Strong leadership skills are linked to overall confidence, personal motivation, and one’s ability to “take the initiative.” Here’s how to help your child develop strong leadership skills!
1. Encourage them to get involved in volunteer work. If your student is old enough, volunteer or community service efforts are a great way to showcase strong leadership skills. Events like park cleanups and food drives are often organized by volunteers, so getting involved is the perfect way to encourage any student to build leadership skills. Furthermore, leadership skills go hand in hand with confidence – and there’s no better way to build confidence than knowing you are helping your community and others in need. Volunteer work is a great place to start, and it also looks great on any college application!
2. Look into leadership opportunities at school. Both middle schools and high schools typically have student leadership programs. These can be elective classes, student government, or extracurricular “clubs” that students can choose to get involved in. In addition, student leadership organizations (Key Club, for example) often play a role in organizing school events and fundraisers. These are great ways to acquire both leadership experience as well as the ability to work well with others. If your student attends middle or high school, we highly recommend looking into student leadership opportunities on campus!
3. Let them lead an activity. If your child isn’t old enough to volunteer or participate in leadership programs, you can still encourage these skills from a young age. Organize an activity for you and your child, but have them take the lead. A good example is cooking – let your child find a simple recipe they’d like to prepare, and tell them you’ll be their assistant. Play the role of a sous-chef while your child organizes ingredients, states what they need from the fridge or cupboard, etc. Activities like these are perfect ways to let your child practice leadership skills in a no-pressure environment! In addition, these types of activities also teach valuable lessons about time management and multitasking, so we highly recommend exploring some engaging activities with your kids and allowing them to direct the action!
4. Give them household responsibilities. A core part of leadership is being able to keep things organized and maintain a schedule, especially with an important task at hand. Believe it or not, giving your child small household responsibilities helps them to develop a sense of personal accountability and even fosters executive functioning skills that translate directly into leadership abilities. Even a few weekly chores can be a good way to implement leadership skills in kids!