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Mar 7

Time to Play Nice

Remember that book from the 1980’s called All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten? If you are not old Kids playing and sharing nicelyenough to remember it (cough, cough), it was all the rage and essentially said that the world would be a much better place if we remembered some of the basic things we learned when we were young: how to share, how to play fair, being nice to one another… you get the drift.

While the message was sound, I thought the book was the latest clever marketing gimmick. That was until I went back to school to get my Masters in Business Administration (MBA) and clocked that they were teaching essentially the same thing! Yes, Strategy, Marketing and Finance featured heavily on the curriculum, but a big part of business school was how to work well in teams to maximize outcomes (translation: how to play nice with others).

Turns out I could have saved a fortune on my MBA and bought the book on Amazon for $15.99! But I did pay the money and I do know how to play nice with others.  And I can prove it by sharing some top tips for teaching your kids how to play nice and share!

The first thing to know is that we, as humans, do not come out of the womb doing it naturally. Kids go through a stage where they develop their sense of self and independence and “No! It’s Mine” often comes with that. However when kids get to three or four, they are usually ready to learn the lesson of sharing.

So what do you do?

  1. Tell them – Explain why sharing is important and the benefits they will enjoy from it.
  2. Show them – Practice what you preach by sharing with your spouse, for example, and explain to your kids what you are sharing and why.  Even better, share with them!
  3. Practice with them – Look for opportunities to practice such as group games like puzzles or when playing with siblings.
  4. Reward them – When you see them playing nice or sharing well, celebrate their good efforts.
  5. Understand them – This is a marathon, not a sprint, so be patient if they are taking some time to get it or regress now and again. They will get there!

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