Updated: Jun 30, 2020
After an hour of lifting every brick from one side of the garden to the other side, after arranging the bricks in different arrangements, Cosimo and Raedita, 5 years and 4 years respectively, looked tired from the hard labour of the day. However, their voices were excited with smiles that made their eyes crinkle.
It was a day where no other materials – neither clay nor mud, blocks, materials et al – were touched. Both children worked towards achieving their objective of building a house.
When the house was made, Raedita says in an excited and triumphant voice, “Mumma, we did teamwork to make this house.”
In workplaces, in order to succeed, we need co-operation amongst team members. Business, government and non-government organizations as well as homes can only benefit when all members work in synergy with each other. Hence, many organizations are investing a lot of money to spread a culture of teamwork in their workplaces.
Many years back when I worked in an elite company in my capacity as a Chartered Accountant, I remember attending in-depth training programs where the corporate trainers trained us the great importance of working as teams for the betterment of the company’s goal and objective. We were also taught how to be a good team participant? However, we never taught our toddlers that in order to be a good team participant, one should know when one should be a leader and when one should be a listener.
Child-led play leads to learning of priceless life lessons and honing life skills that help children excel not only in life.
Aren't many homes permanently damaged because of a lack of teamwork amongst the family members? A degree in engineering, chartered accountancy, architecture, journalism, law is of no relevance if adults cannot work in harmony with each other either at home and/ or in workplaces.
Teamwork as a skill is indispensable to the functioning of a human being in the society.
There are multiple ways through which people can perhaps learn how to engage in teamwork.
If we wish for our children to engage in teamwork as an intuitive behaviour, self-directed play perhaps has the best potential to teach our children the importance of working in co-operation with each other.
Children need opportunities to engage in true play. As parents and teachers, it is imperative that we stand-up for the valuable lessons that arise from children’s right to PLAY.
There is no need for any expensive curriculum that education companies sell to schools, we don’t need any dedicated time for preaching about the vital importance of co-operation and team-work. This is an important lesson that I learnt that day as I observed Raedita and Cosimo working as a team to build their house.
What we actually need is adults to step back and trust children’s meaningful learning as they engage in true play with their whole body and mind.
What if the parents, educators, schools understand that teamwork is no longer a soft skill that can take a backseat, but, an absolutely essential life skill for people to achieve their goals in workplaces as well as in managing a home.
Imagine a world where 25 years from now, organizations need not have to spend money on teaching the importance of teamwork at an intellectual level since the adults of tomorrow would intuitively be co-operating while working with each other. Imagine beautiful homes working in perfect harmony where every member contributes equally towards managing the household.