How to help your child develop leadership skills

tisoy02
My three-year-old son is growing up so fast. In this picture, which was taken just recently, he’s taking time to stand and stare..

If leaders are born, not made, then I won’t be making sense at all writing this article and to share it here in the first place. If all the leaders in history, no matter how great and insignificant, were predestined to lead, then the training and nurturing they would have needed would come out useless. I believe that leadership is something that can either be innate or practiced, allow me then to give you some insights on the matter and from a parent’s point of view.

Parents can help their children develop leadership skills in so many ways. To start with, there must be a clear definition of the word “leadership.”  From a parental perspective, leadership is the ultimate application of good character. It is not enough for a person to possess good character to become a good leader. Because no matter how good you are and can be, if you can’t translate that into action, most especially when the situation requires you so, then what’s the use.

A good leader is someone who knows where he stands and can convince people to go or agree with him in such a way that is motivating, inspiring, and encouraging. He is someone who has the ability, common sense, and courage to live a life in line with such a special identity. He takes delight in maintaining positive relations with others.

Leaders are made, can be made, although some of them are gifted with leadership skills they have inherited from their parents. As a parent, one of the most fruitful and rewarding things you can do is to help your child develop leadership skills. You can start raising your child to become a leader by:

EXPRESSING YOUR PRIDE IN HIM

You must let your child feel how proud you are in every leadership role he is into and one that extends himself to others. Be supportive, especially in times when he needs your approval on something that allows him to act like a leader for a particular situation, in a positive way.

GIVING HIM THE OPPORTUNITY TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE

There are a lot of ways in which your child can make a difference. It doesn’t always have to be big, but every little way in which you think he is positively contributing something. Simple acts of kindness and volunteerism like helping his playmates fix his broken toys or sharing a portion of his snack can mean a lot.

CREATING AN ATMOSPHERE OF TEAM BUILDING AND COOPERATION

By simply inviting your son’s friends to team up with him or cooperate on a particular cause you were devising or even a clean-up drive, you are helping him shape his leadership mindset with or without yourself knowing it.

ENCOURAGING HIM TO REFLECT ON THE LIVES OF SOME OF THE WORLD’S IMPORTANT LEADERS

Start by introducing before your child the stories or biographies of these loved world leaders and put emphasis on the important things they were able to contribute to the society, the people, and the world that made all the difference. Don’t forget to remind him that these leaders are just ordinary people who made an impact through the services they rendered.

MAKING HIM FEEL THAT IT IS ONE OF THE MOST FRUITFUL AND REWARDING THINGS YOU CAN DO FOR HIM

Helping your child develop his leadership skills can be one of the things you will have a lot to gain for. Once your child feels the importance of your task in making the best out of him, he will radiate the same magnitude of what you’re trying to put into. That’s how leadership should work, with him seeing it first in you.

This matter of natural hierarches and leadership

children
Hierarchies are a natural occurrence in the basic social structures like family, schools, and teams.

The moment your son is able to identify the persons he considered important in his life, interactions of groups and the formation of social hierarchies will be slowly comprehended and stored into his young mind for further processing and interpretation. One best way to accept and understand hierarchies, from a parental perspective, is to recognize their natural occurrence through basic social structures like family, schools, and teams. The child’s relationship to his parent is crucial to the development of such a kind of awareness that requires the child to totally submit to parental authority.

Which does not mean a parental dictatorship should be established also, depriving your child the freedom he deserves to enjoy, and leaving no room for him to make his own decisions and personal choices matter. But it is, rather, all about making your son recognize the fact that you have the final say in important matters, being the commander-in-chief of the family, and the one to make decisions regarding his well-being. Still, your child has every right to complain and explain whatever it is he thinks can be good or bad for him and you have to deal with that kind of thing like a true diplomat.

Once a parental authority is weakened or lost, it is difficult to gain it back. That’s why it is important to take every little opportunity seriously that contributes to the establishment of natural hierarchies. By simply allowing your child to have too much power to call the shots, you’re on your way to getting ignored or even ousted.

A child has the tendency, when you let him, to push boundaries further and further and it will take longer a time for you to bring his reasonable behavior back. As your child comes to like what his newly acquired power or control can do for him, he then experiments to try leveraging such a power for power’s sake. The outcome is easy to predict, learning from history in the politics of nations can also be true in how the family can function as a political unit, social chaos takes over when every interaction is marked by manipulation.

The importance of having a strong leadership in the family should not be taken lightly. Of course, it does not always mean, for a father trying to establish an authority figure, implementing strict rules, rigidity, and punishment. Leadership can be defined in many ways but, as a father who governs a family, it is about how you treat your own sons and daughters including your wife and the way you solve problems together.

It is about clearly supporting and articulating, through your words and actions, the values of the family. You have to consistently make your constituents feel your love and compassion. Most importantly, a good father and as a leader is one who has a positive attitude and conveys his belief in his sons and daughters without pressuring them.