For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made…
Psalm 139: 13-14
10 ways to encourage your child’s leadership abilities:
1. Model good communication. Navigating family dynamics are the first lesson that children have to learn about interpersonal relationships. Encourage healthy open discussions when making choices or resolving conflict within your home so that children can learn the process to healthy communication.
2. Give them the chance to take the lead. Give them an opportunity to help develop a plan and carry it out within your home; planting a garden, planning a trip, or putting together a project are all great ways of letting kids take the lead from time to time.
3. Give them the chance to serve. Ask them to help a younger sibling put on their shoes or squirt their toothpaste, have them help around the house, take care of a family pet, etc. Giving them practical opportunities like these will help them to understand that to be a leader you must be willing to help others and serve their needs.
4. Include them in problem solving. You do your children a disservice when you hide all of the problems of the world from them because you also withhold teaching them how to solve a problem. When appropriate issues come up in your family find ways to include your children in the problem solving process so that develop that skill before facing a world of problems on their own.
5. Teach them to manage time well. I know more leaders who struggle with managing time than any other skill. If your children can master it when they are younger they will be ahead of many adults. Teach them good time management habits like setting their own alarms, wearing a watch, making a to do list, and having a schedule or calendar as they get older.
6. Teach them to set goals. Ask your children about a goal that they would like to accomplish and then help them break it down into smaller goals so that they can experience success. Find creative ways to encourage them and celebrate the small victories as well as the large ones, doing so will teach children how to break tasks down into manageable steps to get to reach their goals in life.
7. Give them Permission to be Creative. Many leaders are out of the box thinkers… don’t force your children into a box of “normal” thinking. Allow them to be creative, quirky, and unique. Embrace this type of thinking and find ways to encourage it instead of trying to change it.
8. Challenge them. Leaders are not developed on plateaus. Set them up to be challenged with tasks or thoughts that are a little beyond their skill level. Doing this will keep them engaged and encouraged that you believe they are always capable of more.
9. Encourage them to read. Strong leaders are often avid readers, encourage a love and skill for reading in your children so that they will never tire of stretching and growing their knowledge and their skills. Help them select books that have strong leaders, communicators, and problem solvers in them to continue to challenge and develop those skills.
10. Teach them about responsibility. Leaders have a great responsibility to be accountable and intentional in their actions, because those actions often effect others around them. Teach your children to think before speaking, pray before acting, and slow down before rushing into something. One of the best ways to teach responsibility to your children is to model it yourself. Be sure that your actions and words always reflect those that you want to see reflected back in your children.