Teaching your children leadership skills
by Judi Light Hopson, Emma H. Hopson and Ted Hagen / © 2020, Person to Person. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
In today’s world, it pays to raise kids that are confident leaders. If they can assert themselves in productive ways, they can feel more comfortable in life and enhance the lives of others.
Good leadership means you are thinking for yourself, your family and the rest of your community. You see yourself as part of a larger group of humanity.
A mentor in emotions
“My sisters and I were timid little souls until our mother remarried,” says an attorney we’ll call Roberta. “Our stepdad was a guy with a lot of emotional intelligence. He was a teacher.”
Roberta says her stepfather believed in reading one book per week. He also encouraged friendly debates about his stepchildren’s beliefs.
Roberta learned that gaining knowledge, thinking and reflecting and asserting one’s thoughts were vital to being taken seriously by others.
These types of actions initiated by parents and other adults can help any child build leadership skills:
Respect the child’s opinion. Even if you have to steer the conversation to your own ideas, always acknowledge the intelligence your child is trying to convey. You want your child to respect other people’s opinions throughout life. Set the example.
Ask your child what he or she is thinking. Encourage sharing. This is what stimulates the minds of all young people. If they know you want to hear their thoughts, they will learn to value conversation with others. If they don’t value conversation, they will shut down for life.
Discuss morals with your child. Explain that every person must have a moral compass from which good decisions come. Let them know that people with shaky morals will not be trusted by others.
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