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How to Maximize Your Children’s Leadership Potential at Early Stage

Written by Amanda Ramaningrum, Content Writer Intern at Project Child Indonesia

Leadership skills are one of the important aspects of people management. Developing this skill in our children will not only be beneficial for them in the future but will also boost their confidence and help them make smart judgments wherever they go in life. All children can become leaders, but it is critical to gain leadership characteristics at an early age.

Because year after year, the competitive environment is getting stronger. Entering schools and college is getting hard, and after that, those graduates will compete again to get a proper job. So many talents out there, so the company had to search for people who were more than ‘academically’ intelligent. 

Here it is, where non-technical skills will play the role. Besides all the technical skills we have, we need other skills that are invisible to be measured, yet will be a powerful instrument to give us more advantages. 

One of the powerful ones is leadership ability, and we’ve seen so many leaders have learned these skills from their mentors. As parents, you have opportunities to instill leadership in your kids and prepare them for being future leaders at an early stage.

You can do these powerful ways to maximize your children’s leadership potential;

  1. Be their role model 

Where do children learn and develop their leadership skills? Simple, they learn from their parents. Children develop many aspects of themselves from mimicking their environment, and as parents who they see every day, they will absorb your habits in no time. They will imitate the way you respond to strong emotions and how you regulate them. 

Show your children how you process emotions. Let them see how you compliment others sincerely and respectfully disagree with others. Help them name their emotions, such as saying, “Are you mad because I’m not allowing you to go outside?” or “Are you sad because you failed to get a new toy?”. Good communication skills are the key aspect of being a good leader, so this way can help them encourage their attempts to communicate with others.

  1. Trust them to solve their own problems 

All of us have problems, and so do your children. Allowing them to solve their problems will develop their problem-solving skills. Make them clean up the mess they create. If we are overprotective and always ‘rescue’ them, they will grow up as dependent children and find it difficult to stand on their own feet as there will always be someone who helps them. 

  1. Give them choices

Align with point 2, trust your children and let them choose. This way will give them a sense of responsibility for their own decision, and make them able to identify risks. By taking risks and experiencing failures, they will learn from their mistakes and make better decisions in the future.

  1. Use the words ‘not yet’ instead of ‘I can’t’

This is a critical mindset that also works for adults. Instead of saying, “I can’t do it” try to say “I can’t do it yet”. There is a huge comparison between these two. “I can’t do it” shows the unwillingness to learn, and blocks children from a growth mindset. Whereas, adding the word ‘yet’ gives children the confidence to learn and encourages them to not give up easily. 

  1. Show them we’re human, after all

We are human, and we make mistakes. Show the vulnerable side of yourself to your children to teach them how to cope with failure. When you don’t show any vulnerability, your children are most likely to develop intense feelings towards failure, as they think they are the ones who make terrible mistakes. 

Leaders have to be able to process their failure, take some lessons, and take actions to move forwards. Children cannot do this if they are filled with guilt. Therefore, as their role model, you have to teach them how to handle failure and grow from it. 

So, which way do you choose to encourage leadership in your children?

Reference

Petsinger, D. K. (n.d.). 15 Easy Ways To Develop Leadership Skills In Your Kids. Life Hack. Retrieved October 14, 2021, from https://www.lifehack.org/articles/communication/15-easy-ways-develop-leadership-skills-your-kids.html