We continue our October parenting week looking at the topic “Raising Children to be Leaders”. Our post today is brought to us by Ryan. Ryan is a husband, and father who loves God and desires to serve Him. He loves working with youth and sharing God’s love to everyone he meets.
Training Young Leaders
Some people have the natural gift of influence you can see it bloom in them almost from a child. They love people, they speak well, they are always talking and directing. How do we create this in our children if they do not have it? And how do we encourage it in them if they do?
Why is being a leader so important anyway? First of all, leaders set the direction for others to follow. Just as the general sets the direction of his troops to maximize their potential and complete a stated objective so to leaders set the direction for followers. This means that the leader has to know the way to go.
Parents must set a positive leadership example for their children first and foremost. The bible says “train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6) Parents must know the way to go and therefore show the child the way not only in Christian training and education but also in leadership which is part of child training. Parental modelling of good leadership principles is important for young minds since they learn most from what they see rather than what they are told.
Secondly, children should be taught how God values them and their purpose of their creation. From the youngest child this principle needs to be taught so that it forms the foundation of their character. Children who understand the purpose of their creation: a) to love God supremely and their neighbor as themselves b) to glorify God c) to live with God eternally in happiness etc. will be better equipped to make right decisions according to these guiding principles. This in turn gives stability of purpose and firmness of decision. A child who has made up his/her mind to be a doctor knows that there is a certain course to pursue and will align their lives to meet that purpose. Similarly, those children who know how God values them will align their lives according to God’s ideal.
Thirdly, children should be encouraged to form good habits especially being friendly, loving people and striving for excellence. People generally follow talented persons or persons who have a unique gift. Although, a person a unique gift but still be socially withdrawn therefore being friendly and loving people is important. Parental modelling of these qualities is essential. People of say that they walk and talk like their parents but this is not all nature it is also nurture. Our children are watching our relationships with others and how we interact with people. They see our expressions and read our body language. Could it be that your child is friendly or unfriendly because you as a parent are the same way? We can pretend before people but our children see us every day and in every way so they know our character and are copying our behavior. Make yours a positive one.
Finally, improve your own habits of leadership as a parent. There is a saying for teachers and educators in general that says “be the change that you want in your students.” Teacher and educators are always reminded to be constantly improving and learning new concepts that their students may develop this same habit of discovery and inquiry. Be the leader that you want your child to be. Yes children have their own personality and we can watch them grow and blossom into the beautiful person God created them to be but always remember that it cannot be done passively. Constantly cultivate the ground of their hearts with love, compassion and tenderness. Water their curious minds knowledge and a Godly example. Feed them the word of God and teach them to pray and work for the Lord. When we as Godly parents water God will give the increase.
November 2015: Parenting a strong-willed child
Parenting is no easy business and it often times seems ten times worse when a strong-willed child in thrown into the mix. How do parents of strong-willed children cope? What advice can we share with parents?
December 2015: How to raise compassionate children
This world has a lot of pain and suffering. How can we revise our children not only tofeel saddened by the pain that others feel, but also to reach out to help others?
You can find our previous parenting weekends here.
If you would like to participate in our series you can email me firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment.