Geese flock together towards their destination. During the process, they exhibit perfect example of teamwork! Here are 5-lessons to learn from geese that can have impact in our lives…
The other day, we had a get together with old friends. There was this friend’s daughter, a thirteen year old, who had her birthday on the same day. She lived abroad with her parents since her birth, and recently moved back to India. I had always known her as a sweet kid who loved to interact, and make friends easily. She was having her fun time with the gang of kids. And then she came to the kitchen for a glass of water, and observed me arranging dinner. “Auntie do you need help?” I was spell-bound! This kid is good in mixing with people, good in academics, and even had the empathy and manners to offer me help with my chores. These days, most parents want their kids to concentrate on things that will bring them success – good academic scores, brilliance in performing arts, and excellence in sports etc. Her parents must have been training her in life skills as well!
Why must kids do household chores? I found an interesting article published in the Wall Street Journal. It mentions that decades of research shows the benefits of chores—academically, emotionally and even professionally. Involving children in household chores at an early age helps build a lasting sense of responsibility and self-reliance. By taking active role in household tasks, kids begin to take care of themselves and learn skills that comes in handy as they grow up. A child may not always be the star student or athlete, but they get to realize that they can contribute to the family. This sense of self-worth alone is reason enough why kids must do household chores.
What are some of the tasks where you could involve your child? Start with some very simple habits – arranging toys, bringing back their plates and bowls to the kitchen after a meal etc. Gradually, you get them to make their bed, tidying up the study table etc. With time, kids learn to do these tasks well. And as kids grow up, one can introduce few more like watering plants, and helping with dishes. All you need to do is stick to chores that are age-appropriate. Here are a good set of guidelines for age-appropriate chores.
Here are 5-reasons why kids must do household chores:
1.Responsibility: Kids need to understand that housework and chores are a part of life. They must learn that after playing, its their responsibility to rearrange the toys back to their respective places. To switch off the lights and fans when not required, to put their clothes for laundry etc. Life does not treat us same always. They have their parents to help them now, but in future they will need to take responsibility of their chores.
2. Self-sufficiency: As society changes, one needs to adopt and survive well. When kids learn to do things for themselves, they develop a positive self identity, and it makes them feel competent and worthy. A kid who learns to help himself with meals as a tween, will definitely be able to prepare a meal as an adult.
3. Empathy: Kids who take part in chores become more empathic. They learn the importance of contributing to family. This in turn gets ingrained in them. They later understand the needs of others, and contribute to the society, . They are more likely to be well-adjusted, have better relationships with friends and family and be more successful in their careers as adults.
4. Confidence: As kids grow up helping with household chores, they gain confidence in their own abilities. Taking up a task, finishing it and doing it well to the satisfaction of adults boost the confidence of kids. They realize that they can actually accomplish tasks like adults. Initially, the joy the kids get out of this is tremendous. More importantly, it subconsciously fills kids with confidence – something that helps in academics, sports and other tasks kids take up.
5. Better team-players: When you get your child to participate in household chores, it is teamwork. The family is the team! Every member of the family, including the children, does his or her bit. Still, does it really help the child in any way, you wonder. The answer is a resounding yes. Participating in household chores along with the rest of the family makes kids better team players. And teamwork is fundamental to success in life. Whether it doing a science project in school, participating in school cultural events, or sports – teamwork becomes the name of the game. And beyond school and college, teamwork is supremely important for success in one’s professional life.
Why must kids do household chores? Participation, following instructions, ownership are some of the aspects that are naturally ingrained when kids help with household chores. When you tell your child to water the plants everyday, the child owns the task. For some, it brings immediate sense of responsibility. For others, it may take a few days to get into a habit. Yet, at some point, ownership kicks in. Likewise, other traits such as tendency to volunteer, follow and execute instructions, and taking a lead – all get gradually ingrained in them. They eventually start enjoying their part of work. They develop into responsible, self sufficient, empathic, confident adults who are better team-players- traits that are very much required for overall success in life!
“5-reasons why teamwork is important for kids” reminded me of the movie “The Penguins of Madagrascar”. The penguins Skipper, Kowalski, Rico, and Private are the most inspiring characters for teamwork and leadership. In the movie; they were captured by an evil octopus named Dave. Dave was jealous with penguins and wanted to harm them. He was nursing a grudge from the days at the Central Park Zoo when the penguin quartet stole the affection of visitors. Throughout the movie, the penguin team leader Skipper plans the strategies. His subordinates Kowalski, Rico and eventual hero Private take orders and follow his plans. Skipper discusses new ideas and takes essential contributions from his team. The penguins teach an important lesson to Classified (an wolf), the leader of the elite North Wind Task Force. They oriented him to the fact that asking for help isn’t a weakness, but a strength. Classified sees first-hand how collaborating and working together with disparate teammates can achieve collective objectives. The Penguins reaches their goal because of excellent team work, creative thinking, communication, and collaboration.
