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October 29, 2014
You Be The Leader Game
One activity that fosters cooperation in family life is the “You be the Leader” game. This game has three parts. In the first part, choose an activity and someone to lead. The activity might be cleaning up the kitchen after dinner, washing the car, raking the leaves, organizing the playroom, shopping for groceries, or some other household chore. The leader could be Dad or Mom or one of the children. It’s best to play this several times and change the leader.
In the second part of the activity the leader leads the family to complete the task. This is often a challenge when a seven-year-old or fifteen-year-old is leading, but that’s all part of the lesson. Don’t break roles and take over the leadership.
When Dad isn’t the leader, he might begin to argue and then catch himself and say, “Oh, I’m sorry. That wasn’t honoring.” When Mom isn’t leading, she may begin to complain in a whiny voice. Actions like these add to the fun and become visual examples of problems that followers experience.
The third part of the game is the most important. Sit down and discuss the experience. Ask questions like, “What did you find difficult about leading?” “What did you find difficult about following?” “Do you prefer to lead or follow?” “Why?” “What makes leading easy?” “What makes following easy?” Use these questions to talk about your specific experience, but also discuss leading and following in general. Be transparent and share some of the struggles you face.
After doing this activity, one mom shared that she would prefer to follow but is often thrown into a leadership role. Dad, on the other hand, would prefer to lead in some situations but he must follow because Mom is regularly involved in that area of family life. The young daughter shared how leading is made more difficult when followers complain or are uncooperative. Dad also talked about being a follower at work. Sometimes he needs to be a helpful participant, and look for opportunities to encourage others to reach their goals.
This parenting tip comes from the book Say Goodbye to Whining, Complaining, and Bad Attitudes, In You and Your Kids, the book about Honor by Dr Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller, RN, BSN.