As parents, we strive to give children the safe, supportive learning environment they need to grow and thrive. However, school isn't the only place that enables children to reach their full potential. Parents also have a big role to play in raising their children into intelligent, confident, and capable adults.
That doesn't mean parents need to run their house like a classroom. Rather, parents should teach children the skills they need to face challenges with grace, find solutions to problems, work with others, and set and achieve goals. While these lessons are more abstract than arithmetic, they're the leadership skills children need in order to succeed in life.
Are you ready to start cultivating your child's leadership skills? Use these resources courtesy of the Jersey City Soccer Association to learn how you can teach kids about leadership in ways that are accessible at any age.
Kids have big dreams, but do they know how to achieve them? While elementary schoolers don't need a 10-year plan, kids of all ages can learn how to set and achieve goals with their parents' help.
Set realistic goals: Goals should be challenging, yet attainable. When teaching goal setting to kids, focus on age-appropriate goals that won't take too long to achieve.
Make goals specific: Children tend to focus on vague, lofty goals. But while it's fun to dream, it takes defined goals to make things happen. Parents can use general desires as a launch point to narrow in on specific goals.
Break goals down: Looking at a lofty goal from a distance can be discouraging. By showing children how to break big goals down into small, manageable steps, you create short-term checkpoints while working towards a long-term goal.
No matter what success means to you, certain skills are necessary to achieve it. These are the life skills that help children navigate everyday challenges, work with others, and make smart decisions as they grow up.
Time management: Kids are talented at dragging their feet. Rather than getting frustrated, parents should demonstrate how time management helps kids get things done so they achieve their goals.
Emotional intelligence: Emotional intelligence is key to building relationships. It's also linked to greater overall success. Emotional intelligence starts with teaching children to identify feelings in themselves and others.
Open-mindedness: Your child may be bright, but there's always more to learn. Parents can encourage children to keep an open mind by modeling openness themselves. This includes asking for help, admitting when you're wrong, and listening to other points of view.
Striving to improve: No matter where you are in life, continue to look for ways to acquire new skills and prioritize learning.
Children also need to learn how to work well with others. From the preschool classroom to the corporate boardroom, success relies on a person's ability to collaborate and forge relationships. These tips build people skills in kids and adults alike.
Prioritize teamwork: Playing team sports like soccer can teach kids how to work with others to achieve tasks.
Give constructive feedback: Avoiding things we dislike is often the easiest out, but it's not the most productive. Instead, teach children to explain how they're feeling and why.
Praise others: Others like to hear positive feedback just as much as we do. Expressing gratitude and acknowledging others' efforts makes people feel valued and strengthens relationships.
Make decisions together: Consideration of others and taking their opinions into account teaches kids to be a good partner later in life.
Admit your mistakes: Dishonesty only causes more problems later on. Parents should create a space where children feel safe owning up to their mistakes by focusing on solutions rather than placing blame.
Be reliable: People respect follow through. Children who are taught time management and the importance of keeping their word grow into reliable adults.
Leadership isn't just about skills it's also about character. Openness is one important trait everyone should learn, but it's not the only character trait children need to develop. These characteristics are essential for leaders from all walks of life.
Integrity: Strong character comes from a strong sense of values. Teaching values, practicing accountability, and letting children experience natural and logical consequences raises kids who act with integrity.
Courage: The courage to take action is a core trait of any leader. Parents raise courageous children when they let kids solve problems on their own and treat failures as learning opportunities.
Vigilance: Leaders don't just take action; they monitor their results and adjust their approach as necessary in order to achieve results. Teaching children to reflect on their progress cultivates a vigilant mindset.
The leadership lessons that parents teach their children don't come from a book or blackboard. Kids learn how to be courageous, conscientious, and motivated when parents harness the learning opportunities in everyday life. From little lessons in kindness to teaching your child a strong work ethic, make sure you're bringing these leadership lessons home.
Want to teach your kids the value of hard work, teamwork, and good sportsmanship? Sign up for soccer at the Jersey City Soccer Association!