My children were floating across this small pond in a canoe. When they worked together they went much faster. When they tried to do it their “own way” they got stuck in the middle of the pond. They quickly learned teamwork was the only way to move across the pond and not be stuck.
Teamwork is defined as cooperative effort. In our culture so many of us want to be the star! We raise our children with praise and encouragement to be the best they can be. We give them confidence, love and a drive to succeed. All of these gifts are necessary. Another skill we need to teach them is team work. Many parents try to help their children with this by making sure their children participate in sports and other team ventures.
The importance of working as a team cannot be emphasized enough. In every facet of our children’s future they will need to have the ability to work with others; in their careers, families, organizations and service to others. Yes, it is ok to teach them how to lead but we also need to teach them how to follow. Not too long ago a woman said to me “I have never been an Indian.” To which I responded “What??” She said, “I have always been the chief!” Obviously, she was not comfortable with taking commands from others. I understand that everyone wants to be in charge. However, we have to work together to make this world a better place in every aspect of life.
How do you model the example of teamwork to your children? I have a partner, Jenny, who develops and leads the retreats with me. We are constantly giving and taking to make the retreats extremely meaningful to those who attend. We both acknowledge the other’s strength and help out with the other’s weakness. It is a challenge that I welcome because I truly enjoy working with her. I know that I could do it completely alone but I don’t want to and the retreats would not be as full as I know they could be.
Think about the places in your life where teamwork is essential. How can you be a better team player? How can you lead by example within the team? What can you do to teach the skill of teamwork to your child today?
“You can do things I cannot do. I can do things you cannot do. Together we can do great things.” – Mother Teresa