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Friendship Corner with Laura Macfarlane

Date: April 24, 2011 Author: admin Categories: Parent Updates

During the month of April, our lifeskill focus at BA is cooperation–working together to get something done. Developing this goal-directed behavior takes attention and practice. Here are some ways that parents can promote this important social and emotional skill.

  • Help your child understand that any time they are working or playing with another person(s), they have an opportunity to practice cooperation.
  • If your child plays sports, help them identify what the team is working to accomplish. What is the goal?
  • Think with your child about the different skills needed for cooperation such as listening, understanding someone else’s ideas, patience, effort, taking turns, sharing, offering encouragement and teamwork. Notice which of these skills your child needs to master.
  • Brainstorm opportunities for practicing cooperation at home, on the playground, in the classroom, with friends, on a sport’s team, or other after-school activities.
  • Notice times when your child is cooperative. Provide specific, positive feedback about what you see. “I noticed that you shared your markers with Jack while you were doing your book reports. Thank you for cooperating.”
  • Have family activities that require cooperation: cooking, working on a shared project, playing board games, etc. Help your child learn to navigate a cooperative activity–sharing ideas, making decisions, taking turns, being part of a group rather than the center of attention. Celebrate success and notice where support is needed if your child does not cooperate.
  • Let your child tell you what is hard about cooperating.

When you read aloud to your child, consider children’s books that promote cooperation. Here are some of my favorites–all available through the San Carlos public library. Let me know if you have titles to add to this list.

Chicken Sunday by Patricia Polacco
Pumpkin Soup by Helen Cooper
We Did It! by Jennifer A. Ericsson
The Enormous Potato by Aubrey Davis and Dusan Petricic