It’s long been said that it’s better to be a leader than a follower, but as a parent sometimes that's easier said than done. Every parent wants to see their child grow to become a strong, independent and passionate young adult. We want their actions to inspire others around them, and help others be the very best they can be.
Don’t obsess too much about their achievement. You don’t want your child to think every little thing they do or achieve is special. It makes insignificant things become too much of a big deal, and gives the wrong impression on how work gets done efficiently. It may also be less of a rude awakening when they figure out how the real world works.
We love to praise our kids. It’s great for building a healthy self-esteem. Unfortunately offering too much praise can give them an extra sense of self-esteem. It’s important for your child to believe in themselves and be confident in their sense of leadership. Always let your kids know how proud you are of their effort, just don’t over do it.
Sometimes success in the real world takes risks. The road to success for your child may take quite a bit of failure, but when they finally figure out the best path for them, success is achievable. If you aren’t allowed to fail, how will you understand risk? Taking risks is all about the failure you’ve run into. For example, you may not get the promotion you rightfully deserve, until you take a risk and show your boss first hand why you deserve to be the new manager. The same applies to your child.
Make sure you are setting the example for your child about how a leader is supposed to act. If you can’t practice what you preach, your child may see right through the facade of it all. When you can walk the talk , it sets an example for your child of someone they should aspire to be like.
Finally, don’t be afraid to show leaders are human too. Leaders make mistakes, make bad calls sometimes and may need a shoulder to lean on. What makes a true leader is showing you made a mistake, taking ownership of the mistake, and pushing forward for a better outcome. By showing vulnerability, your child won’t develop intense guilt about every failure.
We can mold our children into leaders. It’s not impossible. Parents just have to work at it. This is your child, and few things in life are worth such a huge chunk of your time as the development of your child.
DREAM, one of the Midwest’s well-known youth mentoring organizations, provides life-changing and life-enriching experiences to at-risk youth through mentoring and after-school programs in Omaha, Nebraska, and Springfield, Missouri. Their proven approach puts children in a comfortable setting where they’re encouraged to discuss openly, learn, and grow as individuals. Are you interested in getting involved with DREAM? Contact us today.