Kids who are excellent leaders grow up to be successful adults. While some kids are natural born leaders, others need a little help to bring out their confidence. It is also important to know that even kids who naturally take the lead may need a little guidance to learn how to do so effectively. The great news is that encouraging kids to be great leaders simply requires giving them a nurturing environment in which they feel confident practicing their skills. Try these tips to help your child’s natural talents for leadership emerge.
Give Them Responsibilities
True leaders take responsibility for their actions and are willing to jump in and lend a hand whenever it is needed. At home, give your kid jobs that require them to think like a leader. For instance, you could involve them in planning how to paint their room, and let them recruit a friend or two to help. Alternatively, you could let your kids set up a lemonade stand for the weekend to build their leadership and entrepreneurial skills. Then, make sure that your child also has responsibilities at school and summer camp such as keeping their cabin or classroom clean.
Develop Their Self-Confidence
It takes confidence to lead a group or speak up when it is necessary. For this reason, confidence and leadership skills often go hand in hand. Provide your child with new experiences that encourage them to step out of their comfort zone. Ideally, these experiences should have some degree of challenge such as taking waterskiing lessons at camp or performing in front of a crowd in a play. Getting your kid to stretch their comfort level gives them the chance to conquer fears that get in the way of leadership.
Give Them Opportunities to Move Up As Leaders
It is important for kids to be given the chance to build upon their skills as a leader. For instance, summer camp helps turn shy kids into leaders by offering them safe opportunities to develop their skills such as being team captain for a scrimmage. As their talents emerge, campers are then given even more challenging roles such as leading a hike or showing another camper how to perform a skill. Eventually, campers can become camp counselors, which is the optimum way to practice leadership.
Talk About Their Triumphs and Challenges
The road to becoming a true leader is paved with both triumphs and defeats. After your child plays team captain or comes home from camp full of stories about how they led a hiking expedition, ask them about what they learned. As your child shares the challenges that they encountered, you can help them find solutions such as working harder to develop strong communication skills. Then, make sure to give your child plenty of praise to reinforce the positive feelings that come from being successful at leadership.
It is exciting to watch as your child slowly develops their confidence as a leader, and being in positions of leadership allows your child to fully reach their potential. By making sure that your child is given plenty of opportunities to develop their leadership skills at home, school and summer camp, you can look forward to watching as their talents grow and they emerge as leaders among their peers.
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