Check out “A Win for Everyone: Collaborative Games” by Jennifer Miller, author of Confident Parents, Confident Kids on the NBC Education Nation’s Parent Toolkit blog. The article includes numerous cooperative game ideas for you to introduce to your kids whether its in the backyard, at the park, at a school event or indoors on a rainy day. It begins…

If you want to be incrementally better: Be competitive. If you want to be exponentially better: Be cooperative.” – Author Unknown

I asked my family at our Friday pizza night dinner, “Which do you prefer? Games in which there’s a winner or loser? Or games in which there is just working together and having fun – no winner, no loser?” My seven-year-old son, E, quickly responded, “Working together is much more fun.” Dad, in contrast, asserted, “It’s more fun to me when there’s a winner and a loser.” And in general, in society, we tend to lean toward the highly competitive. Whether it’s sporting events, college admissions or political campaigns, we relish the thrill of a race. And certainly competitive games can provide important life lessons about working as a team and how to win or lose graciously. But increasingly, in schools, in our workplaces and in our family lives, we can benefit from practicing and developing the skills of collaboration. These skills include self-awareness, effective listening, nonverbal and verbal communication, trust building, turn taking, impulse control, problem solving and empathy to name a few. Read the full article.

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