Reluctant Team Player

Has your child ever complained about helping out?

In my house, that would be a rhetorical question. Absolutely. Almost every time.

My son is part of a group that holds fundraisers during the year to fund trips for camping and other activities. One of those fundraisers is selling pumpkins. He and his group help pick the pumpkins, set up the sales stand, the boys and their families help sell them, and then everyone helps take down the pumpkin stand after it’s over. It’s a lot of work, but also a lot of fun.

My youngest son, who is not part of this group, complained when we told him he’d be participating in helping in the different activities we’d be doing as s family — getting pumpkins off the truck (set-up), a selling shift, and helping with clean-up (tear down). He whined. He argued. He did NOT want to do any of these activities. Yet, every single time he got there his mood changed from grumpy to happy pretty quickly. While a reluctant team player, he liked the teamwork and sense of purpose in doing something helpful.

There is something about working together to get something done. Whether it’s part of your job, a group, or volunteering. The feeling of purpose and seeing tangible results can be very satisfying.

Is your child reluctant to help out? How do you get them to see/experience the benefit?

One thought on “Reluctant Team Player

  1. They love the fun part, not the work part. Sigh. Honestly, the society we live in seems to put so much stock into fun. I grew up with the European mentality that sometimes work is work and fun comes later, but this doesn’t seem particularly prevalent nowadays.

    Teaching clean up as you cook or bake is met with mixed enthusiasm, telling someone to mow the lawn is met with ‘it looks fine’, forcing them to shovel the cars out of the snow in winter takes hours because forts need to be built, as do snowmen…😉

    It’s a work in progress. But yes, it helps when everyone pitches in together. Role modeling and all that. And when that doesn’t work?

    Threats. 😉. No T V, fortnite, video games, playdates or dessert! (Lol)

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