3 Highly Effective Ways To Improve Your Child’s Leadership Skills

children and leadership skills, teens and leadership skills, improving child behavior, improving teen behavior

#1 New York Times bestselling author John C. Maxwell brings his common sense self-help lessons to teens!

Any setback–a championship loss, a bad grade, a botched audition-can be seen as a step forward when teens possess the right tools and leadership skills to turn that loss into a gain of knowledge. Drawing on nearly fifty years of leadership experience, Dr. Maxwell provides a roadmap for becoming a true learner, someone who wins in the face of problems, failures, and losses

Parents there are many ways to enhance your child’s leadership level.  However, I want to focus on 3 highly effective ways to improve your child’s leadership skills.  You have to take advantage of home field, take charge of away games and take the time to explain the rules. I will walk you through and explain the importance of taking home field advantage.  How to make the most out of when your child is involved in away games (activities outside the home).  And the importance of both explaining and ensuring your child understands basic rules of life.

  1. Parents you need to play an active role in mentoring and assisting your children in the choice of those they play and hang out with.  This is best done on your home field. Parents, home field is your home.  You are there everyday.  It is the place both you and your kids live, eat and sleep.  Invite your children’s friends over to your home or yard for play time, activities, to work on school work, etc. so you can get to know your child’s friends.

    Now it is not going to be the most convenient thing to do. Home field can be loud, messy, demanding and infringe on your personal time.  I so get it, believe me I do. But think about it. Home is the best place to positively influence your son or daughter’s interactions with their friends.  This is much harder to do when your child is playing away from home. Outside your home you lose home field advantage and diminish your overall influence on your child’s interactions with others. Be the influencer and make play, homework, sleep overs or whatever the activity, a home field event. From you your child will learn to positively influence others.  And if your child is positively influencing others, they are moving well along the path of self leadership.
  2. Now while home is best, not every game is played on home field.  So mom, dad, grand parents, guardians, you have to take charge of away games.  Specifically, you need to place them in areas where they will have a chance to interact with adult mentor leaders who can inspire them.  I have a friend, who works with me in the Royal Ranger ministry.  Royal Rangers is a christian mentorship program created for boys and young men. Some of the kids call him Big Daddy Bill.  And he is that, a fatherly mentor to his young charges. He regularly challenges them to be the best they can be. He also holds them accountable for how they lead themselves. Parents place their sons into this program for its positive mentorship and its ability to teach leadership skills. Also, because the program helps develop their sons into the next generation of servant leaders.

    Joel Olsteen has said, “You need to associate with people that inspire you, people that challenge you to rise higher, people that make you better. Don’t waste your valuable time with people that are not adding to your growth. Your destiny is too important.” Parents, choose wisely where your child spends time away from home.  Engage them with mentors who can inspire them, as well as, affirm your family values. The foundation of your child’s life is being laid down here and now.  It is from this foundation that everything they can be, will be built upon.  Let’s not limit their leadership foundation.  Expand your child’s opportunities to become positively self led. Give them every opportunity to be around positive examples, so they can hear, see and learn from successful leaders. 
  3. We’ve touched on two of the 3 highly effective ways to improve your child’s leadership skills. The third way is this, Parents you need to teach your children the rules of the game. You have teach basic manners and how to behave. Rest assure, if you don’t teach your child how to behave, the world will.  More times than not, it won’t be the type of behavior you wish your child to emulate. If normal looks like being rude, disrespectful, discourteous, bad tempered, a bully, or any combination there of, this is what your child will likely gravitate downwards to.  Children need to know that it is abnormal to be rude, disrespectful, discourteous, bad tempered, and or a bully. 

    Solomon, King of Isreal said, “Though you may be wise, foolish friends will eventually destroy you. Though you may be foolish, wise friends will show and teach you success. This is an easy way to prosper.” Poor choices in friends and acquittances will have an eventual adverse affect on your child. A poor choice never enhances anything.  A foolish choice only has the power to lessen or destroy, never the power to prosper  This is what Solomon meant when he said foolish friends will eventually destroy you. And the same can be said in modern times. Vanilla Ice, a former pop icon and current DIY (Do It Yourself) TV host once stated, “Show me your friends and I would show you who your are.

    So, parents, who are your children? Are they the foolish ones or the wise ones? The answer, parents, has a lot to do with your influence as their parents. If you wish for them to grow to be the “wise ones” then influence who your kids to hang out with. Be watchful for those “friends” who regularly drift towards or revel in bad behavior. Such negative acquaintances will limit your child’s self leadership success. John C. Maxwell says, “Leadership ability determines a person’s level of effectiveness.” If your child cannot lead themselves, learn to respect others, be courteous, control their temper, and add value to others; they limit their overall effectiveness as future leaders. 

