What are some ways to teach leadership to kids? Leadership training begins with the family and continues throughout a child’s life. Leadership traits are best learned when children feel loved by their parents and are taught standards and principles for child education.
The following article will list and discuss four ways parents may help teach leadership to their children. This checklist can be used in other settings as well as in the home.
1. Teach by Example.
· A parent is the first leader a child will experience. Be the type of leader you want your child to be.
· Be involved. Get to know your child by listening to and talking with them. Home should be a safe place where children feel loved and valued.
· Force is not appropriate when teaching children. At times a child will need to be reprimanded. Always show a generous amount of love after disciplining a child.
· Everyone makes mistakes. Children or parents aren’t perfect. This knowledge allows children to learn from their faults and mistakes and move forward.
2. Teach Responsibility.
· Responsibilities should be age appropriate. A toddler can learn to help pick up toys and clean up between projects. Older children can keep their rooms clean and help with other chores around the home.
· Demonstrate and help a child learn how to accomplish what you expect of them.
· Praise and encourage children as they take on new responsibilities. Express your confidence in their capabilities of taking on new and challenging task.
3. Have Clear Expectations.
· Explaining your expectations as you teach responsibility helps diminish misunderstandings and conflicts between parents and children.
· When children know what you expect of them, these boundaries and limits help keep them safe and secure as they develop and learn. Don’t assume your child knows what you expect. Ask questions to make sure they understand what your expectations are in a particular situation.
· Be positive as you teach your children new skills. Reasonable expectations can motivate kids as they master new jobs and tasks.
4. Safe Consequences.
· Consequences follow clear expectations. Attached to every expectation is a consequence. It can be a reward or loss of a privilege.
· Follow through with consequences. Doing so can help avoid some of the conflicts that will come with teaching responsibility.
· Consequences can be positive as well as negative. Acknowledging and rewarding a job well done is very motivating to kids.
· Children can learn that their actions have consequences. A child might be asked to clean up before their favorite show in order to watch it. He or she is choosing whether the consequence of their actions will be negative or positive.
· Make sure kids understand the connection between their actions and the consequence. “You didn’t clean up today in time to watch your show. Choosing not to clean up means you chose not to watch your show. Tomorrow you’ll have another chance.”
Leadership is one of many values that can be taught to children. The list above discusses four ways you can implement leadership training at home. As you and your children learn new skills and habits, you will feel a sense of accomplishment and teamwork.
Vickie S. Christensen is a mother, grandmother and a musician/composer. She writes music for children to inspire imagination and assist in teaching values. Visit her website at http://www.kidsvalues.com/. You will find music, lyrics, lesson plans and coloring pages to help you teach kids values.
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