We had Tribes again today - twice in one week! We started by talking over yesterday's activity (making bread together). When I asked children to raise their hands if they felt it was a success, every hand went up. Most thought that they were successful because each child had things to do, there was minimal arguing, and they completed the task. I also heard that the tribes were successful because someone took charge. Those who were not "the boss" felt that they still had a lot to contribute. Fascinating stuff.
That led to a conversation about who is "in charge" at home. I had the students go to different groups, depending on their birth order. The youngest in one corner, only children in another, eldest in one, and middle children in yet another. They had 10 minutes to discuss among themselves questions like:
* How does it feel to be (whatever)?
* What are your responsibilities at home?
* What are the advantages/disadvantages of being (whatever)?
After 10 minutes we got together in whole group to talk about perceived power, who gets the most attention (and how), and if they would want to change their position in the family. Most agreed that the older children have more power, and sometimes more responsibility. They tended to agree that younger children get the most attention from parents, although not always in desirable ways. Some only children would want a sibling, but many think that their families are just fine the way they are.
We also read a great book about a sibling dynamic, and how it changes. Julius, the Baby of the World is an adorable book by Kevin Henkes, and one that I feel will get requests for re-reading.