Ways to Help Encourage Your Child to Become a Leader

Ways to Help Your Child Become a Leader
Image via Mindi Stavish

“Leadership is unlocking someone's potential to become better.” -Bill Bradley

I recently came across an article about ways parents cripple their children from becoming leaders. As a child, I never felt as if my parents really fostered leadership. It probably didn't help that I was a huge (and still am) introvert. Yet I wonder if there were actions they could have taken that would have helped me feel more comfortable taking the lead every once in awhile.

The article interviewed Dr. Tim Elmore, who is an expert in the area of how to understand the next generation and prepare tomorrow's leaders today.

Mr. Elmore feels that there are damaging parent behaviors that hold children back from becoming leaders. Instead of focusing on the negative, I would rather think about ways to encourage leadership traits in a child. Here are several ways you can encourage leadership in your child.

Ways to Encourage Leadership in Your Child
Image via Mindi Stavish Stavish Stills Photography

Let Them Take Risks

Allowing your child to take risks, such as playing hard on the playground or getting their heart broken by a “girlfriend/boyfriend” helps build their self esteem. It encourages them to learn from their mistakes and grow as a person. Dr. Elmore states that if children do not experience risk than they more more likely to have a low self esteem and be highly arrogant.

How to Raise Good Leaders
Image via Mindi Stavish

Allow Them to Explore the Possibilities

Many times parents will rescue their child far too quickly, instead of letting them navigate through a situation themselves. If we don't let a child try to solve their problem all the way through, then they will grow to expect that someone will be there to pick up the pieces when things fall apart. This of course is not how the real world works. In turn, a child who is always rescued too early from a situation has a difficult time becoming a competent adult.

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Ways to Encourage a Leader in Your Child
Image via Mindi Stavish

Keep Praise Only When It's Deemed Appropriate

The”self esteem” effort that began in the school systems in the 1980s, has been shown to have unintended consequences. Research in this area has shown that kids eventually realize that only mom and dad are giving them all this praise. They then begin to question if mom and dad really are telling them the truth. Dr. Elmore feels that this cycle of non-stop positive reinforcement leads to children who learn to cheat, exaggerate, and lie in order to avoid reality.

how to encourage leadership in your child

Give Your Child Tough Love

Many times a parent feels guilty about telling their child “no” or “not now”, so we give in to demands. Although you may feel as if you are letting your child down when you say “no”, Dr. Elmore feels that you are helping them see what they really need and value.

lego play

Be the Right Role Model

If you want your child to become a strong minded, leader, model honesty in your home. Even the smallest white lies will show your child that lies are acceptable. Help your child become a selfless person by doing volunteer work together as a community service project or with a community group.

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Ways to Help Encourage Your Child to Become a Leader

Mindi is a working mom with three boys ages 4, 2, and an infant (born June 2013). She spent her first 8 years of her career in Speech-Language Pathology at a Children's Hospital. She currently works with adults and children in home health. The real fun for her happens when she is at home with her boys, chasing them around and pretending to be a super hero. She blogs about life as a working mom at Simply Stavish. Her weekly feature, Words in the Sand, teaches parents how to grow their child's s ... More

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