I have said that leaders are not born but it is learned. Children may be bolder and differ in their behaviour from others but leadership is something that you must learn. It may be through study, observation and practice. The major influences that children have that help in developing these qualities are their parents. The first environment to which the child is introduced is the home and the way they are raised and treated by their parents determine the type of qualities that they will imbibe in their character. The other is the school environment where teachers also play a role as influencers in their lives. They are nurtured and taught the basic and fundamental things which would help them in life. The other is the influence they receive from their peers which can also push them to discover some qualities they possess.
Leaders are those who can make decisions for themselves and maintain a personal standard of behaviour. It is easy for you to identify a child with leadership potentials from a group of kids. There are a lot of little things that can be done to help develop leadership qualities in kids and this will help build confidence in the child and enable them to stand out.
Some of these simple things include:
1. Kids should be taught to always have a positive attitude.
Leaders are those who see the positive in the midst of situations that are negative and challenging. It does not matter what people may say or
think, leaders stay positive and maintain an attitude of positivity. They understand that people may not see things in the same way they do but their focus is on their convictions, Parents can inculcate this quality in their kids and teach them how to always see possibilities in the midst of impossibilities. Teach them to always say 'I CAN' no matter what.
2. Kids should be taught to speak right words
Life has its ups and downs. There are very challenging situations that everyone faces at some point in their lives but their perception of the situation helps them overcome. Leaders never say 'I can't.' It is important to note that every challenge present an opportunity to learn something new about life. You can teach your kids to say the right words and be creative in finding solutions to challenges of life.
3. Kids should be taught never to give up but persevere
It is easy to quit when the going gets tough in life but those who are able to stay put obtain success. They need to be taught that they should not stop or give up in the face of resistance. Teach them the need to persevere and never give up in life.
4. Kids should be taught the need to stay committed
Leaders do not allow their mistakes to destroy them but learn from them. Failure and mistakes are all a part of life so they do not shy away from failing. You can teach your kids that it is alright to make mistakes but stay committed to pursuing their goals and vision. Teach them to learn from each experience they have.
5. Kids should be taught to do their best at all times
Leaders pursue excellence at all times so children should be encouraged to strive to be the best in all they do and not settle for average. They challenge themselves to be the best. You can teach your children the need to carve their own path and be the best without comparing themselves with others.
6. Kids should be taught by example
Children learn not only with words but by observation. They learn a lot from how you behave at home and outside. Most times they see what you do and begin to practise the same thing. Parents need to be careful with what they say and do around
their children as they leave a lasting impression in their memory. They should also learn how to balance their career and personal roles as their kids would learn how to be responsible leaders.
7. Kids should be encouraged to get involved in team activities
Parents can identify the interests of their kids and encourage them to participate in team activities. This is very important for kids as they are able to learn team work by getting involved in these activities. Leadership is all about working with others to achieve a common goal and objective. They may be encouraged to join the boys scout, music club or band.
8. Kids should be encouraged to read
There are many benefits of reading to children and it has been observed that those who read develop faster intellectually than others. Reading develops children mentally and improves their vocabulary.
9. Parents can help their children get a mentor who will help guide and influence them in a particular area of interest. The mentor may be a relative or friend of the family who is doing well in an area in which the child is interested.
10. Parents can also use what is called a vision board to teach kids how to goal set. They cut out pictures and arrange them on a board. Through this process, they are able to see what they intend to achieve.
11. Parents can also help their children learn how to walk their way out of problems. They can give their kids a project and allow them struggle to find a solution. This would help them confidence in their abilities.
12. Kids can also learn certain skills like strategic thinking, how to follow rules during the family game or play time. They can spend their time having fun with the family members while also learning new things. This would be add more value to their lives than the time they spend watching television programmes or playing video games.
13. Parents can also help their kids build good leadership skills by encouraging them to take on some work. It may be gardening, lawn mowing, babysitting or anything that could add knowledge and possibly help them earn little money.