COOPERATION is when people and groups work together to achieve a common goal. Vince Lombardi put it best when he said, “People who work together will win, whether it be against complex football defenses, or the problems of modern society.”
Learning to cooperate means that a person can think about and balance their own wants and needs with another person’s wants and needs. When it comes to adult and children relationships, many people think that cooperation means the child does what the adult wants. However, that is compliance not cooperation. True cooperation means a joint effort - a give and take between the adult and the child. The end result being something they both agree on and find mutually satisfying.
Here are a couple of ideas on how you can teach cooperation to children. Do chores together such as setting the table, cleaning up the toys, putting away the laundry or doing the dishes. Point out why and how their contribution is important. Offer suggestions, not commands. For example, “It’s cold outside so you’re going to need a hat. Would you like help putting it on or do you want to do it yourself?’ Give your child choices while maintaining the rules. For example, “Teeth need to be brushed at bedtime. Do you want to do it before or after we read books?” Offering choices shows your child respect.
In life, we soon realize that we can’t do life alone. Simply put, we’re going to need to work with people our entire lives. Whether that be on school projects, sports teams, in our careers, and yes, even making our houses into homes. We need people who we can trust to help us complete the tasks bigger than ourselves.