Training up a child in the way he or she should go is difficult. You have so many forces pulling your children in so many different ways. It’s frustrating. It’s challenging. But it’s something you must step up to face.
As a parent, you are responsible for developing leadership skills in your children. Your children are your responsibility.
You have to be willing to mentor and guide your children so they can be next-generation leaders.
Developing Leadership Skills In Your Children
Let me start by saying that I am not a parent. While there’s been a desire to be a parent, my wife and I have not been blessed with children. However, I believe I can still pour into parents looking to develop leadership skills in their children.
Because I’ve spent 20 years teaching and training students in youth ministry, I’ve helped develop plans, deliver messages, and support children who have become amazing adults and leaders. Many of these students affectionately referred to Pamela and me as mom and dad.
I also have received wisdom from my parents and parents around me that have helped me become the leader I am today. You have people like that in your life as well. There’s also the wisdom from well-known parents that can be used to teach this and encourage you. I will use their advice as well.
Remember, you are the example:
As the parent or guardian of a child, you’re the example they’re looking for. You have so much influence in their life. Don’t waste your influence.
Your child will look to what you’re doing more than any other person in their life. By showing them what authentic leadership looks like, you will help your child develop leadership skills.
Give increasing responsibility to your children:
You can’t expect your child to develop leadership skills if you’re unwilling to relinquish the parental leash. Just as you would to those you lead in the business world, you have to find ways to give your children more and more responsibility.
You can do the following:
- Allow your child to create his own chores schedule that he is held responsible for
- Walk her through the decision-making process for complex problems helping her understand what choices she has and how they impact her
- Encourage them to see something, do something
The former CEO of PepsiCo, Indra Nooyi, experienced this growing up. Her mother gave her and her sister increasing responsibilities when they were young. Nooyi helped plan the family’s budget or where to invest.
This can be scary. You may think your children aren’t ready for this.
But they are.
Encourage a growth mindset:
Our fear that our children will fail can hinder us from encouraging a growth mindset. Yet, a growth mindset is one of the things that will propel your child forward.
Allow your children to fail. Pick them up when they do. Show them what happened and what they can do to overcome the failure.
This will help your children become resilient and bounce back.
Arianna Huffington shared about her experience in her book, On Becoming Fearless. She faced many failures and setbacks. Her parents allowed her to face these setbacks but were there for her when they were needed. These events in her life shaped her into the leader she is today.
You Have A Responsibility
You have to your children and the world around you. You are to raise the best adults that you can.
If you noticed there, I didn’t say you have to raise the best children you can. Children grow up. Your responsibility is raising up children who become great adults who become great leaders.
By using the tips above, you can begin working on raising great adults and developing the leadership skills in your children that they need to have.
Keep leading well. Keep parenting better.