Have you ever played chess? Chess is a great game, and it is a wonderful form of therapy.
Chess stimulates brain function, and teaches amazing discipline to sit still and focus. Research shows that there is a strong correlation between learning to play chess and academic achievement.
Chess is an excellent form of therapy for hyperactive kids (and high-energy adults), it keeps the elderly-mind engaged, and it is an unmatched tool for social reform, such as offering a productive activity for inmates and juveniles in detention.
Talk about mind productivity!
Exercise Your Mind
Playing chess is more common in countries that do not have 100+ cable television channels. X-boxes and video games, i-Phones and “tablets”, 24-hour take-outs that distress the sleep cycle, or public school systems that reward standardized test tricks as opposed to true learning.
In other words, games like chess are no longer as common in high-tech societies. I believe that this is a disservice because strategy games, like chess, exercise and challenge the mind. They teach patience, strategy, and the art of eloquent defeat and intellectual triumphs.
Kids Learning Chess
I have discovered an incredible chess video that teaches the basics of chess for all ages. I played chess when I was a kid, and I wanted to start the game again, but I couldn’t find a good way to begin; plus, I had no one to play with.
This video stimulated my interest, and resurrected my strategy. The animations are amazing. And, you can now find chess partners on-line.
I highly recommend teaching your children the game of chess. Don’t be surprised if, at first, they can’t sit still for as long as you’d think. Heck, don’t be surprised if you can’t sit still for as long as you’d expect. We live in a very loud, rushed, and chaotic world these days, and it’s winding us all up.
Remember that highly intelligent, and energetic, children get easily burned out sitting in boring, public classrooms; they can’t focus for long periods of time if they are addicted to their cell phones or social media, and modern diets (especially at the public schools) tend to keep their minds “unfocused.”
So, stay patient and introduce this new “mind therapy” slowly, but methodically.
Special Needs Kids
Chess is especially good for special needs kids – kids with ADD, ADHD, or autism.
If a child is high-energy, that does not mean the child isn’t smart. Hyperactive kids, and autistic kids, are actually the opposite in most cases – they are very smart; they merely don’t fit into “the system.”
A trick to channeling high energy in kids is to do exactly that – channel the energy. Chess is one of the finest tools for doing this because – slowly but surely – it offers an outlet for the intellect, and teaches the discipline of calming the body as the mind stays stimulated.
Special needs kids love structure, schedules, and predictability; this makes them feel secure, and is a calming tool. Chess fits this MO like a hand-in-glove.
Believe me, it works!
The biggest challenge parents or teachers may have teaching chess to a special needs child is being patient themselves. Chess may help you realize that if you, as a parent or teacher, are not showing patience, too, a special needs child will not see its value.
Chess is great therapy for everyone. Check out the ChessNut! I highly recommend this program for not only learning chess, but for an excellent form of therapy.
Chess is a healthy addition to anyone’s life. It’s a slam-dunk. Or, should I say CHECKMATE!