Year 2 children made links about the importance of not blaming others and apologising for poor behaviour as learning strategies from the book, however, these were absent from the Kindergarten dialogue. The question posed in this context was not directly related to extracting this data and, therefore, did not seek to explore understanding directly as part of this phenomenon.  

In summary, taking responsibility for personal actions empowers children with the ability to control the outcome and the consequences of the situation. Self-authored approaches to recognise error coupled with the individual’s ability to recognise their role in the situation enhances self-awareness and resilience. Game ON provides the children with an opportunity to observe how we can affect our environment through our behaviour but also role models the ability to build awareness on how we act and take actions to rectify the situation if required through Alex and his peers.

Solving Problems with Game ON

Game ON is a children’s book created to encourage resilience in our young ones.

Learn how the book teaches kids to solve problems below

Solve problems: the child can apply themselves to problems, involve others where necessary, and be persistent. The child can assess the nature and scope of a problem, what he or she needs to do to resolve it, and what help is needed from others. The child can negotiate solutions with others and may find creative or humorous solutions. He or she has the persistence to stay with a problem until it is indeed solved.

Solving problems in the resilience literature is also integrated with terms such as decision making, solution-focused outcomes and, in some instances, critical thinking. Decision making, problem solving and solution-focused outcomes are cognitive process used to appraise a situation to inform an outcome, and these attributes strongly underpin the development of resilience. 

Within the GRP, problem solving is recognised when a child can apply themselves to problems, involve others where necessary and be persistent. Problem solving may also be referred to as help-seeking behaviour, which involves a process of critical thinking, facilitated through cognitive appraisal and informed by a decision-making process that aims to solve the issue. Cognitive behavioural strategies can facilitate this process by changing the perception of the situation, which can mediate the trajectory of risk. The ability for individuals to use effective cognitive appraisal skills is often affiliated with an individual’s level of self-esteem and self-worth which then become protective factors for wellbeing. Conversely, when an individual is unable to gain knowledge, change attitudes and establish goal planning or problem-solve using these cognitive processes, their levels of resilience are impeded. 

Game ON was designed to facilitate children’s ability to explore and implement a cognitive appraisal with the notion of challenging their perspective through a process of observation. By watching a relatable scene unfold through storytelling, children maintain the opportunity to acknowledge the thoughts, feelings and former actions they have applied to resolving conflict and challenge their process, informed by a risk analysis to improve the outcome. It this way, children can be empowered to figure out the process or issue, whilst developing effective problem-solving skills. In Game ON, Alex did not learn from his errors the first time, it wasn’t until the second scenario unfolds and his frustration is so great that he finally discovers a more desirable outcome. This initially leads to frustration and anger for Alex. However, as the book progresses, his peers encourage Alex to adopt new coping strategies, informed by taking some time out to reflect and breathe. Alex is then finally able to think about other ways to problem solve. The challenge for Alex was to become aware of his problem.

The purpose of acknowledging personal feelings and actions in any given situation is to gain awareness of feelings and the internal locus of control around those feelings. When children acknowledge how they are thinking, feeling and acting in any given circumstance, it facilitates the process of autonomously appraising the situation, with the potential to use a cognitive process to inform the outcome of the choices made. Cognitive appraisal facilitates critical analysis and effective problem solving capability, which enables individuals to maintain a sense of control over the outcome. This skill is important for most children, but more so in those who act poorly as a result of emotional outbursts or those with a propensity to catastrophise the outcome, as identified through Skinner’s motivational model of resilience.  

Throughout this research project, children across all cohorts were able to autonomously demonstrate critical thinking and reflection on their current thoughts, feelings and actions, with the notion of improving their behaviour for the future.  However, this was not an immediate reaction from the children. To encourage children to think about their current problem-solving strategies, the reader paused at the point in the story when Alex throws his first temper tantrum with poor temperament control.

In this section of the book Alex says, ‘I don’t care, I don’t need any of you! I’m better off being the only one in my team!’ This point in the story provided children with the opportunity to see if anyone could relate to Alex and his emotional outburst whilst educating children that Alex was simply reacting to his thoughts and feelings, without any guidance (or cognitive appraisal process) of how to manage the situation in a more appropriate manner. The point was to demonstrate to the children that high emotional states compromise effective problem-solving abilities (Taylor et al., 2014). To draw the children to this point, the researcher asked the children if they could remember a time when they felt like Alex?  

