Every family learns that successful teamwork involving both the parents and the kids leads to a happier and calmer home. Dad, Balint Horvath founder of Project Father wonders how young is too young to start?
Children actually love to participate in family life from as young as two years old. While they may still be developing the ability to interact with others, toddlers can be taught basic teamwork. They can engage with their parents and siblings and follow through with simple instructions. Toddlers, like all children, learn from observation. So, if they see dad helping mum wash the dishes they’ll want to do the same. By setting examples of teamwork, you as the parent can teach your toddler to become a team player.
Why Teamwork is Important
Teamwork skills are vital for developing your child and helping them cope with a wide range of situations. In fact, teamwork is considered an essential social skill. Teamwork entails learning to give and take, sharing, taking turns, and integrating other people. By teaching your children these cooperative skills from a young age, you’re giving them the means to manage their lives more effectively and efficiently. Children who are taught teamwork skills have stronger and healthier relationships, succeed better at school and in the workplace and develop more patience, empathy and tolerance. Your child will have more confidence and better coping skills.
The Agile Approach: How to Use it With Your Toddler
My job as a scrum master entails using scrum as an agile approach to help companies and their teams work more effectively together.
There are 4 main events in scrum:
- sprint planning
- daily scrum
One meeting is especially useful for ensuring a rhythm or regularity to the way an individual or company functions and that is the daily scrum. Three topics are discussed during a daily scrum of 15 mins and these include: How was the day? What is the plan for tomorrow? What frustrations/blockages were experienced during the day? These kinds of events allow team members to discuss their day and together, figure out what worked, what didn’t work, and what can be improved upon. Naturally, this got me thinking about using the agile approach with my own two-year-old daughter. I have a “hands-on” approach to raising our daughter together with my partner. And, one thing I’m very clear on is that a toddler very much has their own mind! I also understand a child of that age is still learning the most basic life skills. So, how did I go about creating a daily scrum meeting with my daughter that would grow her teamwork skills without overwhelming her?
By simply using our dinner time as an opportunity to ask her how her day was. I ask her to share with me what she did throughout the day. By following her cues, I then ask her questions that prompt her to think about her actions. This kind of interaction becomes a game for my daughter and she loves to participate. She enjoys nothing more than telling me in two-year-old language what games she played, who she interacted with and whether she enjoyed the experiences or not. Therefore we talk about her experiences when she was alone and when she was with others. We also discuss how she can improve on her daily experiences.
Other Ideas to Develop Your Toddler’s Team Playing Skills
Interactive board games, hop and skip activities, and building a tower block with another child are great ways of teaching your toddler to learn to share, give and take and take turns.
Another great idea is get them out on their balance bikes or didicars! Not only will your toddler develop their motor skills but they’ll learn cooperative skills if more than one child is scooting around. Anything with wheels is a fun way for a group of toddlers to learn the art of simple teamwork especially if they have to take turns riding them.
I know life goes so much smoother at home when we all pull together as a team. And, that includes my two-year-old daughter. Even if she’s simply learning how to talk through her day, she’s learning to engage and become a team player at the dinner table.
It gets better everyday!
About the Author
Balint Horvath is the founder of Projectfather. He’s a first-time father and when his daughter doesn’t occupy him, he is a productivity coach. He started the site to share his lessons learned, research he has made along his journey. His mission Is to help dads in an A-Z of Fatherhood.