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How To Raise A Leader
Today’s children are tomorrow’s leaders. This might sound cliché but as tired as it is, it is the truth. We need to prepare our kids for this role right from an early age. This is by instilling the leadership skills in them. Keep in mind that being intelligent and talented does not necessarily mean the child is mature or has the necessary leadership skills. By leadership skills here, I mean being able to solve life problems, reason critically and organize themselves.
A good leader is able to make and maintain relationships as well as work with people. One way to help your kids with this is by having them play games as teams. Let them study as groups and check up on them as a group rather than as individuals. Leaders are also good negotiators. Kids need to learn how to find a middle ground in order to reach solutions agreeable by all parties. Act out different situations at home and let your kids practice negotiation through give and take.
Leaders are strategic thinkers. They have a vision and they make plans on how they will get there. Help your kids define their goals and make plans to achieve them. One great way to do this is by creating vision boards with your kids. Being a good communicator is the heart of good leadership. Mould them into good and effective listeners who are also able to talk confidently. Practice conversations where they get to listen before having to give their input. Let them respond calmly, with respect and clearly describing what they feel. Leaders are also self motivated, honest, generous, confident, and flexible with a creative mind. Or as John Maxwell, a renowned author and speaker puts it, a leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.
So, how do you mould your little one into a leader?
Teach him that not everyone wins Failing at some point is inevitable but can your kids be mature and graceful about it. Show empathy for what they are going through, let them learn something new and be humbled by the experience. According to Aviva Patz in parents.com, “A little disappointment can actually benefit your child — as long as you teach him how to bounce back from it and cope with failure”. Don’t shield your kids from failing. According to her book rising strong, Brene encourages parents to let kids feel the pain of failing. This will make them focus more on their goals.
Teach them decision making
Give your child choices to pick from. This could be as simple as asking them to pick a chore or a sport or even what they want to wear. Let them learn to be responsible for their decisions as well as the consequences of their choices.
Do not always Intervene immediately
I don’t know what’s worse. Having your child fail at something and be humiliated or having to watch it. Try to keep yourself from taking over whenever your kids seem to be having a hard time. Remember, we are trying to equip the child with the skills to handle situations on their own.
Share your Life experiences
As long as they are relevant to the situation and positive your life experiences will be a great deal of help. Alternatively, you can let them learn from other leaders, by telling them stories about great leaders. What would even be better is reading to them inspiring books.
Become an Example
Children learn better by watching. Show them how a leader is supposed to act by doing it yourself or surrounding her with role models.
“You can preach a better sermon with your life than with your lips.” ~ Oliver Goldsmith