Teaching leadership to children

The author of Emotional Intelligence, Daniel Goleman, said that leadership is “. . . the art of persuading people to work toward a common goal”.

So, IS there a way to teach this art of persuasion?

You bet.  You must

provide your child with opportunities to practice being the leader.

Here’s how one mom found an opportunity for her 5-year-old. Whenever they got into the car, the battle would begin about putting on his seat belt.

She decided to make him the SEAT BELT MONITOR.  She told him she felt bad about the arguments they had about the whole thing, and asked him if he’d be willing to help her with “her problem”.

As the SEAT BELT MONITOR, he’d be responsible for making sure everyone in the car had their seat belt on before the car could move.

He agreed.  Now, as Mr. Seat Belt Monitor, he was practicing being a leader.

Family Meetings hold another opportunity to practice leadership.

They’re a great way to solve problems, or plan a family adventure.

And even very young kids can learn to lead a Family Meeting.

The leader makes sure agenda items are covered, and that all family members get a turn to speak.

Encourage your child to pick the spot for a picnic.  Where to go out to eat.  When and how to clean the car.  She’ll learn how it feels — and what it takes — to be in that leadership role.  And she’ll learn how to follow, as leadership shifts to others.

If this has been valuable to you, please share with others, and encourage them to sign up to receive your free copy of End the Struggle and our  newsletter Results.

We’d love to hear what creative things you’ve done in your home to provide opportunities for your child to practice leading.  Please tell us all about it below.

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