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Sesame Street was right, Cooperation makes it happen!
As a mom of four, I can attest that chaos reigns when no one is getting along and everyone is trying to do their own thing. On the flip side, it knocks my socks off to see what can be achieved when everyone focuses their energy and cooperates. Here are a few practical tips for parents to help their kids start combining forces to do great things together.
Practice - Situation - Cooperation - Way - Time
1. Practice working together before you are in a “real” situation where cooperation is required. That way when it actually comes time for all hands on deck, they’ll be trained professionals. Make it fun by playing board games, where everyone is taking turns, pass around a new or special object, or tag-team read a book. For older kids, specific challenges that reward teamwork (such as working together to follow a recipe and make dinner or cookies) helps teach that everyone has to do their part or it won’t turn out.
2. Explain the rules. Better yet, have your kids be a part of creating the rules. They can only do their part if they know what they are expected to do. They’ll have more buy in if they’ve been a part of the process.
Options - Orders - Part - Love - Logic
3. Give options, not orders. This is part of the Love & Logic parenting strategy where you become more of a consultant and less of a boss or remote-control parent. “Would you like to listen to music while we get the garage cleaned and sorted or race against the timer to see if we can beat it?” instead of “You’ve got 30 minutes to clean this garage!”
4. Ask questions, and LISTEN. Your child might have an incredibly out-of-the box way of doing something that achieves the end you had in mind, but by a...
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