Greetings, champion of Agile Parenting! We've levelled up with Sprint Planning, strategizing our quests and the foes to be battled. Yet, as every seasoned gamer knows, even the best-laid plans can encounter unanticipated hitches. This is where the 'Daily Stand-Up' comes in, an Agile practice designed to tackle challenges head-on, in real-time. So, grab your trusty controller and get ready to adapt and conquer!
In the software development arena, the Daily Stand-Up is a brief meeting where team members quickly report on what they've done, what they will do next and any obstacles they've faced (1). Applied to parenting, it becomes a regular check-in with your child, a chance to discuss progress, plans, and any difficulties that crop up.
But before we venture forth, let's clear up a common misconception: a Daily Stand-Up is not a stern examination or judgement session. It's an opportunity for open communication, feedback, and mutual support. Let's delve deeper into how to utilize this tool effectively.
1. The Format: The basic structure of a Daily Stand-Up can be adapted to suit your family dynamic. Typically, you and your child each share what you did related to your Sprint tasks, what you plan to do next, and any problems encountered. This approach keeps everyone informed, accountable and focused on the goals.
2. The Timing: A regular, agreed-upon time works best. This could be breakfast, after school, or dinner time. What's important is that it becomes a part of your routine, something you and your child can count on.
3. The Tone: The atmosphere should be supportive and non-judgemental. This is not about micromanaging your child's actions but fostering an environment where they feel comfortable discussing their thoughts, feelings, and challenges.
4. Problem-Solving: If your child brings up a problem, resist the urge to jump in with solutions. Instead, ask open-ended questions to help them think through possible resolutions. This isn't about fixing things for them but equipping them with the skills to solve problems independently.
5. Reiteration and Realignment: After discussing the tasks and any roadblocks, it's important to confirm the next steps. This helps ensure everyone's on the same page and reinforces accountability.
How does this look in practice? Let's say your Sprint goal is to implement a new screen time rule. A Daily Stand-Up might involve discussing the research done on screen time, the draft rules created, and any issues faced (like finding contradicting advice). You then align on the next steps, such as revising the draft or seeking expert advice.
In addition to fostering regular communication, the Daily Stand-Up promotes resilience and adaptability. Just as in gaming, it's not about achieving perfection, but about learning from our mistakes, adjusting our strategies, and growing stronger with every challenge.
Admittedly, adopting a practice like the Daily Stand-Up may seem daunting, especially if open communication isn't the norm in your family. Yet, the Agile principle of welcoming change applies not just to our plans, but also to our habits and attitudes (2). It might be a 'boss level' challenge, but remember, you're not just any player; you're an Agile Parenting champion, ready to level up for the ultimate reward: a strong, healthy, and communicative relationship with your child.
So, controller in hand, let's press 'Start' on the Daily Stand-Up, taking our Agile Parenting game to new heights. Game on!
Derby, E., Larsen, D., & Schwaber, K. (2006). Agile Retrospectives: Making Good Teams Great. Pragmatic Bookshelf.
Beck, K., Beedle, M., Van Bennekum, A., Cockburn, A., Cunningham, W., Fowler, M., ... & Kern, J. (2001). Manifesto for agile software development.