The Importance of Working as a Team
Families are like mini-societies, and it is in the early years that they spend with mostly family when children begin to form pictures of how the world works. Because so many of life’s lessons are learned during childhood, parents and stepparents have an enormous responsibility to provide their kids with good examples of kindness, respect, and the importance of working as a team to accomplish goals.
Making Family DecisionsPartners make a wide number of decisions together, many of which impact their children and their family as a whole, so it is vital that they work together in order to take their family in the direction that they envision. When possible, it’s nice to ask for and consider input from the children, as well, helping them to not only feel as though their opinions matter, but also to give them opportunities to learn how to make sound choices.
The family unit is where kids develop many of the skills that they will someday need in order to be kind and responsible adults, so parents need to offer their kids a variety of opportunities to ‘test their wings’ as they work toward maturity. Practicing decision-making skills within the safety of a household allows children to make mistakes that have controlled consequences – as they get older and more capable of handling responsibility, parents can offer opportunities that are of increasing importance.
Parents, Stepparents, and ExesIdeally, cooperative parenting would welcome the input of children’s natural parents and stepparents. Stepparents, especially those who live in the household where the children spend the majority of their time, are often quite influential in the lives of their stepchildren, so their opinions matter a great deal. Kids learn by observing those closest to them and often emulate the behaviours and attitudes of the important adults in their lives, making it essential that parents and stepparents provide them with a family atmosphere that stresses inclusion and respectful interaction.
Stepparents can reach out to their spouse’s ex-partner, offering their support and requesting reciprocation. By opening the door and initialising cooperative communication, stepparents may be able to assure their stepchildren’s other parent that they hope to share in both the joys and responsibilities of looking after the kids.
Equally, natural parents do their children a great favour when they make an attempt to build a respectful parenting team that includes not only their ex, but their ex’s current partner, as well. Kids may not yet understand the complexities of adult relationships, but they benefit enormously when they are raised in an environment of respectful interaction, rather than being made to feel that members of their families have no interest in making peace.
Disagreements and CompromiseAll families have occasional disagreements, but what matters most is how they handle them. If family members show genuine caring and respect for one another, they can disagree without allowing their differences to divide them.
Showing children how to disagree in a respectful manner and work toward reasonable compromise are valuable lessons that will give them the tools to form and maintain lasting bonds with others. Teamwork applies to far more than athletics – it is the cornerstone of success in most endeavours, from family to career, so parents who instill an attitude of cooperation and compromise in their children help the kids to find happiness and success in many areas of their lives.