Family is the best school
A group of teamwork trainees was asked to build a tower of toy blocks. The construction could be of any shape and height. It was very quickly that well-meaning people began to get nervous, quarrel, and make claims against each other. The idea was originally to find out how well they could work together.
Family is also a team. It has what it takes: common interests, common goals; the desire to support each other; the ability to back each other at the right time, to admonish somebody when it is necessary, but more often—to praise and inspire each other.
Family is a wonderful source from which you can draw love, joy, and thanksgiving. It is a place where you can see God. In her book The Adventist Home, Ellen G. White writes that “a family decorated with love, empathy and tenderness is a place where angels love to be and where God is glorified.”All parents want their children, when they are older, to be able to build harmonious relations, and to solve business, everyday and other issues easily and without conflicts. But how to achieve this?
Let them resolve their disputes on their own…
Disputes in families with children are inevitable. They are a natural part of life allowing family members to learn how to forge compromises and communicate with each other. However, parents will not be able to achieve their desired goal if they intervene each time and do not give little “diplomats” the opportunity to resolve conflicts on their own. In this case, children will learn to shout still louder thus demanding the adults come and settle all issues for them. However, when they start an independent “adult” life, they will realize that a “wizard” adult will never come to the aid. There is a good rule: when you hear that the kid is competing for a toy with someone or tries to establish the order of riding down the slide, you should not interfere, but just watch. To everybody’s surprise, children will quickly sort out their differences independently. There are situations when we have neither time nor patience to give children the opportunity to resolve the conflict themselves. In this case, it is necessary to exercise ingenuity to allow children solving everything on their own. For example, you can take the toy that caused the fight, and say: “You will get it back when you decide who play first and who play second”. Fatigue, boredom, or bad feeling of the child can also be the cause of the problem. In this case, you should address not the problem, but the cause of the conflict. Parents need to be helpers, not harsh “wardens”.
Working together for the benefit of the family or the community contributes to the development of strong, friendly relations between children and parents. Teamwork can be manifested in everyday life: a weekend trip to the park, joint lunch, visiting the sick, assistance in cleaning the church premises, time spent at a board game, preparing for the holiday by combined efforts, and much more. In addition, the division of everyday responsibilities among all family members can serve the common good. An example of this approach is the established rule of cleaning in the kitchen. After each meal, all family members are to clean the kitchen together in a friendly manner. One person could wash the dishes, other could put the food in the fridge, and someone else could clean the stove. You may only leave the kitchen when it is completely cleaned! Working together means that the more scrupulous each family member is about the matter and the sooner he, or she makes it done, the better it will be for all. Children are quick learners. Of course, it is possible to make a duty list for the kitchen, but in this scenario family members are deprived of the opportunity to learn teamwork. Moreover, as the above experience has shown, the teamwork can be useful for adults as well.
Stress to benefit the family
“One for all and all for one” is the main principle of teamwork. There will be no separate interests when a common task has to be solved.
Accidental stress situations are very good for teamwork, and the more you can benefit from and enjoy them, the better it will be for the family. Imagine that something has happened that requires joint efforts. For example, due to the rain the gutter was clogged up and the mud stream is about to turn into a “natural disaster”. In this case family members, all together, will put on raincoats, jump out into the street and rush to save their house. Someone will drive away the water with a broom, other will clean the gutter. The entire work will take no more than half an hour, but how much emotion! How much everyone will rejoice at their “common victory”! Finally, everyone, really happy, will come back to a warm and cozy house, to help themselves to cocoa and buns.
“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up… Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” (Eccl.4:9-12, NIV)
Working together always brings benefits to family relations.
Family is the best school! To teach a child that working in a team is much easier and more effective than doing the work alone is possible. This does not require special training or tricky techniques. Adults themselves are required not to neglect the wonderful opportunity to share with someone their responsibility and care. Engaged in today’s upbringing of children, parents will unwittingly correct their “weak points”. Moreover, who knows, perhaps tomorrow in order to achieve a goal the child will show brilliant ability to build relationships!
Written by Zhanna Kaminskaya
Children’s Ministries Director
EUD Children’s Ministries Bulletin June 2020 Nº 6 · VOLUME 5