As parents and caregivers, we often want to create an environment at home that will be conducive to instilling leadership. But how? Instilling leadership can take many forms, and of course your individual family dynamic comes into play. But generally speaking, here are some tips on how to create a home environment that fosters leadership in your children.
Have a Routine
You may think that having a routine is creating followers by telling them what to do and when to do it. But actually, having a routine is purported to encourage leadership, because it provides security and a model of order and predictability. A good leader is not fickle – he or she is self-controlled and fairly predictable, so that those who are followers are certain of where they’re going.
Routines also teach organization, another important leadership skill. Organizing time is crucial if your kids are going to grow up to inspire others to follow. Include your kids in the development of your schedule and calendar, and show them how time is organized and tasks and activities are prioritized.
As leaders, your kids will need to be able to define and enforce boundaries. Having clear boundaries in your home helps make expectations clear and lets your kids know how far they can go before they cross over. They will learn how to be fair and firm when boundaries are crossed, especially if you take care to consider the situation before enacting consequences. Not all boundary violations are the same, in other words.
To be good leaders, kids need to learn when to be firm (such as when a boundary is blatantly ignored) and when to be lenient (such as when a boundary is crossed accidentally). Including your kids when you develop boundaries and consequences is another way to create a leader-building environment.
When your kids do a job well, let them know. Give them positive feedback so they will learn how to give it themselves when they grow up to be leaders. A good leader knows when to pat followers on the back and appreciate their efforts.
Yes, having chore lists is something that parents may dread, or they may have heard about it and just don’t think it will “fly” in their family. But chores are one of the first ways that kids learn to be a part of the family “team,” and being part of a team is an important way to learn leadership.
Chores can be delegated depending on age and ability, and you can certainly include your kids in making the chore list. To keep motivation, have rewards for chores that are done well and on time. In fact, chores can be a way to earn privileges – your chore list can have two columns, one for chores and one for the privileges each chore earns.
There are all sorts of things you can do to build a home environment that fosters leadership. Don’t be afraid to be creative, and remember to include your kids and give them age-appropriate responsibilities.