February is Youth Leadership Month — the goal being to encourage young people to take up leadership roles and contribute to their community. Developing your child’s leadership skills begins in early childhood. Here are a few tips to get you started:
Work on their confidence first
Leaders are confident and self-assured. Therefore, it’s important that you build your child’s confidence through positive reinforcement and affirmation. When your child takes initiative and completes a task independently and successfully, acknowledge their hard work and efforts:
“Thank you for taking initiative and completing all the tasks on your chore chart! You did a great job. The house looks great!”
“Thank you for taking charge and showing your little brother how to pick up his toys. You’re so helpful!”
Encourage them to use their problem-solving skills
Leaders are often tasked with identifying problems and finding solutions. To build your child’s leadership skills, you must first develop their problem-solving skills. When presented with obstacles or challenges, ask for your child’s thoughts and feedback. Encourage them to think outside the box:
Strong leaders are effective communicators. Therefore, it is important to encourage open dialogue in your household. In everything you do, ask your child to express their thoughts and feelings:
Give them opportunities to work in a team setting
Strong leaders know to collaborate with others to achieve a common goal. Develop your child’s leadership skills by offering them opportunities to work in team settings. If your child has siblings, make cleaning up the playroom a team effort. Sign your child up for extracurricular activities like sports.
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