Cooperation is vital for the peace of the family. Children need to learn about sharing for the good of others, even when they do not feel like doing so. Cooperation requires self-control and empathy. Teaching cooperation begins when a child is an infant simply smiling into their eyes and mirroring the movement of their eyes. The infant begins to feel the understanding that mom and dad have for them.
From that point in their life we will continue to teach cooperation:
Sharing toys will grow into the ability to share thoughts and ideas.
Defining for your family the “rules” of what cooperation looks like in your family.
Teach problem-solving skills – so you the parent do not jump in and end the disagreement your way.
Developing family spirit with traditions, time to tell their story and chores to do for the family.
Practicing doing projects with friends – new creations and games
Joining a team – sports, debate, martial arts, drama, band
Community service as a family. Discussing what your family wants to be known for doing in the community and then practicing together.
The Virtue of Cooperation is valuable for the unity and peace of the family and other parts of the community. If your family is struggling with cooperation, Mr. Joe would like to assist you in getting the cooperation you need to feel successful as a family. Call Balanced Life Skills for an appointment.
When we are working in a group with an objective or challenge to be accomplished, there will be numerous ideas and suggestions. To keep the team in a cooperative mindset each person needs to feel like they are valued and heard. This principle applies to a family too. If the one taking the lead in the conversation doesn’t help each member of the family feel like they are heard, they may lose cooperation with the result. How can we accomplish this and come to a conclusion that everyone believes that they had a real part in reaching?
Listening is a cooperation skill. Listening at a higher level that just allowing others to speak is not easy in a world filled with so many distractions. Number one rule to remember about what others say: People do not always say what they mean. If you react to what they say, you may have made a mistake. How do we need to listen?
Here are a few steps about listening that will help us get the group cooperating.
Clear your mind of anything other that what is said
Don’t plan your response
Don’t judge what you are hearing
Listen for the emotional undercurrent
Listen for confusion in the thought process
Listen for pace, tone, and inflection
If you practice these listening skills, you will hear what is said. There is even more to listening, guiding and even correcting when required, but this is a good start. If we practice just these steps both of the participants will feel heard, understood and more cooperative.
As a parent one of the most important virtues we want to see in our children is cooperation. We would like to have cooperation when we ask them to do a task, to get ready, playing with their siblings and when we need something done. But cooperation is a leadership quality.
I doubt there is anyone that would assert that they got to their position all by themselves. Someone was there to help them, together with others we were able to accomplish a goal or dream that we had. Learning cooperation as a way of moving forward ourselves or others, is coupled with other skills like compromise, motivating and valuing others.
Whether we are children or adults, we are far more motivated to be helpful if we feel like we are appreciated and valued for our contribution. We can teach our children that lesson by including them in our experiences and tasks that we take part. It may be easier to “do it yourself”, but the experiences and the sweet taste of completion occur when we can share with others in a cooperative manner.
We can encourage cooperation in our children by sharing with them in the work and the rewards that come from working together to get the job done. It gives us the opportunity to point out their cooperation, motivate them to continue and appreciate them for the value they bring to the family. We are helping them draw out of themselves the valuable virtue of cooperation.
Cooperation is about working together to get things done. As is the case with all of our virtues our practice at home prepares us for school, job and community service. Cooperation requires practicing other virtues like respect, helpfulness, and trust.
In our family we show we are practicing cooperation by helping with the jobs that benefit the entire family. If we are young, we may help set the table or clear the dishes at the end of a meal. We will pick up our toys and put them away. Cooperation is also doing things that help someone who is still learning. An older child may help a younger child tie shoes, read a book or play while the adults are working on another project.
In school, we have a team there too, all our classmates and teachers. We practice cooperation by showing respect for the rules of the school, handing out papers for the teacher and helping to clean up after an activity. Students cooperate while doing a project by listening to the ideas of others and participating in group discussions.
In our community we practice cooperation by joining other people to support a cause, clean up the beach or working on community activities. We cooperate with others to make any place safe and happy.
When we practice cooperation, we do not have to do everything ourselves. We trust that it is ok to help others complete their tasks and to ask for help when we need it. Cooperating shows the strength of character and builds strong teams.
Each month we will discuss one gift of character with all of our students. This month the word is Cooperation. This life skill will be defined in the following ways for our students.
Young students: Cooperation means: Let’s work together!
Older students: Cooperation means: Working together towards a common goal
We are not your typical after school activity, in fact, we are an education center, working with students on physical self-defense skills while empowering families to bring out the best in our children and ourselves – through the martial arts. We believe every child has 52 gifts in them already. They only need to be taught how to grow and use them in their life. Balanced Life Skills serves parents, teachers and students to reach that goal.