I recently had a speaking engagement at a club I co-organize called Home Essentials. Home Essentials meets every month or two for great conversation, recipes and homemaking ideas for women to better enjoy their family. I know “homemaking” might sound cheesy, but it’s really nice to have a group to connect with that has the same values and positive outlook on family, especially when times get trying. For our yearly full-day event we go to Le Manoir de Beaujeu in Coteau-du Lac, Quebec. This year, our theme was about team building. In our co-organizers, I am the social media maven, and I generally bring ideas and tips to the group about social media and safety online. This year, I was asked to speak about team building your family, and tools to help.
Here’s what I had to say.
When I think of team building, the first thing that comes to mind are those activities we used to have in our office to get to know our colleagues and show our strengths as a group, when I worked in a corporate setting. There was a lot of complimenting, laughing (because there was always something a little intimidating or out of our comfort zone), and in the end, you felt you accomplished something together.
I would roll with most of those activities, because on the whole, I’m a team player. However, sometimes you just don’t feel like connecting through a yoga lesson to relieve stress, or maybe getting trapped in an escape room with your coworkers isn’t your idea of fun. But because it’s “a work thing” most likely, you go along with it because you want to show your work people you are a team player.
At home, however, things are not as regimented for the team building. There is no boss to impress, no colleagues to connect with to better your work life, and you will absolutely not be receiving any sort of raise for your good work ethic and extra hours.
So how can you create an environment at home that will foster team building?
I can tell you honestly, I was at a loss. I had to sit and think of this for some time. As my boys are getting older, I find it harder to keep their attention, and they very frequently argue to express their feelings. Time to relax is minimal during the school week and weekends get busy fast, or conversely, not busy, and then time flies with very little done as a family because everyone wants their own down time.
But through contemplation, I took a deeper look at our situation and came to a few conclusions.
- The coach has been and will always be me – As the boys get older, they are learning to deal with new emotions, and express themselves with that famous two letter word: NO. They test the limits and can show little support for our family (i.e. they can be lazy, y’all). But in the end, if the team is not performing to its best capacity, who is usually at fault? The coach.
- Two coaches might not always agree – While I value and respect my husband, there are many times we butt heads with our ideas of what the right solution should be for any given parenting situation. Taking a step back in our own time, without the boys present is a way to connect with each other and find a suitable way to solves solutions as a team; two coaches with the same goal.
- Who is my coach? There is no way to coach others if you don’t find time to learn, educate, and listen. I truly believe my faith guides me in my decisions and if I take the time to sit back and stay silent, I am offered answers in prayer. As well, I am a lifelong student; I am constantly reading, researching and educating myself to better understand family dynamics.
- Player down – As a family of five, it’s almost guaranteed that one of us is not in the best of moods. Maybe someone had a bad day at school, maybe someone had a stressful day at work, maybe someone is too tired to cook dinner and wants more quiet time…whatever the case may be, like in a team, when one player is down, the team makes up for it and helps out more.
- Do it for the team – In a sport, you are together as a team, and the team is together to win. That is the goal. In a family it’s the same thing. Ask the family, what do you want out of this day, week, month, year, and ultimately life? The passion to make a positive home that can inspire creativity, independence, self-worth, and social responsibility is our goal.
I recently read that instead of fighting with someone, it is better to fight for something with someone. Taking that word ‘fight’ and turning it on its head is a great way to circle the family back to the common goal.
Social media can be a tricky place to find family team building, if you don’t know where to look. The first two YouTubers that came to mind as excellent examples were The Holderness Family and The Eh Bee Family. Both include their children in their videos (not all) and both look at the family as positive, nonjudgmental, and fun. They do goofy things together as a family, but they also talk about parenting, struggles, goals and accomplishments. Both channels are popular in our home. These are two great channels to start with on YouTube and from them, you can begin the build a library of channels that are of the same genre.
If you want more suggestions leave me a comment below. Do you have a go-to website, blog, or vlog you follow for inspiration or help in building up your family? Let me know.