Frustration is a part of life. Work, family, friends, each come with their own unique form of frustration. Video games are no different.
One day as my son was playing Lego Star Wars on his Nintendo DS he became extremely agitated. He was unable to complete a task and began to growl and call the game ‘stupid.’ My first thought was to tell him if he could not play nice I was going to take the game away from him. I then remembered how frustrating games can be, and what a great opportunity this was to begin teaching him how to manage his frustration.
I told him to put the game down for 60 seconds. I then explained how the mind has a difficult time functioning in an agitated state and if he relaxes he may find he is able to finish it when he comes back. He reluctantly closed the DS and waited a minute. He re-opened his DS and became irritated again, “I can’t do it,’ he said. I re-iterated that if he was going to get frustrated he should turn off the DS and wait a while, otherwise all he can do is keep trying. 30 seconds later I heard ‘I did it!’
Learning frustration management can not only make you a better gamer, but better equipped to handle life’s many frustrating situations.