They have the self-confidence, responsi-
bility, helpfulness and friendliness that make other people want to work with them.
But all children, whether they are “born leaders” or not, have the ability to become leaders. Here are some ways you can help your child develop leadership skills:
1. Look at leaders in the news. Whether you’re watching a story about a winning football team or a community effort to build a park, help your child see that someone was the leader of that group. Talk about what makes people good leaders.
2. Be a leader yourself. Elementary school children want to be like their parents. When you take a leadership role—whether it’s in your school, your business or your community—tell your child about what you’re doing . . . and why. “I volunteered to raise money for your school because I want your class to have more computers.”
3. Teach your child to see things from other people’s point of view. Good leaders aren’t bossy. They make people want to work together. Help your child see things from other people’s point of view.
4. Look for leadership opportunities. Children can learn leadership skills in church, clubs, Scouts, athletic teams and many other organizations. Family meetings are another good way to develop “home-grown” leadership. Let children take turns chairing the meetings and carrying out family projects.
5. Don’t push. Pressuring a child beyond his abilities will destroy self-esteem, not build it. If your child seems stressed or unhappy, it’s time to lighten up.
Copyright © Parent Institute