I pinched my friend, I was so angry at them.  (Kindergarten child, Round 1)

One time I got really angry with my brother so hit him, and then I punched him. (Year 1 child, Round 1)

My little sister stole all my loom bands, I shouted at her but I didn’t get into trouble cause Mum and Dad were not there. (Year 2 child, Round 1)

The ability for children to reflect and critically think about the consequences of their actions in regard to the process of decision making was evident in this study. Children were asked to reflect upon what happens when they hit, punch, kick, yell and pull hair. 

I had to go to my room. (Kindergarten child, Round 1)

I got into a lot of trouble; I wasn’t allowed to watch my favourite TV show. (Year 1 child, Round 1)

I didn’t get into trouble cause no-one saw it, but if Mum and Dad saw it I they would be so mad and I would get grounded. (Year 2 child, Round 1)

When children can predict an outcome to a certain action, then they have applied evidence of cognitive appraisal and can use this to facilitate behavioural change, through changing the appraisal and perception of the situation. Once the children identified the behaviour, they were asked to make a cognitive appraisal of the outcome via assessing the consequences to their actions. From the answers, children were demonstrating an understanding of what consequences may be associated with certain types of behaviour.

From this point, children were read the rest of the book Game ON and, as the story progressed, they watched Alex (the red character) continue to make some poor choices. After Alex threw his second temper tantrum, Dusty, the blue character who has been designed to help children reflect upon their thoughts, feelings and actions, communicates to Alex how he has affected the team and himself. Dusty provides a solution to Alex in managing his emotions suggesting that he can calm his mind and actions by taking three deep breaths before he reacts.

Peer-mediated approaches can be a very successful strategy for teaching positive and desirable behavioural traits. Having a process of reflection that facilitates solution-focused outcomes can demonstrate leadership, which is essentially characterised by a person who can use information to make decisions, display a high level of positivity with approaches, accept challenges in a positive way and utilise personal strengths to achieve goals. 

Definitely the problem solving aspect of the book relates to resilience and you see the children reflecting on what they can do. Stop and think about the issue first before I react. Dusty the main character does a good job at showing the children a way of solving a problem. He didn’t take a backwards step in creating the solution; you can see he strongly guides Alex to getting to the solution. It helps the children to work through their problems, you know, if it’s me that’s getting angry, how we are going to solve it, but if it’s someone else getting angry or yelled at or bullied, what can I do about it and then making a decisions. So from your problems, what are my different options or solutions? You know you can hear the children saying, I’m going to talk to the teacher, or I’m going to talk to the person, or I’m going to walk away and take some deep breaths. (Year 2 teacher, Round 2)

As well as taking some deep breaths, Dusty suggests to Alex that he walk away and think about how he feels before he reacts to his anger. In the motivational resilience model emotional reactivity is considered to be a maladaptive coping mechanism and inhibits strategising and help-seeking behaviour, as it shuts down the executive functions of the brain. Conversely, when children are able to control, regulate and effectively express their emotions through a cognitive process, they exhibit traits of adaptability, which is a strong resilience indicator (examples provided in the data below, p. 190). When children can implement a cognitive approach (e.g., gaining knowledge, assessing attitudes, implementing goal planning and setting, applying appropriate behaviour) to challenging tasks, then they are able to apply problem-solving skills which can overcome barriers of behaviour change that can impede resilience. Much of this information feeds into the notion of self-regulation, as previously discussed.

Once the entire book Game ON had been read to the participants, the researcher was interested to see if the problem solving, critical thinking, decision making and solution-focused outcomes designed into the book had an impact on the children and their behavioural responses, driven through a cognitive appraisal process in regard to managing conflict or emotions. The only way the researcher could ascertain this was to document the baseline responses to the original conflict resolution strategy, as previously mentioned, with the notion of looking for new ways to resolve issues. The researcher asked the children how they may be able to change their behaviour when they get angry. Whilst this is a repetition of the previous responses, the purpose is to demonstrate how Game ON can facilitate problem solving skills; therefore, using the former responses provides an opportunity to demonstrate this aspect of the book.

