Would you say your child is introverted or extroverted? Kids in the latter group are naturally gregarious and usually look forward to activities where they work with others. Introverted children, on the other hand, are often more comfortable with a smaller group of friends and are quite happy working on their own.

Both personality types are completely normal and have their advantages and disadvantages. However, all kids, no matter what their disposition, benefit from learning teamwork. Discovering how to cooperate with others and treat them with respect not only serves kids well in school, it helps to prepare them for adulthood.

Working with others helps children to develop a new type of thinking. In their earliest years, kids only think about themselves and their own needs; the fact that others have needs as well simply doesn’t compute. Of course, as adults, we know that anyone who tries to go through life thinking only of themselves will not get very far. Children need an introduction to this line of thinking and teamwork is a method that can present it quite effectively.

Teamwork almost always involves a degree of socializing. Some kids may find this intimidating, but for others, it is an effective way to help them come out of their shell. This may involve working in pairs, or in larger groups. Whatever the number, the best way to ensure this lesson sinks in is by being democratic: all participants have a responsibility to fulfil and an obligation to do their part for the benefit of everyone involved.

Parents can also extend teamwork lessons to home life. Come up with both chores and fun things (eg. board games) that require siblings to work together and respect each other. This behavior hopefully then becomes second nature and a regular part of their interactions going forward.

A day doesn’t go by without some news outlet reminding us of the importance of exercise. This applies across all age groups, from toddlers just getting started in Kindergarten to your grandmother. Children are of particular concern as obesity rates in this age group are reaching crisis numbers. The issue is that kids today have so many distractions, thanks to technology, that they rarely bother to exercise anymore. Add in a poor diet and you have a recipe for weight problems and even diabetes.

If your own kids are reluctant to exercise, here are some things you can try:

Participate With Them

Simply ordering your kids to “get outside and do something” might get them out the door, but they will probably then just sit around looking at their phones.  Arrange to do something with them: walking, hiking, basketball, or even a game of catch. This shows that you care enough to be interested in spending time with them and participating.

League Play

Encourage your kids to join a league that interests them. This means that they will both practice and play on a set schedule. They can also make new friends, which will act as a further motivation for them.

Encourage Play

Exercise does not always have to be organized. Encourage your kids to call up their friends and play street hockey, touch football, or some other pick-up sport.

Do It for a Good Cause

Many organizations hold walks or runs to raise money. Encourage your children to participate, and also do so yourself.

Start Small and Work Your Way Up

Try different things in order to find the activity that really clicks with your children. Once you have, have them do it a couple of times a week and then gradually increase. Don’t force it upon them; their interest needs to be organic.