Building a LeaderFebruary 17, 2014
By Jessica Vician
Today is Presidents’ Day, during which we celebrate George Washington’s birthday and honor all United States presidents. Regardless of political affiliations, most of us can agree that each president we elect is a leader. While you might not aspire for your child to become president one day, teaching your child leadership skills will help him or her on the playground, in the classroom, in college, and throughout a career.
Here are three important leadership qualities and skills you can help your child develop.
- Listening. Teach your child to be a better listener. When someone speaks or shares an opinion, your child should listen to what that person is saying. Teach him or her to consider the speaker’s opinions before responding.
Each of us learns more by listening than by speaking. By practicing listening, your child will learn more about people and the topic discussed and can apply that knowledge to future conversations.
- Assertiveness. While your child learns to listen to others, he or she should also learn to effectively communicate with others. Teach your child to be politely assertive so that he or she can communicate his or her needs and opinions with others. Being assertive will help your child with his or her own self-respect while also helping manage others.
- Set goals. A leader accomplishes many things. In order to do that, he or she must be organized to set and achieve goals. Help younger children set goals like completing five chores a week to teach them time management and the reward of accomplishment. Help teens set longer-term goals like getting four A’s in a term. This type of goal requires longer planning and dedication, but the reward is greater and can positively impact your teen’s future.
As your child develops and practices these skills, he or she will build knowledge, confidence, and self-respect, which are all qualities of a leader.