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Agile Parenting

By Patricia Leite
Patricia Leite
A mother of an incredible boy with over 15 years of experience in technology, transforming and impacting organisations and people along my journey.
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Agile Parenting

Agile is not about frameworks and methodologies. It's about values and principles.

The four values of the Agile Manifesto tell us to:

  1. Value people more highly than processes;
  2. Value working software over comprehensive documentation;
  3. Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
  4. Responding to change over following a plan.
Which, for me, can basically be translated into having the ability to respond quickly, adapt and listen. We can quickly realise that we can be agile in our lives and most definitely in parenthood, creating a perfect symbiosis between our personal and professional learnings.

I'm a mother of an eight-year-old boy named Bento, and at home, even before he was born, we worked to be a better couple, thinking about how we could be more focused on our tasks, how we could be transparent, how to talk about the things that went wrong and how we could improve them.


When Bento came into our lives, we carried on with this mindset, taking it a step further and adapting along the way. Why? Because this baby was something entirely new for us. We had no "brief” or "scope" and didn't know what to expect. We still don’t know. Every day we get to unveil a new and fascinating characteristic about him. Interesting, right?

Another thing that changed with Bento is that it became critical for us as a couple to be on the same page and agree on the structural things. We agreed on always being transparent, having excellent communication between the three of us, and always trying to bring simplicity into our daily lives - because having children is already something really big and complex, no need to make it more tricky!

Around when Bento was three/four years old, we created a board with his tasks on it to show him transparency and a sense of belonging to the family. This board had several activities like brushing his teeth, taking a shower, putting his clothes in the basket, washing his dishes, etc.. It was like a kanban board, but with colourful drawings! 

Today, at eight years old, Bento creates his own task board with his school activities, his play time, video calls to his cousins in Brazil, time slots to play computer games, and his overall responsibilities in the family. The board is now different - more mystical with his magical stuff - but it remains very colourful!

One thing we have started doing much more (and never miss) is our significant conversations - our retrospectives. We are learning together. I believe Bento can already identify the things we have to improve, what is better for us as a family, and the things we should avoid. It's not always easy, but the essence is there. I really believe that fostering a collaborative environment with transparent communication as its foundation will ultimately help us to make things right!

These values are part of us and make our lives better. I'm sure that all of you are also being agile in your lives, even if you don’t even notice it!

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