The Agile Family

How Agile is Your Family?

The world of software development has influenced many sectors of business, but this is the first time we’ve heard of someone taking the methods of Agile software development and applying them to raising a family. Take a watch of this video and consider whether you’re ready to embrace this concept of the “agile family.”

Our first instinct is to agree that the techniques described in the video are a great way to keep things organized on the home front, but we also resisted Bruce Feiler’s excessive striving toward better productivity in the home and family.

While it seems a noble goal to extrapolate successful work strategies to domestic terrain, the implied assumptions of success vs. failure and achievement vs. chaos seem to exert unnecessary managerial pressures on the home. While parents may celebrate organizational success, there are a lot of adult-level expectations being leveraged on kids in this scenario.

Do we really want little mini-me’s parading back and forth to the mounted check-list and successfully articulating their goals and objectives during the daily family scrum session?

That said, encouraging your kids toward greater autonomy and involving them in decisions that directly effect their well-being are tried and true approaches that are even inherent to some indigenous cultures.

For a counterpoint to the above discussion, you might check out the latest episode of KPFA Radio’s program Your Own Health and Fitness, where Peter Gray, author of Free to Learn: Why Unleashing the Instinct to Play Will Make Our Children Happier, More Self-Reliant, and Better Students for Life  is interviewed. Gray discusses the importance of allowing children the opportunity to learn through play by engaging with their environment and other children in free, unstructured time.

With play can come chaos, disorder and unpredictability. Sometimes parents have a hard time embracing these conditions.