 The 3 highly effective ways to improve your child’s leadership skills are: Take advantage of home field by influencing your child and their friends in your home or yard; take charge of away games by placing your child where they can learn from positive adult mentor leaders; and take the time to ensure your child knows the rules of the game.  When you as parents and guardians take charge by playing an active role in mentoring your child, you are growing their ability to self lead.

Transformational Leadership: Parents You Can’t Lead Your Children Where You’ve Not Gone Yourselves

“We can’t lead farther than we have gone ourselves”  John C Maxwell

Have you ever needed  to get to a certain location like a store, a restaurant, or a doctor’s office, but you are not 100 percent sure of where it was. You may even have a general idea of where it is located. But, you cannot recall the exact directions on how to get there?  You may even be confident you could get there if you had to, but it may take a while to get you bearings.  I mean you can ask for directions or even research the route using various GPS or map apps, but where is the sense of adventure in that?

Parents, when it comes to leadership, it is difficult to find your way unless you get directions.  And if you are going to mentor your children in leadership and direct them towards positive growth, you have to go there first.  John C. Maxwell says, “We can’t lead father than we have gone ourselves.”  Thus if you have not grown your leadership, it makes it difficult to take your child where you have not ventured yourself.

So what steps do you need to take in order to enhance your personal development as a leader, so you can guide your child on their leadership journey?  The steps are not always easy, but all four steps calls for consistency on the part of the parent or guardian. They are: Expand, Explain, Experience and Encourage.

Expand –  Expand calls for expanding your own personal development.  Parents lead by example. Again, you will have great difficulty taking your children where you have not gone yourself.  And to expand yourself, you have to be aware of where you are in your growth and development, before you can chart out where you want to go.  Robert Greenlieaf (Founder of modern day servant leadership movement) noted another special aspect of awareness. Greenleaf says, “Awareness also aids one in understanding issues involving ethics and values. It lends itself to being able to view most situations from an integrated, holistic position.”  As you expand your personal growth and development, as a leader, you can begin to pour that knowledge into your children, as you explain leadership concepts to your children. This is key in element in how parents influence child behavior.

Explain – If your child is going to learn how to take control of their lives as a leader and add value to others, you are going to have to explain to them what a leader is, along with, the values important to being a good leader.  And it needs to be in such a way they can imagine themselves as a leader. And it would not hurt for you to add to their imagination by helping them dream cast about what type of servant leader they can be now as a child, teen and as an adult.  Robert Greenleaf tells us, “For any thing to emerge there must first be a dream, an imaginative view of what might be. For something great to happen, there must be a great dream.

Experience – Your child needs to experience your leadership.  They need to see you model it. They need to see you put it into action on regular basis. I once heard John Maxwell say, “You should keep your bar of excellence high.  Never lower the bar on yourself and always raise it with others.” I remember when my children were young. I took them grocery shopping with me. We had a great time. When I got home, I discovered the cashier had not charged us for all of our items.  I gathered my children into the car and took my receipt and the unpaid items to the store.  I found the manager and explained the situation to him.  I told him I wanted my kids to see me do the right thing.  The manager told my kids they should always be honest like their father and follow his example.  I’m far from perfect and my kids will tell you the same.  But the grocery store manager’s words really hit home, with me.  And I was reminded that my example; the way I model my life before them would be critical in how my children would eventually live their lives.

Encourage –  You have more control over your child or teen’s environment at home than you do when they are in school or with friends. You need to encourage your child to seek out friends with positive self leadership traits or they may gravitate to hang out with friends or peers who have low leadership levels of self-leadership and defective moral compasses. But again you have to model a Leadership level your child/teen can aspire to.  Or you risk them spiraling down to dwell within the realm of lower expectations of pseudo friends and thus limiting their overall leadership capacity. Jim Burns, a writer with CBN wrote, “Knowing your teen’s friends will definitely provide insight into the morals and family values that are influencing your son or daughter. In the process of getting to know your teen’s friends, you will learn a lot about your own daughter or son as well.” One of the best was to know your son or daughters  friends is to open your home to them. Invite your child’s friends to play, do homework, have sleep overs, etc., at your home where you can get to know their friends.

Again, the steps do you need to take in order to enhance your personal development as a leader, as well as, your parenting skills as a parent or guardian, so you can guide your child on their leadership journey. While not always easy, all four steps: Expanding, Explaining, Experiencing and Encouraging will call for consistency on our part to raise the next generation of leaders. 

Children Spell Love – T I M E

How can we best use time to influence a child

Work days will come and go. Life’s situations will come and go. Even our friends and associates will  come and go, but family and your children forever. They may drive us crazy at times, but there’s no doubt the time we spend with our children play an integral role in influencing their lives. For many, family is everything and there’s nothing better than spending time with child. When life gets busy, it’s important to pause and enjoy some family time with each child.

In what ways, can we as parents, use time as a positive means to influence our children?