Playing Team at Home
I don’t know anyone that doesn’t love to be part of a team. Don’t you LOVE when someone comes up and tells you how appreciated you are for what you do already? I don’t know anyone that doesn’t like that. It’s humbling, it’s gratifying and self-affirming. Someone is seeing you for your skills, your insights and for your value.
Whether it’s part of a working group, a business partnership, a rec sports team or community service, everybody loves to be invited to be part of a team. I noticed in my volunteer leadership work that people are far more likely to step up when we specifically reach out and invite them personally then if we put out a blanket invitation for anybody to come and just show up.
The same is true with parenting. Our kids live a top-down life. It often seems to them that all significant decisions and activities are dictated to them without their consent or input. Can you imagine what it’ be like to go back to someone telling you when to get up, go to bed, what to do all day and be at the whim of your parents, teachers and coach? Our kids are regularly the subject of the opinions, decisions and structures that other people have made for them.
We can have a huge impact in shifting this perspective. Shifting from a “Victim” mentality (a state where things are being done to them), to a “Generative” mentality (a state where they are engaged in life as it presents itself). This can not only shift their willingness to participate in almost any project at home, but THE WAY they participate. . When we approach parenting from a “We’re All in This Together” from a place of partnership and inclusion, our kids have the opportunity to shift the way they see what they are going to have to do. For instance, we have a chores schedule in our home, everybody has chores and they rotate from month to month. Our kids may not get a choice in whether they will be assigned but by involving them in the process they get some say in what chores, in what way and when.
We take for granted that our kids won’t like half of what we present them. And while much of that is true, the more we INVITE them into the fold, to be a part of the process, the more ownership they will experience in the family, in their schooling with teams and with themselves.
The self-directed life. If we can empower that for our kids, they will have an engaged future full of choice. And we get to be part of bringing them that forward.
What would shift at home for your family if you invited your kids to play all on the same team?