Family - Parenting
By: - at May 27, 2013

How to Make Your Child Into a Leader

teach your child to be a leaderAll children are born with the same number of chromosomes; they have an identical brain structure and similar body functions. The edge one child may have over another is derived from the attitude, character and strategy used by their parents. It is in these vital areas that parents have to help their children develop so that they not only achieve their potential, but exceed it. Success and self-belief join hands to make a leader out of an ordinary person. Let us share some secrets on how to make your child a leader.

1)  Begin Early
A leadership mentality will benefit the child at all stages of his/her life. It has been observed that leadership qualities developed during school years and achievements in extracurricular activities are more accurate predictors of adult success than an I.Q. test or an exam percentage. Nurturing his/her self-esteem is the central element in inspiring a child to perform well and you can't start too early, because once feelings of incompetence or inadequacy have taken root, they are very difficult to remove.

2)  What You Put In Is What You Get Back
We all know eating a nutritious diet will make your child healthy. This applies to character development too. Instilling proper values will make a child grow in inner strength.

What You Put In Is What You Get Back

The associated confidence will transform him/her into a leader.

3)  Assess Your Child's Potential
Wrong assessment of the child's potential and an attempt to mould his/her contrary to his/her natural ability, can lead to disaster. Although listening to the child's views is recommended, his/her self-assessment may suffer from inexperience. There is no harm in taking expert help in shaping your child's future.

4)  Focus on Inappropriate Behavior, not the Personality
Unfortunately, most parents point a finger at the child, and not at the inappropriate behavior. “You are so dumb!” “Why can’t you get it through your thick skull?” “God, you are such a clumsy, insufferable fool”. Criticize the behavior, not the child. After saying "That's wrong!” explain to him/her the right way to go about things. You must let your children know what you want them to do, not just what you don't want them to do.

Focus on Inappropriate Behavior, not the PersonalityRemember, your child is not stupid! If he/she fails to measure up to your yardstick of excellence, lower the benchmark or put in a concerted effort to raise the child's standard. Children, who grow up in homes where personalities are attacked, tend to develop an inferiority complex.

When confronting the child, try using phrases like “poor judgment”, “this is not how it is done”, “your behavior was inappropriate”. Focusing on the act allows children to save face. It may also allow them to better understand and accept the appropriate options for next time. This will certainly improve their popularity, especially among their peers. Gaining acceptance in the peer group gives children opportunities to interact, influence and lead other children.

5)  Praise the Child
Praise is the best tonic for self-esteem; applause the greatest booster of self-confidence. When your little one takes his/her first few unsteady steps towards you or when he/she climbs up the stairs and declares triumphantly from the top, “I am the tallest”, your look of genuine pleasure and approval makes him/her grow in self-esteem.

A hesitant child may accomplish the feat if he/she is told, “I know you can do it!” And if the parents follow it up with “You did a terrific job”, the child's confidence gets a permanent boost.

Praise the ChildSo many world class sports persons, singers, musicians and academicians readily concede that the primary influence on their early career was their parent's support and appreciation. Talking positively about children and their accomplishments reinforces their self-image and goads them to strive for further excellence. It is through an exemplary performance that one finally gains leadership.

Any success, however small, is worth complimenting, but don't go overboard with your praise. Constructive criticism, coupled with sincere wholehearted appreciation, is the winning formula. Insincere and exaggerated praise may inflate the child's ego unnecessarily and is a sure recipe for failure.

Think about Success, Not Obstacles6)  Think about Success, Not Obstacles
“What if I fail?”, “What if I forget?”, and “What if I miss?” Individuals, who keep worrying about how to avoid failure rather than focusing on how to succeed, generally end up as disappointments. Parents should try to develop the right values and a positive attitude in their wards. They should persuade them to concentrate on success and to be pragmatic about failures treating them only as temporary setbacks. The person who believes in success is the one who inspires others to follows.

7)  Build on Previous Accomplishments
If your child has won a medal in a debate competition, a cup in athletics or a certificate of merit in academics, display it prominently in the house. Whenever the child sees it, he/she will get an urge to do better. Confining to previous triumphs is not good, but using them as inspiration for additional success is recommended. By seeing the previously won medals and trophies, the child gets the message that: “I have done it in the past, I can do it again”. This “can do” approach can make your child a leader.

8)  Teach Your Child to Relax
Teach Your Child to RelaxThe ability to remain calm during a crisis identifies the ace in the pack. Teach your child to relax, because anxiety leads to poor concentration, which is the root cause of poor performance. A relaxed mind can think and act better, thus improving the efficiency of a person.

An extremely effective technique to relax is to breathe deeply and evenly. Train the child to concentrate on each inspiration and expiration and to let the mind go blank for a few moments. Thinking of a favorite song, imagining a flowing river or a cool breeze blowing gently - any pleasant idea can be utilized to relax the child.

9)  Let Children Experiment
We admire and follow someone who is willing to experiment, to rise to challenges. Yet when it comes to our own children, we want them to play safe. All too often we step in and try to shield a child from making mistakes and in the process we deprive them of important learning experiences.

Parents should motivate the child to take initiative and tackle new challenges. The one, who tries, fails, rectifies his/her mistakes and gets up to make a fresh attempt finally succeeds. This spirit of adventure and steely resolve sets the leader apart. A true leader is one who rises to the occasion without fear of failure and is able to inspire others with his/her enthusiasm.

10)  Leaders Are Dreamers
If your son wants to be a fighter jet pilot or your daughter wants to become a crime reporter, what would your response be? “It's risky business! Why can’t you think of something less dangerous?”

 Leaders Are Dreamers

Chances are your son will end up becoming an aero-designer and your daughter will be a computer programmer. Don't overreact; let children fantasize about the future. Who knows, they may devise means and ways to make their fantasies come true.

Leaders have vision and they can dream. They look at things differently and can explain them to others. They are able to influence people into following their path. So let children dream, but tell them that the best way to make their dreams come true is to wake up and work.

11)  Give Children Opportunities to Lead
Give Children Opportunities to LeadLeadership like any other skill has to be learned, practiced and mastered. Just as a tennis player must practice hard to perfect a serve, a potential leader must be provided ample opportunities to imbibe leadership qualities.

Motivate the child to become a captain of a school football team, a class monitor or a school prefect. These are all learning experiences for a good leader. Parents must encourage this early apprenticeship, but the child should be allowed to pursue his/her own areas of interest. Some children revel on stage, some shine on the sports field, while others still, excel in the classroom. Allowing children to operate in their favored domain builds their confidence and lays the foundation for leadership.

12)  A Smile Takes You a Mile
It requires 64 facial muscles to frown and only 14 to smile. So why overwork your face? A friendly hello and a pleasant smile can win many a battle. Teach your child to not only greet those in his/her own circle, but others as well. Instill in him/her human values and respect for elders. A person who exudes natural warmth and genuine compassion is quickly recognized as a potential leader.

13)  Your Example Matters
It has been seen that when parents exhibit leadership qualities, it becomes easier for children to develop similar traits. Parents who set high standards of moral and ethical conduct generally succeed in teaching the same to their children.

lead by example

A thief can't expect his son to be a virtuous, law-abiding citizen. Similarly, an honest, resourceful father is likely to have a respectful, responsible son.

Final Words
There are no shortcuts to success. The making of a leader is a gradual process which requires parental support, encouragement and hard work. These efforts are doubly rewarding: your child develops the qualities of a leader and more importantly, you form a close, warm relationship with your child.





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