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How to build leadership skills in your child

Team StoryWeavers|April 18, 2022, 14:50 IST|

“If your actions create a legacy that inspires others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, then, you are an excellent leader.”

― Dolly Parton

Leaders are made, not born. Parents who are aware of this fact look for ways to build leadership skills in children. Leadership positions, such as class monitor, sports team captain, etc., can potentially do wonders for the child by building their confidence, character, and integrity. 

In this article, we will cover everyday things that parents can do to build leadership skills in their children.

Simple ways to build leadership skills in children

A book written by Dr Michele Borba in 2009, titled The Big Book of Parenting Solutions, lists a few everyday activities that will help parents build and strengthen their child’s leadership skills. Dr Borba is an internationally renowned educator and a parenting expert and has worked with over one million parents and educators worldwide. 

  • Put the child in charge. Giving children age-appropriate responsibilities will help the child take charge and hone their leadership skills. Parents can start assigning chores to their children that will prepare them for life, such as planning family meals, organising their room, deciding the schedule of visiting a zoo or a museum, and more. 
  • Encourage children to speak up. Ask them to share their perspective. Probe them to think deeper by asking questions. However, do emphasise the importance of valuing everyone’s opinions and ensuring that they feel heard. 
  • Look for leadership opportunities. Children may at times not recognise an opportunity to practise their leadership skills. Parents can help children understand the leadership opportunities available to them and how they can make the most of them. For example: A child may not realise that involving others in their passion project is an opportunity to practise leadership skills. This is where parents can remind them of all the events where they have practised leadership skills and current opportunities available to them. 
  • Make the most of family meetings. These are excellent ways to build leadership skills in young children, like teamwork, problem-solving, and a working understanding of democracy. Family meetings can be used to settle sibling disputes, negotiate chores, or to simply enjoy togetherness. 
  • Rotate roles. Assign children different leadership roles during weekly or monthly family meetings; rotate them so that they get exposed to different roles. They can be as simple as – someone who sets the agenda for the meeting, ensures that pre-determined family rules are followed during the meeting, writes a summary of everything discussed during the meeting, etc. Young children who cannot read or write fluently can be given the responsibility of using the recorder to record the meeting. 

Parents need to remember that leadership skills are learnt. Children may initially struggle to demonstrate leadership skills. Parents need to provide extra support and encouragement to make sure that the child continues to practise these skills to get better at it. As always, keep showing up for your child and be consistent, and you may see the results in no time. 

Do you think these tips will help build leadership skills in your child? Do you know any other ways of building leadership skills? Do share your thoughts and opinions with us in the comments below. 

Reference

Borba, M. (2009). The Big Book of Parenting Solutions: 101 Answers to Your Everyday Challenges and Wildest Worries. Germany: Wiley.

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About the Author


“Me-kha-la!” That happens at least once when she introduces herself to new people. She wholeheartedly believes in the quote by Arthur Rubinstein that says – “if you love life, life will love you back”. She is an organizational psychologist and psychometrician. She was a class teacher of 36 adorable girls for two years, grades 2 & 3, as a part of the Teach For India Fellowship. These little girls have a special place in her heart, and when she writes for children, she writes for them!

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