Six Parenting Tips to Help You Raise Future Leaders

As a parent, you are shaping the future. One day your child will be in the driving seat, with the power to bring about change. How do you prepare your child for future responsibilities without letting them feel like they have the world on their shoulders? These tips will help you empower your kids to be future leaders.

Set a Good Example

“Do as I say, not as I do.” That age-old parents’ adage has no place in the twenty-first century. The first lessons your kid learns are in the home. The most foundational lessons you can teach them are through your own example. Be the adult you believe your child should respect and aspire to be one day. Your real-life example is worth more than all the verbal encouragement in the world. Rather than tell your child that they should be kind to others, let them see you being kind. Want your child to be curious and passionate about something? Show them that you are excited and curious about the things you care about. To foster a sense of charity and caring in your child, volunteer your time at a community organization, showing your child that you care. While you want your child to find their own destiny, you can help them along the way by setting a good example and being the best version of yourself around them that you can possibly be.

Let Your Child Define Success

One of the most important things for your child to understand as they grow up is that success looks different to everybody. If they absorb your idea of success or a socially venerated concept of what success should be, their own sense of what they want to achieve in life will fall by the wayside. They will very quickly become demotivated and lose steam. Encourage your children to nurture that inner drive and come up with their own vision for the future. Don’t suggest career paths to them too early. Let them explore. If they’re fascinated by anatomy, don’t suggest that they become a doctor. Encourage them to read books about anatomy and feed their fascination. Introduce them to people you know who work in related fields, whether they’re doctors or dermatologists or massage therapists.

Your child’s school will play an important role when it comes to encouraging your child’s interest for its own sake and trusting them to come up with their own goals. Conventional educational models tend to favor rote learning and exam-based teaching, but a well-regarded private elementary school will place a child’s interests and passions at the center of their teaching philosophy and nurture their emerging talents.

Encourage Purposeful Time in School Holidays

“I’m bored!” Every parent knows this complaint. One of the biggest mistakes parents make in school holidays is assuming that children will carry on feeling motivated and stimulated once school is out. Remove the sense of engagement and purpose, and many children start to feel listless and bored, and they don’t relax. Even from early days, children enjoy having a project or purpose for the day. Whether it’s a yard project or a bit of DIY fun, help your child find purpose in those long summer days. Something as simple as building a fort in the garden can instill a sense of purpose and shared goals. They will also learn problem-solving skills, help build confidence and self-esteem, as well as the emotional skills required to deal with the occasional failure.

Don’t Overemphasise Goals

Encouraging your child to have a sense of purpose is undoubtedly beneficial. However, you don’t want them to work too hard and burn out. The reason many children end up burning out is that they believe their parents will only love them if they are on track to achieving goals.

If you want your child to work hard and pursue their passion throughout their adult lives, it’s important to balance this messaging by showing them that their value in life does not come from how hard they work or how productive they are. One of the most damaging things well-meaning parents do is inadvertently give their children the idea that they are worthless unless they are achieving something.

If your child is enjoying sitting on the porch in the sunshine, don’t suggest something for them to do. Let them play, or spend open-ended time simply hanging out with you or with their friends. Show your child that they are loved unconditionally and they will grow up to be adults who radiate confidence from within. Instilling a sense of intrinsic personal value will also make it less likely that they will end up working too hard and burning out before they’ve had a chance to realize their goals.

Prepare Your Child For Challenges

While you want to encourage optimism, it’s important that your child understands that life will undoubtedly offer up challenges, and that’s part of the fun. Tell your children about times in your own life when things were hard, and how you overcame adversity. This will inspire your child to embrace challenges without fearing that they will be overwhelmed. Let your child know that there will be times in life when they will need support from others, and that’s okay. It’s important that they know you won’t judge them when they’re struggling to cope, and you’ll be there to act as a guide when they need it.

Teach Communication Skills

Great leaders tend to be excellent communicators. Nurture your child’s communication skills and help them find the words for the thoughts, feelings or concepts they want to express. It’s important for children to learn from a young age that what you say has ramifications in the world. A broken promise can never be mended. Hurtful words cannot be taken back. Encourage your child to listen to other people, and to give careful thought to their own words before speaking out loud. While the ability to express themselves clearly and thoroughly will stand them in good stead for all their future endeavors, a habit of saying whatever happens to come to mind will only hinder their efforts.

Of course, you don’t want to go as far as to limit your child’s self-expression by encouraging rigorous self-censorship, either. Ideally, your child should understand that everything they think and feel is worthy of truthful expression, but the more accurate—and kind to others—they can be in the process, the better.

Whether your child is school age or still a toddler, the simple everyday interactions you have offer ample opportunities to help them learn and grow into admirable adults. These tips will help you raise the leaders of the future.

1 comment

  1. These are great tips, thanks for sharing! I always try to set a good example for my kids.