Being able to work with others as part of a team is a life skill that is vitally important in all areas of life. Whether it’s at home, in school, in work or in marriage when they’re older, your child is going to need to do things with others.
The family home, especially if you have more than one child, is a great environment to cultivate teamwork skills your child will then be able to draw experiences from throughout their life.
Why is Teamwork Important?
At times, we need to work together to achieve a shared goal – there’s strength in numbers and often we need to pool skills. To do this effectively, all members of the team need to interact with one another, exchanging ideas, negotiating, respecting each other’s opinions and varied abilities. Your child is no doubt already master of their own individual skills and ways of thinking but, when it’s time to work within a team, they are going to need to step outside of themselves and become aware of the skills and thinking of others. The more practice they have doing this, the better they’ll become.
How to Work as Part of a Team at Home
- If children stick together with their brothers and sisters at home, they can often reach common goals, e.g., if everyone wants fish-fingers for dinner, they are more likely to get them.
- When we go out, we have a stay together rule. If one wanders off, we all have to go home. We discuss the rules in the car before we arrive and everyone works together as a team to ensure we stay together because no-one wants to end the trip early.
- At our family meetings, we often plan leisure activities for the weekend. Our children quickly worked out that if they spoke before hand and agreed on what they wanted to do, they were more likely to get us to agree to it at the family meeting.
- We often split into teams Mama and “little Johnny” versus Papa and “little Jane” to play board games that are still difficult for them or when they’re learning a new game. This is also great when we have too many players.
- When it comes to watching TV, sharing toys, playing on the computer, etc., we encourage the children to agree between them what they watch, who plays with what and when. The idea being that they have to work together to reach agreement or we decide.
- We also ask them to work together to achieve projects and/or household activities, e.g. emptying the dishwasher. “Little Jane” can’t reach the high things so she does the low things and “little Johnny” does the high stuff. Together they get the job done or…
As we like to say in our family.
How do your children practice working in a team at home?