I think that I could walk away and think about things. (Kindergarten child, Round 1)

When you get so so so angry and you can’t take a deep breath I think you should just walk away and watch TV. (Year 1 child, Round 1)

Be calm and take a deep breath, maybe next time I could take a deep breath. (Year 2 child, Round 1)

The message of walking away and taking deep breaths appeared to be consistent across the three child cohorts for Round 1. Round 1 demonstrated that children were able to identify with some of the strategies suggested in Game ON to improve the choices they make around conflict and anger management from a theoretical standpoint. To understand if this learning could transform from theory into practice, Game ON was left with the teachers to read at their convenience over a four-week period and, in Round 2, the researcher returned and questioned the children about their management strategies with anger and resolving conflicts. Previous examples have already been provided in regard to how children demonstrated evidence of Kolb’s experiential learning, with behaviour change motivated by the dialogue in Game ON.  Below are further examples from the children who applied an effective problem-solving strategy by using a risk analysis process.  

I walked away and have taken a few deep breaths. (Kindergarten child, Round 1)

I walked away and take deep breaths and sometimes I listened to music. (Kindergarten child, Round 1)

I went to my bedroom and put some music on. (Kindergarten child, Round 1)

My sister took my dominoes, and she wouldn’t give it back, so I went and told my mum and my sister said sorry. Then another time when I got angry my sister almost broke something I got angry but I went and took a few deep breaths and went and drank some water. (Year 1 child, Round 1)

When I get angry I go outside or I go to my room and take 60 deep breaths and then I come back inside. (Year 2 child, Round 1)

Sometimes I will walk away and think about what I did wrong, I take a few deep breaths and then I will come back and say that I am sorry. I go outside, I go for a bit of a run out then think about things and then I come back in and I say sorry. (Year 2 child, Round 1)

It was evident through the children’s responses that they were able to change their appraisal of the situation through the assessment of their thoughts, feelings and actions. Again, this is evidence of children applying Kolb’s model of theory to practice creating active learning.  This was reflected by the change in choices they made to deal with their anger and past responses. The Australian Health and Physical Education curriculum and the PDHPE K–6 and PDHPE K–10 syllabi provide opportunities for children to apply problem-solving abilities that also encourage an assessment of the decision-making process. Research highlights that when a child is able to apply problem-solving abilities they have high levels of self-efficacy coupled with high levels of social and emotional competence, which service protective factors against adversity and optimise the ability of the child to build resilience. Teaching and applying problem-solving abilities through a cognitive process appears to be beneficial across several domains of learning. When an individual’s appraisal of the situation is underpinned by a deliberate, practised/rehearsed and reflective process, they optimise the choices they have in decision making and thereby the outcomes of their actions.

The children seem to really grasp the concepts of when you are angry, it would be best to walk away or take a few deep breaths if you are really angry, and to come back when you feel better to talk about how you feel. I think for grade 1 the class really seemed to understand the main themes in the book. (Year 1 deployment officer, Round 1)

Having read Game ON a couple of times, I could see that children were able to relate incidences from the book in the playground. So when different situations have occurred they were able to talk through the scenario in class using the book and then applying different management strategies which are indicative of apply problem solving strategies. We sat in a circle and they had to talk about a time when they felt really angry and what they did, and I was able to help them relate their playground experience to the different characters. The children have learnt the main strategies from the book, that is, to walk away, to take deep breaths, and we have also been doing some meditation in the class room and we have linked this to the book, so this is why you can hear the children saying, I go into my bedroom and listen to quiet music or doing some counting as this is what we are practicing in mediation and using the book to calm yourself down when feeling angry. It was good to hear them coming up with their own ways of dealing with their emotions. (Kindergarten teacher, Round 2)

In summary, training children’s cognitive ability to solve problems as an early intervention and prevention approach may provide children with a life strategy to deal with adversity. Problem solving, solution-focused outcomes and decision making are attributes that inform resilience. To achieve this goal, it is imperative that resilience-based resources deployed within the educational forum consider the importance of entwining problem solving and decision making in the content, coupled with a practical application for the learning. Teaching children positive coping mechanisms through experiential classroom simulations may mediate the effect of risk and lead to outcomes that are more positive. It is imperative that practising and learning resilience-based attributes, such as problem solving and decision making, are conducted in a safe atmosphere and applied in conjunction with the opportunities presented in the curriculum and syllabus with active play.

Learning Communication with Game ON

Game ON is a children’s book created to encourage resilience in our young ones.

