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.