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Ways to Improve Communication in a Family: Escape Rooms as “Family Therapy”

14 May 2019

Are you looking new ways to improve communication in your family? Are you interested in exploring exciting communication exercises for “family therapy”?

Escape rooms could be your perfect fit.

Escape rooms draw you and your family out of the routines that dominate life at home. The games encourage everyone to work together and communicate more effectively in order to win. This serves as practice for getting along and respecting each person’s unique strengths.

How can these immersive games help you achieve better family bonding — and improved communication? Let’s find out.

How Escape Rooms Can Help Strengthen Your Family Relationships and Communication

If you’re feeling stuck in a rut when it comes to communicating with your family, it might be time to try something new. There are hundreds of communication exercises for family therapy, but sometimes it’s good to try something that you haven’t tried before. While we often think escape rooms are just for fun (and don’t worry, they are fun), escape rooms can also act as a way to improve communication in your family. You’ll need to work together — and talk together — to escape in time, forcing you all to put your communication skills to good use.

Escape Rooms Encourage Outside-The-Box Thinking

You may find that the members of your family seem to have fallen into roles and routines, forming patterns of behavior that are difficult to break free from.

Example: For instance, your spouse may grow agitated if the day’s usual schedule goes awry. Your children may be refusing to do their homework or clean their rooms for no evident reason other than to be rebellious.

Escape Room Solution:

An escape room, on the other hand, is a novel environment. The room is full of unusual objects, sights, and sounds, which might not make sense right away.

This is because the whole point of an escape room is to roam. You think outside the box. You turn puzzles that don’t make sense into solutions that do make sense!

As your family navigates the escape room, they will gain experience in breaking free from their usual thought patterns. This outside-the-box thinking can help you learn to break free of unproductive routines at home as well.

Escape Rooms Foster Teamwork

If you and your family just can’t seem to get along in daily life, an escape room can help you bridge the gap between you.

No man is an island, and that is especially true inside of an escape room. You and your family will quickly realize that you cannot win on your own!

Example: While a typical family game night may fall apart over accusations of cheating, in an escape room, everyone is on the same team.

Winning is a powerful motivator, and the only way to move forward and win an escape room game is to work together.

Escape Room Solution:

You’ll be committing to each other’s success within the context of the escape room. You’ll also be working as a team to find the clues and solve the puzzles. As such, your family will learn to be a cohesive unit in the outside world after the game is done.

Escape Rooms Help Improve Communication Skills

Communication is the most important tool for creating a stress-free family environment. However, communicating is often easier said than done. While an escape room might seem like a novel — or even crazy — family therapy idea for communication, it can actually work to get communication channels flowing more freely.

Example: Perhaps no one in your family seems willing to have an open and honest conversation. Everyone ends up assuming ill intent rather than actively communicating. In order to effectively work together and win an escape room game, you and your family must put your communication skills to work — using similar skills that they teach in family therapy activities.

Escape Room Solution:

Escape rooms are a safe, low-stakes environment that gently forces your group to be clear and open with each other. After all, talking to each other and being as clear as possible is the only way to win the game. As such, your family will be compelled to do just that.

The communication strategies that you and your family develop in the escape room can then be transferred into your daily life. It’s possible your family won’t realize the game taught them anything at all, but the results will be clear!

Choosing the Perfect Room for Your Family

Every escape room is different. You want your family to be motivated to participate, improve communication, and get the most out of the experience. As such, be sure to pick the best room for your unique family! Here are a few tips to help you choose the ideal room.

Check the Recommended Age Limits

When checking out different escape rooms, be sure to make note of any minimum age requirements. That will be important if you have younger children, but will also indicate how complicated the puzzles will be.

For example, a room that requires a minimum age of eight years old might be an easier game than one that requires a minimum age of twelve or eighteen years old.

Choose an Appropriate Difficult Level

When it comes to precise difficulty, escape room games can vary widely.

Check the listed difficulty level of a room.

Rooms may be labeled as “easy”, “medium”, or “hard”, or with synonyms for each — such as “beginner”, “intermediate”, or “advanced”.

If this is your family’s first time entering an escape room, perhaps choose an easier difficulty level. This will help get your feet wet. However, if your family is full of avid puzzle solvers, they may thrive in a harder-level room.

Consider Your Family's Favorite Themes

Most escape rooms are more than just a series of puzzles. They also include a story!

You and your family may find yourselves:

  • Locked in a dungeon with a zombie
  • Exploring an undersea laboratory
  • Searching an old house for your grandparent’s inheritance
  • Sneaking through an abandoned casino

Also, some escape rooms are more adventurous or comedic, while others are more mysterious or horror-themed.

To ensure your family has a great time, choose a theme that they will enjoy. If your kids are not into horror, then pass over the murder mystery themes. If your spouse loves science fiction, then an escape room with a high-tech laboratory theme may be perfect!

The more closely the escape room aligns with your family’s interests, the more engaged they will be. As a bonus, they’ll learn more communication skills (similar to the skills learned during family therapy activities) from the experience!

Why 60out?

When deciding on “family therapy” activities to improve communication, it's good to have many options. This helps you best customize the experience to your unique family!

60out’s family escape rooms cover a wide range of genres and difficulty levels. You can decide which fits the tastes or puzzle-solving skill levels of your group.

Our escape rooms are ideal for encouraging you and your family to break free from routines and have a unique, memorable night out together.

Check out the 23 escape rooms at 60out and book your escape room today!