Learn how the book teaches kids communication below

The child is able to express thoughts and feelings to others. He or she can listen to what others are saying and be aware of what they are feeling. The child can reconcile differences and is able to understand and act on the results of the communication.

The ability of children to communicate effectively is considered an important construct of resilience according to the GRP. When children are able to establish help-seeking behaviours by communicating their thoughts, feeling and actions, they can gain support, clarify their perspective and learn to be comfortable with intimacy. Communication is an important element of analysis of information through questioning, with the aim of finding a solution. Effective communication can often require an individual to utilise skills of critical thinking in order to work through mental, emotional and physical processes. The capability for Game ON to achieve this process is supported by the teacher’s comments below. 

Game ON identifies and gets children to express a range of feelings, gives the children a pathway to explore how they feel and why. Then children can learn more positive ways of responding to situations. In this way Game ON provides the children with a strategy that they can take out to the playground. The book promotes identification of emotions and reflection for example, the feeling of being left out. As you could see the children have had this experience and could relate and talk about it. It gave the children a strategy of teamwork, for example how to pick a team and how someone might feel if they were the last child being chosen. We have since done this in class and it required the children to understand others perspective and talk through the issues. It was great. The children were able to express their needs, wants, ideas and their opinions. It helps the children to be able to responds appropriately particularly with conflict, and have the tools to solve their problem. (Year 2 teacher, Round 1)

Reflection facilitates communication and enables individuals to explore how they think, feel and may act in certain situations. This notion is supported by the positive psychology literature that encourages children to use effective communication skills, with the aim of solving simple and complex problems. Several examples of positive communication and poor communication strategies are provided through Game ON, as role modelled by the characters. Not only in respect of how Alex feels and acts, but also how his actions affect others in the book. The characters were able to evaluate and communicate how they were feeling.

Often on the playground when we encourage children to say how they feel, they will often just say that they are sad. In this resource the children are encouraged to explore their emotions and go deeper, i.e., I feel scared etc., disappointed or let down. The book identifies and gets children to express a range of feelings, gives the children more positive ways of responding to situations, i.e., provides the children with a strategy that they can take out to the playground. It’s great that the characters can show children how to do this. It was also good that yes, we recognised how Alex was feeling, but we also heard from the friends how they were feeling, you know scared, worried, upset. (Year 2 teacher, Round 1)

It was evident in the study that a handful of children were very shy and, therefore, reluctant to put up their hand to talk. What was interesting, though, was as the story moved on some of the children found the confidence to speak about their feelings in reference to the book. In one instance the Kindergarten teacher made special mention of a child who had been incredibly shy since transitioning into school, but noted his active involvement throughout story time. 

It was great to see this child connect and talk about some aspect of the book. Somehow he has found the confidence to speak about how this situation would make him feel. It’s the most involved I’ve seen him since the start of school, it’s wonderful. (Kindergarten teacher, Round 1) 

The capability for children to feel comfortable or confident is an important aspect and skill of communication. Game ON enabled all children to have a voice and express how they felt watching Alex and his behaviour. It was interesting to observe the children’s reaction to Alex’s poor behaviour. Many of them were very vocal about how mean he was being. They found it very frustrating that he lacked the self-awareness regarding the impact he was having on his friends. There was an opportunity to explain to the class that Alex was ignoring the process of effective communication and reflection by pretending nothing was wrong, even though his non-verbal communication through body language represented anger. He wasn’t listening to his friends or his body, even when he went really red and the smoke was coming out of his nose. It was a great opportunity to explain to the children that communication is not just about what we say; it is also about how we think and how we act. Several examples were provided in Game ON, however, one of the most evident ones was when Alex threw his first temper tantrum by stomping on the ground and used poor verbal communication when blaming his friends. When he isolates his friends, his ego deludes him into thinking that he is big enough and strong enough to win on his own. When a similar scenario unfolds yet again, Alex becomes blinded by his emotions and can no longer help-seek or gain help-seeking behaviour from his friends. His eyes and his ears have shut down and his body is now in flight or fight response, which will impede the executive process and shut down effective communication. When the body is in a fight or flight response, it is strategising for pure survival. This does not allow access to the executive functions of the brain. When the mind and body are calm, the executive functions facilitate communication through critical appraisal, which enables the brain to strategise a solution-focused outcome. 

