I’ve invented a game… And it WORKS.
Wantitwriteitreaditdoitgetitwin — Rules of Play
Children make it difficult to complete a sentence, let alone a conversation. Consequently, parental needs and wants fall utterly by the wayside or are expressed incompletely or without the necessary space and timing to allow them to be properly heard. In lieu of a time-turner, this game may be played as often as desired to skip directly to the fun part: the warmth and satisfaction of having your needs met, knowing you are taking good care of your partner, and above all, feeling heard.
Amass a good deal of paper and replenish your stock as needed. Electronic communication will work in a pinch but the physical form is superior. Select a favorite writing utensil. Store out of reach of children for sanity’s sake.
The First Time You Play:
Decide on a rate of frequency and approach to play (detailed below) and agree to stick to it for a minimum period of time. Discuss whether to have a set system for note delivery or keep it flexible — or a combination, if one partner enjoys the element of surprise and the other thrives on predictability.
There are two basic approaches to play: concurrent or adjacent. During concurrent play, the players are simultaneously fulfillers and recipients. In adjacent play, the roles swap at set intervals based on the agreed-upon frequency of play.
Examples of possible rates of frequency and approaches to play:
– both players fulfill one request for one another per day
– both players make ten requests at once, to be fulfilled by the other at any point over the course of a week
– one player fulfills three requests at any point during a two-day period, then switch
– one player fulfills one request per day for a week, then switch
Playing the Game:
Making the Request(s): Select the appropriate number of blank papers required for your chosen frequency/approach. Write down one request per paper. Deliver as agreed upon.
Fulfilling the Request(s): Receive the request(s). Kiss, hug, or otherwise bestow affection upon your partner. Read the request(s). Do as requested during the time allotted. If applicable, notify the recipient of completion. It is permissible to receive assistance from outside parties in the completion of requests provided this does not increase the burden your partner is under. Make every effort to complete the request without troubling the recipient; however, if clarification or guidance is truly required for successful fulfillment, ask.
Winning the Game: Each time both players have completed the same number of requests, make time for a celebration of any size. Congratulate yourselves on winning the game.
Once you have played the game for awhile, a variety of modifications are possible. One could categorize requests according to size or type; for example, three small requests could equal one large request, or one day could be a chore request day and the next could be a relationship-tending request day. Both concurrent and adjacent play can also be initiated on an as-needed basis as long as balance between players is maintained. Play could be expanded to include children some or all of them time. Experiment to see what best suits your needs.
Use is not limited to as directed.
Do not play while operating heavy machinery unless doing so in fulfillment of a request.
Temporary loss of all negative feelings including but not limited to: anger, frustration, passive-aggression, and sadness could result.