Instilling Leadership: A Mega Skill for Life
Writer: Debbie Ramos
Today’s educators are providing children the skills and knowledge needed to successfully navigate in the 21st century. However, as parents we can support, encourage and build upon those skills to help lay this important leadership foundation. After all, parents are the first and most important teachers and influences in their child’s lives.
Education begins at home. Daily activities offer so many opportunities to incorporate leadership skills by supporting teamwork, encouraging social skills, building confidence, building good health habits and teaching children how to give back to others.
As parents, you can help your child set a goal and encourage them to work to meet it. Activities like helping to take care of a pet, setting the table, delivering folded laundry to the proper bedrooms and picking up their toys is helping instill leadership. Learning to give back by having a lemonade stand and giving the proceeds to the humane society, helping an elderly neighbor, visiting a nursing home and helping serve at a food bank are just a few examples of ways to instill leadership.
Modeling and encouraging social skills, such as saying thank you when given something, greeting a friend and making them feel welcome, covering your mouth when you sneeze or cough, saying excuse me when needed, looking at someone when they are speaking, being responsible for your trash, taking your dirty dishes to the sink for your parents, answering the phone in a polite and appropriate manner are all ways to model and instill leadership life skills.
As parents and educators, we want to “inspire our children to be the best they can be.” We need to prepare “young people to handle life’s challenges.”
Children at Rainbow Station are introduced through our leadership curriculum, iNSPIRED, to help “raise tomorrow’s leaders.” We concentrate on building understanding in these six areas: social, health, environment, civic, entrepreneurial and financial. As teachers we want to instill, encourage and expand the leadership skills started at home.
Leadership gives children the skills to become future doctors, artists, CEO’s and writers. The ability to set goals, follow through and reach for the stars all start at home building their character skills needed to be our future leaders. A leader isn’t the biggest, oldest, smartest or fastest to get across the finish line, which is so often what our children think. A true leader “inspires” the greatness in others. A true leader gets everyone across the finish line. So, make a difference. Plant those seeds. Then watch your children take on the world.