Why do we usually think leadership is a skill mostly for adults – like leading an organisation or heading a project or something similar.
Leadership, we assume is a trait for adolescents or adults to nurture or develop. And frankly a crash course in leadership after finishing college does not always make a leader.
Like the habit of reading, leadership is a skill that needs conscious nurturing. And it is best to start as early as possible so that this skill can become a part of a kid’s personality.
Leadership is the way you act and react in a given situation. It is how you connect with other people. Leadership is about how your presence makes a difference to the crowd in the room. It is about your response to crisis. And there are many more traits of strong leaders.
During the formative years of a child, parents mostly focus on classroom learning and other extracurricular activities.
So what can parents do to develop leadership skills in their child early? A little effort everyday can prepare our young generations to be successful future leaders.
Here are SIX things you MUST do from today to gradually nurture leadership skill in your child –
The best leaders know how to start and finish a work. Putting consistent effort helps to accomplish a task successfully. Leaders also handle failure as gracefully as they handle success.
Children we know have less patience and attention span. Keeping that in mind, for example if a child is colouring or for that matter doing any task that is left half way, parents need to encourage the child to complete it. Even though the task is completed a little later or may be even the next day. But encourage the child do it. We as parents may usually forget the colouring sheet thinking its a small task. However, it is important for the child to complete the simplest of task. It is about developing a habit.
INSTILL DECISION-MAKING SKILL
Leaders are confident decision makers. Children need to learn how to make good decisions early in life. It can be a simple thing like asking the child – what do we make for dinner OR what book we need to read before sleeping.
Usually, children become overwhelmed by too many choices. Narrow the choices down to two or three options. Ask them do you want egg, chicken or beans for dinner? Once they decide, ask them why they decided to eat a particular thing.
Along with what they say, you can add the benefits of each vegetable or protein. This will help them to make correct decisions in everyday life.
PRACTICE CONFIDENT COMMUNICATION
Leaders are effective communicators. When you go shopping for your children, allow them to interact with the sales person directly and help the child convey what she is looking for.
Or when you go to a restaurant, do you place orders for your children? Turn this simple dinner into a confidence-building exercise. Allow children to speak directly to waiters.
Allowing them to order and speak directly to waiters will help them gain confidence. It will also enable them to communicate what they need.
AVOID JUMPING IN
When your child is searching for various words to convey her experience, allow her time. Rather than jumping into finish the sentence. A lot many times the child may have something else or unique in their mind.
Another example is when child works on a project or activity, you may want to jump in and help, especially if you see your child struggling. However, hold back the urge. Consider stepping back and letting your children work through it themselves.
Once the task is complete encourage and review the obstacles and challenges that emerged during the task. Ask the child for ideas on how things could have been done differently.
NOTHING LIKE OPTIMISTIC THINKING
Leaders thrive on optimism. Success is strongly connected to optimism and hope. Never ever tell the child how badly he has done a task. Instead, ask the child for opinion. Ask if it has been done correctly.
Most of the time the child knows that she has completed it hastily. If the child is unable to identify, then point towards the correct method and show them through example. Rewarding optimism, especially when that optimism is connected to attempting to reach a goal always helps.
There are several benefits of reading. Studies have shown that children who read have greater intellectual progress in a variety of subjects. Young readers tend to learn more about the world. Ask them to read everything even while travelling in the car. Tell them to read the number plates. Or the sign boards. Or anything that you are crossing.
And you cannot be a leader unless you have vast knowledge.