Raising a leader: 4 tips to help your child establish a strong sense of confidence and motivation to help them master the skills needed to be good leaders.
Many colleges and work places are complaining that today’s high school graduates are coming to them unprepared for the challenges that face them. They are lacking leadership skills, perseverance, and a strong work ethic. Many teachers working with children as young as elementary school are saying the same thing about their students. Kids today seem to lack some basic skills that are essential to becoming independent, creative and critical thinkers.
So what can parents do at home to help their children master the skills they need to be good leaders? Below are some tips on how to help your child establish a strong sense of confidence and intrinsic motivation.
4 TIPS FOR RAISING A LEADER
1.) Take Care of Yourself First!
In order to be able to lead others, kids need a strong sense of self. They need to see themselves as capable and confident. Parents can teach kids to be independent by allowing them to take care of themselves.
Chores are a great way to instill this feeling of confidence. Establish daily living chores that can be accomplished each day. Tasks like making the bed, keeping toys tidy, setting and clearing the table, and dusting furniture are all things that even young kids can do. Demonstrate how you want the task done the first time and then put the responsibility on your child. Don’t get too caught up on how perfect the bed is made, as long as you know it is the child’s best work. As they master these skills, add new chores to their routine. Many children today are excellent at using technology, so why not teach them how to use the washing machine, vacuum or dishwasher. Let your children know that taking care of their living space is a job that everyone shares!
2.) Try Something New!
Another way to build confidence is by learning a new skill. Find a hobby that your child enjoys, like baking or painting. Pick a project that is challenging, yet attainable for you to do together. Help your child find ideas using crafty websites (Pinterest is our favorite), gather materials and guide your child through the process of creating something.
One of my students shared a family tradition of baking a surprise dessert each year for Christmas. She picks a special treat, shops with her mom for ingredients and bakes the cake with a little help. Other ideas could be building a bird house, painting wall art for a bedroom, or researching places to plan the next family vacation. The point is to give most of the responsibility to your child. Most kids will rise to the challenge and have such a sense of pride at the finished product!
3.) Be Aware of the World Around You!
What the world needs, is more empathetic people. This starts with our young children. Kids have a hard time understanding that the world does not revolve around them and their needs. It is important to teach your children to care for others. Volunteering to help a local charity is a great way to teach empathy, but it can be difficult when your family is so busy.
There are many opportunities to teach your child to be caring each day. Discuss with your children people that you know that may be going through a tough time and brainstorm ways to cheer that person up. Let your child come up with ideas and help them complete a small task to help someone. It could be making a card for a neighbor whose dog just died, shoveling snow for an elderly couple, or calling Grandma on the phone just to say hello. Ask your child to look for someone sitting alone in the cafeteria and encourage her to invite that kid to play. Small acts of kindness will go a long way in teaching your child to care for others. Be sure to model the same behavior yourself. Kids need to see that treating others with kindness is everyone’s job.
4.) Let Your Child Be an Expert!
Kids love to share what they know with others. It makes them feel important. Kids see their parents as the experts in everything, but all kids have special talents that they can share. Find something that your child knows a lot about. It could be a video game, sports team or musical group. Give your child the opportunity to teach the family about that topic. Make time to try out the video game that your son is obsessed with. Let him explain the rules to you and the strategies he has to win. Make a friendship bracelet, watch a football game or complete a puzzle together. The most important part is to allow your child time to explain everything he knows. Ask questions to let him know you are listening and that you care. You will see his confidence soar!
These basic tips will help give your child the confidence he needs to be successful in all areas of his life. Be sure to stay positive and encouraging while you’re raising a leader. Remind your child that failure is a part of learning and that working hard will get them far in life.
Until next time,
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