Leadership skills allow children to control their lives and make things happen that may even seem impossible. Raising future leaders is no small task, but with the right tools, you can instill confidence, problem-solving skills, creativity, and responsibility that will help your kids become great leaders in the future.
9 Ways to Teach Leadership Skills
As a parent, you have the opportunity to model to your kids and instill leadership traits in them. Every kid can become a great leader in one area of their lives with the right leadership skills. Here are some ways to teach leadership skills to your kids:
1. Model Leadership Skills
Kids learn from seeing what others do. Tell your kids what you are doing and why you are doing it. Model initiative. Step up and show those leadership qualities when something needs to be done, whether at home, at work, or out and about. Additionally, whatever you teach them, be sure you are walking the walk and not just talking the talk.
2. Build Self-Confidence
When kids are good leaders, they need to know that it is the right course of action. Offer praise for things like doing chores without being asked, taking on a project at school, or coming up with a great idea. Kids need the confidence to step out there and be a leader because sometimes, being a leader isn’t always the easiest choice.
3. Give Kids Opportunities to Be Leaders
You can create leadership opportunities right at home. Put your child in charge of deciding what to make for dinner, coming up with a game plan for a weekend vacation, or figuring out a way to organize their room. Be sure to offer suggestions and express how you might do something differently. This allows them to lead as well as listen, which are both needed to become a good leader. Leadership opportunities can be in your child’s daycare, at school, church, community, or through volunteering.
4. Have them Join Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts
Scouts explore the world and take action to change it for the better. Both Boy Scouts of America and Girl Scouts USA provide opportunities for kids to develop and improve their leadership skills in units, local councils, and national training centers. Kids make friends, challenge themselves with new experiences, and build confidence in being leaders.
5. Build Communication Skills
Being a good leader doesn’t just involve a can-do attitude but also effective communication. The concept of communication seems easy enough, but communication that creates good leaders includes collaboration, active listening, empathetic listening, verbal and non-verbal cues. You can help build communication skills by modeling all of these things when you speak to your kids and helping them talk to others in the same way.
6. Give Kids Choices
Leaders have to know how to make good decisions and choices. Choices help kids feel in control of situations, foster decision-making capabilities and ultimately build confidence. These leadership skills can be taught at a young age by choosing between two healthy snacks or dinner ideas.
7. Encourage Perseverance
It’s hard to watch your kid fail a test, lose a big game, or get their heart broken, but these are great teachable moments that can build their leadership skills. One of the best leadership skills you can teach your child is the ability to regroup and move forward even in the moments of failure. Here are some ways to encourage perseverance:
- Offer solutions to help them pass the next test.
- Encourage more practice before a big game.
- Tell them that failure is how we learn to do better next time.
8. Promote Teamwork
A great way to help build leadership skills is by giving kids the opportunity to work as a team. Teamwork helps kids learn how to cooperate with others, listen effectively, communicate effectively, control their emotions, and do their fair share of work knowing others rely on them. You can do this with sports like basketball, softball, or football. Additionally, you can put in a team effort at home with chores, vacations, or activities.
9. Encourage Entrepreneurship
Kids have great ideas, and even elementary-aged kids like to make their own money. Help your kids with flyers for their lemonade stand, their own lawn mowing service, or help them with their own Etsy store to sell their homemade crafts. These entrepreneur skills pave the way for future leaders.
Of course, these entrepreneur skills don’t have to be for themselves either. A local 6-year old decided to use his skills to raise money for children in need by selling homemade holiday cookie jars. Creating a business to raise funds for those in need is a great way to foster leadership skills.
What are some ways you have taught leadership skills to your own kids? Share your ideas in our Local Anchor Facebook Group.