Alex’s friends try to help him access these executive functions by encouraging him to recognise and acknowledge his anger through the colour of his body and the evidence of smoke coming from his snout. Whilst Alex is denying his anger, his non-verbal communication through his body language is telling a different story. Body behaviour and expression can send a powerful message or tell a story through attitude, symbols, signs and posture. Our stances can reflect the way we feel, even if there is no exchange of verbal conversation. Until Alex gains insight through self-awareness, in regard to how he is expressing himself, then the situation cannot change and Alex will most likely stay in a defensive pattern, continuing to communicate through this framework. Eventually, through peer-mediated assistance, Alex is finally unable to deny his anger and the inappropriate response through acknowledging his actions and by listening to his friends. Game ON uses this technique to help children identify their feelings through colour and visible prompts by exploring body language. In this way, children can review how their thoughts are informing their feelings then their actions. Observing behaviours in the forms of storytelling allows the children to gain the knowledge required to facilitate learning.

Effective communication is a part of this book. Dusty [a character in the book] demonstrates effective communication by talking through the scenario with Alex and the other characters and suggesting some strategies of how to positively communicate. They also ask Alex to look at his body language; you know how red he was turning and the smoke coming out of his snout.  (Year 2 deployment officer, Round 1) 

According to McGrath and Noble, seeking help and talking to others encourages young people to disclose their thoughts, feelings, past experiences and future plans. In this way they can gain support, get a reality check, clarify their thoughts and feelings, and learn to be comfortable with intimacy. This aspect is facilitated through Game ON when Alex is able to listen to his friends and the advice they have on observing his reaction to his feelings. In this way, Game ON can help children to use the skill of communication as part of a process of checking in with peers and cross-checking their thoughts and feelings (clarifying perspective using a cognitive appraisal process) with reliable resources, which can facilitate a path forward for the child. One of the preferred methods of facilitating this process is using appropriate pedagogy in the form of storytelling, puppetry, literature or play. 

Children through this book can identify with feelings both their own and others, you can hear the children reading the body language and reflecting the characters mood, this is all part of building resilience skills in children. (Year 1 teacher, Round 1)

It is imperative that children and young people who disclose their feelings to peers and friends learn skills in relation to evaluation of feelings and cross-checking techniques regarding perception, so as to promote a constructive, solution-focused pathway to resolving issues. There is also an opportunity for children to advocate for their peers in this space. 

In summary, effective communication is a process of both talking and listening, which incorporates reflective practices to clarify clear perspectives. As provided by the evidence from the participants’ responses, Game ON facilitates the ability for children to express how they feel by examining their thoughts, feelings and actions and communicating them. Communication is both verbal and non-verbal; Game ON provides learning opportunities for children to understand the different facets of communication. The characters role model how individuals may think, feel and respond to personal emotions can affect our environment. It also provides children with the opportunity to safely express emotions and talk about some effective ways to communicate in regard to resolving issues with their peers through active play, which can build confidence.

Conflict Resolution in Game ON

Game ON is a children’s book created to encourage resilience in our young ones.

Learn about conflict resolution Game ON below

Whilst many attributes can lower the levels of resilience for an individual, the inability to resolve conflicts by adopting effective conflict resolution strategies can significantly increase the risk and exposure to adversity. Children with high levels of reactivity and poor temperament control compromise the cognitive deployment ability for positive coping strategies (Taylor et al., 2014). The inability to deal with common emotions such as anger and frustration can lead to antisocial behaviour and poor outcomes later in life. Teaching children to manage conflict appropriately can reduce the short- and long-term consequences of poor anger management. Game ON has been designed to demonstrate to children the consequences of poor emotional regulation and conflict resolution skills. This is revealed through the role Alex plays in the book by bullying his friends, teasing, blaming and losing his temper. Alex soon finds out the consequences of his actions, associated with poor conflict resolution strategies. His peers provide him with some cognitive strategies to help manage his emotions to better deal with problems for the future. The most-effective conflict resolution strategies are those that aim to instil problem-solving skills, effective communication with creative and critical thinking. 

Empowerment in Game ON

Game ON is a children’s book created to encourage resilience in our young ones.

