How to Give Your Child a Teamwork Experience


Encourage your child to be part of a team. In fact, through the course of his or her childhood, your child can benefit from being part of several teams.

Your child could play team sports. Soccer, especially, is a good sport for young boys and girls. Softball is also good for younger children. Basketball requires a fairly high skill level and is probably best for older children and teens. (I suggest you avoid football as long as your child is still growing; the risk of injuries to connective tissues is high.)

How to Give Your Child a Teamwork Experience Child Teamwork

Tennis, golf, swimming, track and field, and gymnas­tics teams provide opportunities for individual competi­tion, and at the same time, provide team morale and identity. Or your choice might be a competitive team in a nonphysical arena, such as a chess team.

What does team involvement provide for your child? As part of a team, your child is exposed to a coach other than yourself Your child learns to take instruc­tions and to receive encouragement from an adult who is neither parent or teacher.

As part of a team, your child is exposed to an activity that is highly goal focused. Most school and family ac­tivities do not have clear-cut short-term goals. In com­petitive events, of course, the goal is to win. In non­competitive teams, the goal is generally to perform successfully.

As part of a team, your child will be exposed to the concept of morale. Your child will learn valuable lessons in how to build morale, how to forge and maintain a group identity, and how to lose gracefully without get­ting irretrievably “down.”

As part of a team, your child will learn that his or her own performance can vary from day to day, and that losing a game rarely means losing an entire season. Your child will learn that most team events are the composite of individual roles, individual abilities, and individual efforts. These are good lessons that extend into adult­hood.

Group competition generally provides broader and more favorable experiences than does individual com­petition. Wins and losses are shared when the victory or defeat is the result of team play. The long-term value of competition for a child is probably keyed more to the experience of loss than to winning. Knowing how to lose gracefully is one of the greatest lessons your child can ever learn.

Many other group activities that require team effort are available to your child beyond those that provide competition. Bands, orchestras, and choirs are teams, of sorts. They require group effort and coordination of individual activities toward common goals.

Campfire, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Royal Rangers, and other children’s associations also provide many of the advantages of team involvement.

How should you go about choosing which activity is right for your child?

Talk to your child about it, and let your child have a say in the decision. If your child hates softball and loves playing the trumpet, opt for summer band opportunities over Little League.

Another important factor for you to consider is the coach. Is this a person you trust with your child? Is the coach a person who demands perfection or gets angry easily? A good coach teaches the principle rules of the game and stands up for fairness and teamwork.

How to Give Your Child a Teamwork Experience Child Teamwork 5

What if your child wants to quit?

Find out why. In most cases, children enjoy being part of a team. When a child wants to quit a team, it usually has nothing to do with the pleasure he or she gets from playing the game. Often children want to quit because of pressures from parents, coach, or them­selves to perform well.

Teams also provide a child an identity beyond his family. They provide a role for your child to fill other than that of “middle daughter” or “youngest son.” The child who is a valued member of a team—whether it be as a second baseman, a bass drum player, or one of the tenors—sees himself or herself as a more valuable per­son in toto. And that’s self-esteem!

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Filed Under: Family & Relationships

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About the Author: Roberta Southworth is a psychiatrist by profession. She likes to help out people by writing informative tips on how people can to solve their family and relationship issues. She is currently staying in Ireland. She has 5 years of couple counseling experience.

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