7 Ways to Help Every Child Unleash Their Inner Leader #TrueLeaders

Every child has the potential to become a true leader! Check out 7 easy ways to help unleash your child's leadership potential!

Within every single child lurks the makings of a future leader. As parents, it’s up to us to bring that potential forth and nurture it. I think just about all parents dream of seeing their children grow up to become President, win a Noble prize or make history by changing the world. Even though we know we’ll be proud of our kids no matter what they do, as long as they’re happy and healthy, we still want to give them the chance to unleash their full leadership potential.

How can we give our kids their best chance at a bright future? How do we nurture future true leaders? Check out these 7 everyday easy ways to help your children unleash their inner leaders!

7 Ways to Help Your Kids Become True Leaders

Here’s the great thing about unleashing your child’s leadership potential: any parent can do it! You don’t have to send your kids off to fancy schools or spend thousands of dollars on “leader-maker” activities. You already have everything you need within yourself!

Be a positive role model

Children learn by watching others and often model their behavior after what they see. If you give your child a chance to interact with positive role models (you!), they’re more likely to become one themselves in the future. Model the behavior you want to see in your future leaders and they’ll follow suit.

Help them develop good decision-making skills

Our future leaders need to be prepared to make hard decisions. Whether they grow up to become President of the country or CEO of their own company, there will be times that they are faced with challenges. Foster a sense of self-confidence and decision-making skills by giving your kids a chance to make their own age-appropriate difficult choices!

4H True Leader

Even something as simple as deciding to eat their veggies at dinner so they can have dessert versus not eating them and missing out on dessert gives your kids an opportunity to flex their decision-making skills and learn more about the effect of those decisions.

Really listen and HEAR them!

True leaders aren’t just listened to, they’re heard. As parents, we’re often overwhelmed and trying to multitask all the time. We seem like we’re listening to our kids, but we’re not really hearing them. Our kids want to use their voices for change, we just need to teach them that their opinions matter. Next time your child tells you about his day, stop what you’re doing and really hear it.

Be open with them about your own mistakes

Every single true leader makes mistakes. It’s through our mistakes that we learn better ways of doing things. Our kids don’t just need to know that we’ll forgive their mistakes, but that we’re not perfect either. I’m not saying you have to go into detail about every single crazy thing you did as a college student, but let your kids know that you haven’t always made perfect choices either. Then take the opportunity to work together to figure out how to correct the mistake.

Give praise where praise is due

Kids deserve praise when it’s earned. The key word: earned. Praising your child over every adorable move they make isn’t going to help boost their confidence in the long run. However, holding praise back because you’re afraid they won’t be “tough enough” in the future doesn’t help them either. Recognize your child’s victories- both big and small- with praise for a job well done.

Give them a chance to land on their own two feet

As much as you want to rush in and fix everything for your kids, raising future leaders means giving them a chance to figure things out for themselves sometimes. Rather than rushing in with an answer to their problem, help them work through it by asking open-ended questions that lead them to a solution.

Help them find their passion

Leaders are often born out of passion. Sometimes that passion is for a cause, like the child who wants to become class president so he can get recess extended to 20 minutes instead of 15. Sometimes that passion is a sport, like the child who grows up to become coach of a Major League baseball team. Passions can be academic or artistic, worldly or community-oriented. Your job is to help your child find that spark, that one thing (or more!) that really drives him and motivates him. That’s where he’s really going to find his inner true leader.

Celebrate True Leaders with 4-H

Part of helping your child become a true leader is giving them a chance to see other youth leaders in action. The 4-H Grow True Leaders campaign does just that. 4-H has a long history of helping kids develop leadership skills through their youth programs, making them the perfect companion to your own efforts to raise a future leader. With your support, we can show our kids what a true leader looks like while supporting youths who really embody the meaning of “leadership.”

Join in on the Thunderclap campaign to show your support for our future leaders! It’s super simple, just share the message on Facebook, Twitter or Tumblr and encourage your friends to do the same. You can also give a shout out to a special young leader in your community! Just use the #TrueLeaders hashtag on your social media along with your message. Take it a step further by submitting a story about your young leader for a chance to have them featured on the 4-H Facebook page!

What do you do to help grow your child into a true leader? Share your favorite tips below!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of 4-H. The opinions and text are all mine.

19 thoughts on “7 Ways to Help Every Child Unleash Their Inner Leader #TrueLeaders”

  1. These are great tips/advice, I am not a parent yet but my parents have always been open and honest with me and my siblings and supported us in everything we do

  2. These are really great tips. As a parent, we should all be working on these things with our kids to make a strong generation of leaders. 4-H is great at helping with that!

  3. This is a fantastic list! It is not only important that we listen to our kids, but we must listen unapologetically, without trying to silence them.

  4. This is a wonderful list! I wish my mom would have read it when we were younger. She never let us fight our own battles and I think that resulted in us being too scared to take on leadership roles. I hope to push my children in the opposite direction so they are strong and acquire leadership characteristics.

  5. I believe it is so important to help each child find and strengthen their individual gifts. There are leadership skills in each and every one no matter what your gift is, you just have develop it.

  6. Robin (Masshole Mommy)

    Being able to lead when needed is a great self esteem builder. These are some great tips to help children grow up to be strong adults.

  7. Preparing our children for the life that lies ahead is crucial. Letting them start using these skills before they are out on their own is a must. It gives us a chance to help them through the difficult process.

  8. decision making skills is a must for me. i have this problem myself haha just can’t decide right away so im teaching my daughter to decide the fastest and easy way

  9. These are some really good points. Leadership skills will really help kids succeed. I think letting my kids ask questions and make their own decisions helped them develop leadership skills.

  10. Something else I have noticed that helps my daughter be a leader is allowing her to think for herself and giving her the opportunity to solve her own problems. Her teacher says it really sets her apart from other Kindergartners in the class.

  11. I try really hard to make sure my son knows that we love him no matter what his choices are I want him to live his own 2 feet but sometimes it’s really hard when you know they’re going to make a decision that doesn’t work. These are all great tips and I hope my son is a good leader when he gets older.

  12. Supporting your children, while also letting them find their own place is so important. Too many parents push their kids to be what they want them to be, instead of letting them choose their path. Great tips.

  13. Modeling is the biggest one, I think. Now that 3 of my 4 kids are grown, I see that what they saw us doing, is what they are more prone to be doing now. :)

  14. These are all so helpful. It’s great to raise leaders, because this will not only help them progress in school, it will also give them the confidence to do anything. And once they’re have a career of their own, they will definitely excel.

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