The best way to teach good behavior, including children's cooperation, is by communication and example. Otherwise known as leadership.
This premise applies equally to leaders of every discipline, with special emphasis for parents.
Parents have the most responsible leadership position of all. That of leading their children. Humanities future.
Children - and others - must see our behavior as:
And . . .
Practicing one's own mind expansion efforts, consciously influencing others for the better via our own behavior, is the most important function we can be engaged in. Influence is the significant factor. Not force.
Children absorb and mimic parental behavior like a sponge soaks up liquid. If we use force then children will learn force. Persuasion will not be in their toolbox of life skills.
The most effective way for children to learn the power inherent in cooperative action is for cooperation to be part and and parcel of their daily activities.
Impressing this life skill on young minds can be achieved by involving children in daily activities at every
opportunity, no matter how mundane. Repetition pays dividends, and
mundane activities can be spiced up with a bit of imagination.
Improvising games from workaday activities where both parent and child can contribute to game construction, brings cooperation and other principles of Personal Development to vibrant life.
When children experience their parents working together as a silky smooth team, solving problems with equanimity and foresight, they experience a deep sense of security obtainable in no other way.
The necessity for this same sense of security does not diminish as we grow, either age or mind development wise.
Children's cooperation is the starting point of wholesome relationships.
As adults, security derived from wholesome cooperative relationships is the foundation of a stable, productive society. This sense of security, in tandem with contributing to personal happiness, frees one's mind of conflict, enabling it to focus on creativity.
“Give me the boy until he is seven and I will give you the man” Allegedly the motto of the Jesuits, the religious order that educated René Descartes, rings true.
Analyzing this profound statement leaves us in no doubt of it's implications. The beliefs inculcated during this brief period last a lifetime. And can only be changed with extreme conscious effort on the part of the impaired individual.
But changed they can be.
Fortunately for modern generations, Descartes had the temerity, fortitude, strength of character, magnanimity, and nous to question the mind numbing twaddle he had been taught. In so doing, this brilliant mind changed the world by ushering in the foundation on which modern scientific thought is so soundly established.
History informs us that few minds question what they are taught in this world changing fashion.
Despite this efficacious foundation, which should be the rock of stability we all walk upon, in all our dealings, most Humans traverse life with questionable early beliefs, whatever they may be, clashing with others whose beliefs differ, frequently to the point of violence.
What they learnt during those early years ruling their often whimsical lives.
Better by far to to teach our children principles that lead to habits that guide them through life and allow them to achieve their dreams. All the while adding to the joy of the World.
This imposes a definite responsibility on parents and teachers in particular, and others in general, to behave in a consistent manner that imparts decency to the impressionable young mind. In both speech and deed.
It also leaves us in no doubt as to the importance of the role parents play in shaping future society.
The less developed an individual, the less likely he is to cooperate unless it is to his immediate and direct advantage.
Parents have first shot at positively shaping their offspring's temporarily malleable mind. By instilling values and principles to live by, of which children's cooperation forms a pivotal part.
Perhaps the first thing a child should understand is that they are a component of Nature. That we all have a higher self that enables us to achieve our goals without resorting to evil. Of any description.
Teaching and monitoring children's cooperation is a key element of this understanding.
Children possess two outstanding qualities:
Hence their ready acceptance of whatever philosophy is placed in their path.
Even one of omission where parents and teachers neglect their young charges intellectual development and these young minds are exposed, unsupervised, to whatever influence their immediate environment offers.
A scenario that is more common than a thinking person would like to accept.
Young children are more than capable of comprehending complexity. It has been my experience that when I treat them as very intelligent they respond very intelligently.
Learning and communicating is fun, just serious fun.
When we have learnt something useful, we can afford to engage in silly
Communication between child and parent consolidates understanding and boosts the child's self confidence and self esteem. It would seem that it is never too early to communicate with a child.
The real enemy of children's cooperation is selfishness. Overcoming this obstacle early by involving children in the above mentioned daily activity, using ordinary situations to spark communication and impart the wholesome values they will live and succeed by, will go a long way to avoiding the crisis Descartes found himself facing.
If perchance they happen to question what you taught them, they will confirm you placed them on the right path and thank you.
You in turn can rest assured in the knowledge that you have succeeded at the most important function a parent can perform.
Children's Cooperation Rocks!
Next - Coopetition