All parents want their children to be successful and viewed as leaders who are willing to take on any challenge. However, not all kids are naturally born with leadership tendencies and instead may shy away from being a leader at school and home. Instilling leadership traits in children takes a lot of practice and patience, yet it can be taught and encouraged. Here are some things to keep in mind in your everyday life that will help teach your child leadership skills.
Set a Good Example
As a parent, you’re going to be the most important teacher your child will ever have. That’s why setting a good example of your own leadership skills will be one of the easiest ways to encourage them to look up to you as a leader and inspire them to become one.
Try Out Team Activities
Identify a few of your child’s interests and encourage them to participate in group activities. Whether it’s joining a scouting group, the school band or partaking in after-school sports clubs, your child will learn valuable lessons about teamwork through these activities. Not only will they have to work as part of a team, they’ll also have to demonstrate leadership and have their own voice amongst a group.
Encourage Decision Making
Encouraging decision making early on will help build up your child’s leadership skills, as they will be able to easily assess situations and make quick, informed decisions. Often kids are overwhelmed by having too many choices, so start by getting them to narrow decisions down to one or two choices.
At first, this can be as simple as deciding what clothes to wear or what to have for dinner. Eventually you can make the choices harder- for example- asking them what homework assignment they should complete first. Ask them to weigh up all the different factors such as which piece of work will take them the longest to finish and when the hand-in dates are. Considering this information will help them make an informed choice and is great practice for future situations.
Practice Confident Communication
Practicing confident communication skills with your kids is a great way for them to improve their leadership skills. An easy way to do this is when you next go to a restaurant, get your child to speak directly to the waiter when ordering. This will build their confidence levels and help them realise they can easily communicate what they need with others. Honing confident communication will also help your child take on leadership roles in the future, whether this is at home, school or teamwork situations.
Start Listening Carefully
Listening is an invaluable skill and certainly a trait of a good leader. Encourage your child to listen carefully when others are speaking. You can even try listening activities at home to help them build up these important skills. For example, try pairing up your child with a family member, asking them to listen while the speaker talks about their own life and interests. You can then quiz your child about what the speaker talked about and check how well they recall the information.
Have a Family Game Night
There are lots of activities you can do with your children to encourage leadership. One of our favourites is having a family game night, instead of spending the evening watching TV. A night of fun-filled board games not only provides a unique way to spend time together, it helps kids learn to be a good sport, play by the rules, and think strategically. All these skills are important when it comes to being a good leader.