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Counseling Games for Behavior Problems

Updated: Feb 15



Behavior Games: Counseling Interventions for Behavior Problems

Sometimes you need a counseling game for a specific issue. This article offers games that target behavior problems to help kids become more aware of their motivation and needs and to find alternative behaviors to meet needs. This list includes games specific to manners, lying, stealing, defiance, conflict between siblings, acting out in school, and inappropriate joking. The best part is that all of these games are affordable, all under $20 and most are much less.


School Zone is a counseling game to cope with school stressors

by Pathways to Peace

This game is all about different school stressors such as social anxiety, inattention, behavior outbursts, bullies, and conflict. Many kids get in trouble for these issues because they do not know how to cope with the stressors. This game can help identify why kids do not like school, are failing, or are in trouble frequently.


Consequences is a board game to help children learn the consequenes of their behavior.

Consequences Game

This board game can be found online, or you might get lucky and find it in a store. When kids make good choices (indicated on a game card) they can move forward. When they make poor choices, they have to move backward. It paints a clear picture of the real-life results of their behavior. I've been using this one for years and the kids, especially younger ones, love it. You can find my game review plus video here.


The Crazy Train is a Book and game about the Revenge Cycle

by Pathways to Peace

Kids often get on the revenge cycle where one child does something hurtful so the other child seeks revenge. This cycle spins out of control and tends to get worse with time. Behaviors would include name-calling, yelling, lying, bullying, stealing, hitting, etc. This book and game teach how to turn the cycle around to where they show kindness to one another. This helps teach kids appropriate communication skills, conflict resolution skills, as well as ways to mend relationships when mistakes are made.


A bad case of tattle tongue game show Julia Cook

by Whole Hearted School Counseling

This game is a great companion to Julia Cook's book. It can be played in person or online through telehealth. It will help with social skills and boundaries. The prompts include art, imagination, and verbal communication.

 

games are a powerful tool in play therapy. learn the many reasons to start playing today.
 
Dino Stories is a story telling game

by Pathways to Peace Counseling

This is a storytelling game to help children process the underlying issues behind behavior outbursts. This game focuses on themes of safety, connection, and needs. Through storytelling, kids can process reasons they may be aggressive, avoidant, or acting out. Through processing emotions and rescripting unhealthy self-talk, kids can implement different behaviors.


Liar, Liar Pants on Fire Counseling card Game

by Pathways to Peace

Liar, Liar Pants on Fire is a card game that plays like Old Maid. The person who is stuck with the Liar, Liar Pants on Fire card loses the round. Each character on the cards represents different motivations for lying, such as fear of getting in trouble, offering a diversion for someone else, humor, daydreaming, or intentionally deceiving others. The game also comes with questions to promote discussion about motivations and alternative ways to meet needs or ways to communicate. Finding the child's motivation for lying is the first step in addressing the behavior.


Blunders is a comic board game to teach children manners and appropriate social behavior

Blunders: A Game About Manners

This is a cute, fun game to help children learn manners. The storyline is about four siblings who behaved so terribly that they were banned from the annual pool party at a neighbor's house. They are on a mission to learn manners so they can attend again. The cards play on the personalities of these four children and their interactions with each other and others. Kids will learn table manners, how to introduce themselves, and how to show respect to adults. Find my full game review (with video) here.

Quarreling Squirrels is a book and game about sibling rivalry

by Pathways to Peace

This is a book and game about siblings who can't get along and are unable to work together to secure their acorn harvest before winter. When they realize they must address their problems and work together, they start to recognize positive characteristics in one another and focus on strengths instead of weaknesses. The game helps children learn conflict resolution skills, consider the needs of one another, and change the way they think of one another to learn to get along.

 

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Putting a Stop to Stealing CBT game

by Pathways to Peace

Kids will learn cognitive behavioral therapy skills to overcome temptation, rescript thoughts, and find alternative ways to meet their needs. Instead of focusing on what they want, kids will be prompted to focus on things they are thankful for. They will also be challenged to consider how others would feel, promoting empathy.


You're a Hoot is a game to help children keep humor respectful

by Pathways to Peace

This is a fun, light-hearted game to help children find positive, respectful ways to use their humor and pitfalls to avoid. Many kids think they are being funny but come across as a bully or making their friends the punch line of their jokes. Not to mention making jokes about things that kids should not be talking about! Kids get the opportunity to tell jokes and have fun while learning appropriate boundaries and ways to show respect.


Emma's Emotional Discovery is a book and game to understand and regulate emotions.

by Pathways to Peace

When your emotions are out of control, your behavior is usually out of control as well. This is a story about a little girl who was unable to regulate emotions and would emotionally spew on others when she was triggered. The story ends as she learns the purpose of her emotions. Emotions are warning bells to tell her something needs her attention. She learns to sit and feel her emotions and learn what her body is telling her. The game allows kids to learn CBT and coping skills, regulate their emotions, and make sense of situations. Once emotions are under control, behaviors improve as well.

 
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The Battle In My Brain is a CBT game to help with big emotions and temptations

by Pathways to Peace

The Battle in My Brain is a CBT counseling game to address big emotions and temptations. It uses the imagery of an angel on one shoulder and a demon on the other to give a visual representation of temptation vs. conscience (or superego vs id for psychoanalytics). Kids will learn how to pay attention to self-talk and use CBT skills to shut down ruminating thoughts that will lead to problems. They will also identify supports and ways to think through situations instead of just reacting. This game is best for teens and tweens (ages 10-18ish).


Level Up is a video game themed counseling game about developing a strategy for life.

by Pathways to Peace

Level Up is a video game-themed game built upon the metaphor that when you reach goals in life it is like leveling up in a game. The game helps kids identify the benefits of living with a life strategy and discover the pitfalls of careless behavior as it is like failing the level and having to start over. This game is helpful for kids who are impulsive or defiant, often getting caught in bad patterns of behavior. They will learn how to use the control they have in their lives to propel them in a positive direction.


 

Helpful Resources:



A list of affordable games to address behavior such as stealing, lying, course humor, and more.


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