Here are the 5-reasons why teamwork is important for kids:
1.Teaches collaboration: Teamwork is fun. It is a constructive way to get to know the members of a team. It helps to build trust, and help each other to reach a common goal. Members of a team even learn how to work with those who disagree with them, or with others they might not “like” or want as friends. It teaches the skill “Collaboration” which is very important for future success. In the movie “The Penguins of Madagrascar” also, it was shown how the penguins worked as a team under the supervision and guidance of their leader Skipper to achieve their goal of freeing all animals from the zoo! 2.Strengthens interpersonal skills: Teamwork teaches interpersonal skills. Working in a team teaches one to respect the opinion of the other members. Such interpersonal skills are very important in later life in terms of listening skills, verbal communication, negotiation, and problem solving.
3.Improves competency: Every individual is different. They have different ways of thinking, and addressing problems. While working in a team, one gets exposed to various ideas. It improves critical thinking, and decision making.
4.Fosters self-improvement: While working in a team, one gets to know about self strengths and weaknesses. Strengths help to take up leadership roles, weaknesses help to work towards betterment. If a kid is left to play alone, he will always think himself to be king of his playground. But if he is motivated to play in a team, he can understand his real worth.
5.Boosts networking skills: Much of our success in life depends on our ability to network and connect with other people. So kids should be exposed to teamwork as it boosts networking skills. When they work in a team, they learn to remember the names of other team members. Also, they master the skill of introducing themselves, looking into the eyes of each other, shaking hands, and sometimes get involved in acts of kindness.
“Alone we can do can so little, together we can do so much”…Team work plays a pivotal role in our lives. It is important whether playing in a team, doing coursework, or while climbing the career ladder. Thus all the 5-reasons why teamwork is important for kids are very crucial for them. They are not simply skills needed at school, but are vital skills required in all areas of life.
School is not always the most fun place in the world for kids. Most kids find it difficult to wake up early for school. But playing school, and especially teacher-teacher is a lot of fun for them! My three year old used to remember the color of the dress of her class teacher. She used to wear the same colored dress for her teacher role play at home with her dolls. She used to teach them rhymes, numbers, and prepare them for performances. Initially we were little reluctant to let her play alone. With time, we figured that the role-play was really helping her improve. And that it was a learning rehearsal of her days task at school. The fun part was that she used to ask for snacks for her pupils for lunch break. As a mother my happiness was in receiving the empty snack box after the play!
“Playing teacher teacher is fun mamma”…till 5th standard she happily played the game. She used to mention class teacher as the “mother” in her class! I believe many parents go through the same experience with their kids, especially girls. Parents are the first teachers for kids. And as they enter school, they learn to depend more on their class teacher. They mimic the character, and treat teachers as role models. And this continues through primary, secondary school and college.
Here are five reasons according to me why kids love their teachers:
1. Trusted adult: At home, kids stay at the warmth of parents. They feel lost when they are sent to schools for the first time. But then they include class teacher in their comfort zone. They feel safe with her, and learn to trust her.
2. Storehouse of knowledge: Kids are curious. They love to learn new things. Teachers expose them to the wonder world full of new learning! Kids learn to admire and respect teachers as they are knowledgeable, and can guide them in their lust for the same.
3. Active listeners: Most kids like their teachers as they actively listen to them. Small kids wonder about a whole lot of things. The teachers pay attention to all their queries.
4. Caring and loving adults: The tiny tots receive a lot of love and affection from their teachers. This love and care is extremely important in providing a secure, safe and positive environment for the kids to thrive. As the kids grow, the expression of love and care may change. But the love and care remains.
5. Biggest Cheerers: The greatest joy of a teacher is in seeing the success of their students. They ensure that the students really learn what they need to. Whether the smartest or their weakest students, are all cared for and cheered on in their journey of learning.
“Playing teacher teacher is fun mamma”… when a kid takes up the role play of a teacher voluntarily and plays that ways for hours, we know that the kid really loves his/her teacher. And for a parent, it is extremely reassuring that the kid is in a safe, caring, and loving environment.