January - Cooperation #3

Welcome back! Let’s wrap up our discussion on Cooperation.

Modeling Cooperation

The challenge below will offer some practical ways to model cooperation in your family. Beyond those suggestions, the best thing we can do as parents is to be aware of our level of cooperation with others. Maybe we even need to give ourselves a “behavior grade” once in a while and ask ourselves whether or not we deserve the report card comment: “works well with others.” Sometimes taking an inventory on our own behavior is all we need to improve ourselves.

The Challenge!

One of many things families sometimes can’t decide on is where to go to out to dinner. Just when you think you have it all figured out, somebody says, “I had that for lunch.” “I don’t want that.” “I don’t like that place.” Then, of course, the kids have all kinds of comments, too! Before these arguments even begin, why not come up with a cooperative game plan. Sit down one night with a pen and paper as a family and invite each family member to suggest three places for family meals out. 

As a family, promise to follow this list in numerical order. You may also suggest and talk about the importance of everybody respecting and honoring the choice of every family member at the table. Talk about the fact that you may not always like the next choice on the list, but part of the compromise is that you have the same number of suggestions as everyone else. This activity takes a lot of cooperation and obviously a fair level of compromise.

Just the beginning . . .

Choosing restaurants could be just the start. You could consider setting up a list of chores that everybody in the house has to do. Have everybody in the family take turns taking the garbage out, washing the dishes, cleaning the toilets, etc. Think of the level of cooperation you could reach in your home and think of the example you are setting for your child.

As always, thank everybody, especially your child, for participating in the game of family cooperation. Applaud your child’s input and willingness to compromise along the way and explain how helpful cooperation will be in their lives now and in the future.

I’ll see you next month – February is the month of love! ; )

Thanks for being a Good Egg!

S. Ciara Mitaro

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