10 Ways to Raise a Successful Leader
By Sally Sacks
Leaders are very influenced by the words and actions of those raising them. Everything that we say and do influences our children. They mirror our actions as we are their first examples of relationships, and of people interacting. We lead our children by showing them how to live in this world, with all their challenges and responsibilities, reasonably and with reduced stress. We demonstrate to them ways to treat others, positive belief systems, fairness, cooperation, and how to manage time and acts of daily living such as personal matters, and school matters. We help them to interact as people, and how to get along in the world.
We can see how easily non-leaders and non productive people/leaders are turned out by my above examples. There are parents that preach fighting and project negative energy amongst themselves daily. There are people that hate and project that onto their children, and lack of fairness and equality. There are parents that don't have time for their children, or who are absent emotionally or physically, due to their own problems. Obviously these kids will have problems unless they find another more positive leader role model in their lives, and this can happen. This happens all the time. How can you raise a leader? Follow these ten simple steps.
1. Lead by example. Remember you won't always be the best example, because you are human, but admit mistakes and always keep your responsibility within your awareness.
2. Take charge of things in your life and let your child see you doing this. Work hard, set goals for yourself and follow them. Encourage your child to identify goals and help him/her to attain them.
3. Sponsor activities that your child likes, and give them credit for their knowledge of how to do something. Ask them to teach you something they know and you don't, like beading, knitting, playing an x box game, etc…
4. Encourage their input into ideas. Ask them what they think about a news event, or a topic of discussion. Allow them to express their point of view, even if it differs from yours.
5. Give them chores/projects to do that make them feel good about their accomplishments. Maybe they can learn to make a soup for dinner, or clean an area of the house, and arrange a room as they would like it. Praise them for their efforts.
6. Let them make decisions about dinner, what they'd like to do on the weekend, where they might like to vacation.
7. Show them how you take charge of situations. If you're bored, you create something to do. If you are short money you take action to do something about it. You do not let situations bowl you over and render you helpless.
8. Teach your children how to think positively. Teach them how thinking can get negative, and how to insert positive thinking into their mind immediately. This is a skill they will have, and need forever.
9. Show passion, courage and bravery in your own life.
10. Encourage freedom in themselves, to be and express who they are and allow others to do the same, when not putting someone else in harm's way.
Just remember that you need to teach what you want to see in your children by setting examples by your words and actions. We must be constantly mindful of our actions if we want to raise a leader, be it a leader in our child's own personal world, or in the world at large. We often may do or say the wrong thing, or a non productive thing, but if we are always mindful of the most productive words and behaviors to use, our kids will have a good chance of succeeding in this challenging world ahead.
Sally Sacks, M.Ed is a licensed psychotherapist, with 20 years of experience, counseling individuals, children, families and couples. Sally is the author ofwww.sallysacks.com.