No matter what children plan to do in their lives, learning to communicate, make decisions, and work with teams will benefit them tremendously. Huntington Learning Center says such leadership competencies help children build confidence and learn to advocate for themselves in all areas of their lives.
“Leadership skills are important at every age, but especially become valuable when children enter high school and college, where teachers expect that students are able to motivate themselves and others and work well with a wide range of people.”
Huntington offers these five tips to parents to help develop valuable leadership aptitudes:
Embrace goal setting from a young age. All leaders will agree that success doesn’t come easy and generally requires advanced planning and a lot of hard work. Children who learn to set goals and work toward them will be better equipped later on to prioritize numerous tasks and more motivated overall. Teach your child to dream big but also lay out how he or she plans to achieve those dreams.
Encourage your child to go for the things he or she wants. Life sometimes requires taking risks, which can be scary. Talk to your child about the benefits of putting himself or herself out there and trying things, even when afraid or nervous. Although nobody wants to fail, teach your child that failure is an opportunity to grow and learn.
Talk about the importance of respect. Great leaders are respectful toward others and believe that they will be more successful if they build up those around them. Establish the expectation that your child will always be respectful of family members, teachers, friends, teammates and others. Talk with your child about valuing others’ ideas and strengths and why it is essential to listen well.
Suggest activities that involve working in groups. Extracurricular activities have many benefits, including the lessons they teach about teamwork and collaboration. Get your child involved in activities that offer opportunities to build those skills. Talk about how to be a role model for younger members of any club or team.
Demand perseverance. By the time you send your child off to college, hopefully he or she will be equipped with solid problem-solving skills and an optimistic outlook. You can help by emphasizing the importance of perseverance. Teach your child that effort equals improvement, that progress is always the goal. Remind your child often that the best things in life require persistence and patience.
Remember that their goal shouldn’t just be to raise leaders, but to help strengthen their children as students and people. “Every child can benefit from a little leadership development. Great leaders are tough-minded, self-assured, hard-working and confident. Whether your child grows up to become a CEO or a teacher, nurturing those skills will benefit your child for life.