We all have heard the motivational saying “Together Everyone Achieves More.” While TEAM is applicable in the corporate world, it’s application in family life is absolutely necessary. As a family, everyone is on the same TEAM. Parents and children all need to work together to achieve familial goals. This is a difficult concept to teach to young children, but it can be taught and learned successfully. Here a few ideas about how to build a TEAM family.
Make Respect a Household Word
Respect for others should be taught as a family value in the family. This encompasses so many aspects of family life – from playing with other’s toys, to speaking to siblings and parents – there are many opportunities to teach and model respect. When working with children on the value of respect, it helps to make things more concrete. For example, let’s say the oldest daughter has just said something mean to her sister. In this situation, parents should pull the oldest aside and talk quietly but firmly about how every member of the family is important and needs to be treated kindly and with respect. Then discuss what the older sister needs to do to make it right with her sister. Emphasize that the goal is to make the younger sister feel respected and loved.
Work on Chores Together
A great way to build a TEAM feeling in a home is to complete tasks together. Instead of dividing and conquering chores, work on them as a group. That way everyone sees the results of the work getting done and feels like they are contributing. When working together, emphasize that we work together to get the job done faster. Also, when my children ask why they are helping with something I say it’s because we are on a team.
Do Fun Things Together
Whether it’s reading a story together, playing video games, or being outside – do it as a family. My kids enjoy doing the multiplayer games on the Wii Fit Plus. The trick to this, though, is to do what the kids enjoy most of the time. It’s good to also do what the parents enjoy, but by making most family activities about what the kids want to do shows the kids they are valued. When people feel valued, they are more willing to work with the team.
Talk about Family Situations Together
Some people call this Family Council, but whatever name is used it is important to work together to solve appropriate problems, set family goals, and discuss family plans. It will make saving for a vacation a lot easier if all the children know that’s what the family is working on. On the flip side, counseling together about the hard times every family faces will help each family member understand what is going on. This understanding will help the family strengthen each other during those hard times.
These ideas and tools help the family members become a cohesive family unit. With the respect and communication incorporated into the family structure, children learn how to navigate the difficulties of life. They also learn that they have a supportive and respectful family as a safety net – something every parent would like their children to know and have.