Can’t We All Just Get Along?
American culture is deeply rooted in the lore of individualism and competitiveness. We learn at a young age that achieving our own individual goals is more important than compromising for the greater good of the family or community. Yet study after study has indicated that cooperation, not competition, actually works better for achieving group goals as well as for achieving one’s own individual goals.
Children gain many benefits when their parents and teachers encourage cooperation. Some of these benefits are:
- increased self-esteem
- a sense of belonging
- respect for and trust in others
- emotional maturity
- creativity and flexibility in thinking
And studies have shown that when children learn cooperation at home and at school, they are much more likely to take this behavior into their work world and into relationships. People with cooperative natures are generally healthier, happier, have a higher sense of self-worth, and experience less stress than those who are more competitive.
So for your own good, can’t we all just get along?
For more information on cooperative learning, visit The Cooperative Learning Center at the University Minnestota.
Cooperative board games are available through our sponsor, Mindful Hands, in their children’s section.