Learn about empowerment in Game ON below

Game ON empowers children with opportunities and ideas to assess the current ways in which children operate. Through Game ON, children can use the characters’ strengths and shortcomings in accordance with their own personal management strategy to view potential outcomes and choices. In this respect, asking children to reflect and consider other possibilities replaces the authoritative approach to guidance with facilitation. Children can use the foundations of the book and apply such strategies to their own life and wellbeing. With a positive mentor to facilitate this process, the child can be encouraged to use these self-empowering approaches and strategies to create a sustainable, solution-focused approach to problem solving.

Altruism in Game ON

Game ON is a children’s book created to encourage resilience in our young ones.

Learn about altruism in Game ON below

Altruism is linked to the notion of empathy and occurs when a person recognises the distress of others with the notion of comforting that person. In Game ON, Alex lacks this behavioural trait, as demonstrated by his ability to completely ignore the distress he has caused his friends. When Alex loses his temper and the ball goes up in flames, Reina bursts into tears. Instead of feeling remorse for this situation, Alex is still motivated by his needs (lacking self- and social awareness) and his highly fuelled emotions. It is not until the story ends that Alex recognises his behaviour toward his friends was inappropriate and apologises for blaming, yelling and teasing. He also takes responsibility for the fact that his poor temperament contributed to Reina’s distress. In this story, some of the children through the pilot remarked that sometimes they felt like Reina when people around them were being naughty. This presents an opportunity for teachers to use empathy and altruism to build awareness for those children who use aggression to resolve their problems and how this may affect their peers.

Plasticity in Game ON

Game ON is a children’s book created to encourage resilience in our young ones.

Learn about plasticity in Game ON below

The notion of enhancing resilience traits in children does involve, and is affected by, the frequency of exposure to the program. Game ON was built to engage children in the story and the characters, so as to facilitate learning. However, the ability to augment the concepts of resilience and take advantage of both the pedagogy of the program and children’s capacity surrounding plasticity is reliant upon the frequency and exposure to the concepts. Acknowledging the research and literature, the resilience-building capacity of Game ON would be facilitated if and when the program can be delivered as part of regular instruction.

Empathy in Game ON

Game ON is a children’s book created to encourage resilience in our young ones.

Learn about empathy in Game ON below

Game ON provides opportunities for children to learn about empathy through Alex and his behaviour towards his friends. Alex uses bullying tactics (his power, strength and size) in response to his anger and frustration, which results in hurting his friends’ feelings and making one of his friends (Reina) cry. Alex is so caught up in his own motivations and intentions, he is not fully aware of how his behaviour is affecting others. It is not until his friends express their feelings toward him using a process of reflection that Alex can identify how he has made others feel. Using Alex in this instance can be an example of antisocial behaviour (and its consequences) along with his prosocial behaviour when he finally recognises what he has done.

Communication & Help Seeking in Game ON

Game ON is a children’s book created to encourage resilience in our young ones.

Learn about communication and help seeking in Game ON below

Through the guidance of the Gibbs reflective cycle, Game ON enables children to undertake a process of evaluation of the problems they face. Game ON allows children to review the verbal and non-verbal forms of communication. For example, Alex claims at one point in the story that there was nothing wrong, however, his body language tells a different story. Alex’s friends remind him that his body is red hot, with smoke pouring out of his snout. Children can use this aspect as a learning opportunity to review what happens to their own bodies when they get really angry. Children can review what they say (from a verbal sense) and how their body looks and feels (non-verbal signs). Game ON encourages children to honestly reflect upon their thoughts, feelings and actions, and how their behaviour affects themselves (physically, mentally and emotionally) and others. Game ON also helps to guide children to identify the issues at hand creating the conflict, and finishes with a solution-focused process to problem solving. In this way, children are required to recognise the issue, but are strongly encouraged to move on from the issue using their strengths.

Reflection in Game ON

Game ON is a children’s book created to encourage resilience in our young ones.

Learn about reflection in Game ON below

Reflection is a very important aspect of Game ON. Without reflection, there is a risk for poor learning and repeating past patterns or mistakes. Reflection provides a space for a review, through assessing thoughts, feelings and actions. Reflection is an essential component for learning when using the trial and error technique in making decisions. Children also use reflection to solve problems through task-oriented learning by considering old and new ways of working to achieve a task. This opportunity is presented in Game ON when Dusty provides Alex with a chance to think about the choices he has made in the past and the consequences associated with his actions. When Alex does calm down and reflects, he is able to see that his current choices are not resulting in positive outcomes for himself or his friends.