Leadership indeed begins at home. You would not even realize that your children, your spouse, your parents and your relatives are watching every move of yours. They are constantly learning or want to learn from you, especially your children. If you are his/her’s elder brother or sister, your siblings are also constantly watching you and they look up to you as you are an integral part of their world.
So what matters the most is, how we act at home and how we deal with things at home. There are people who are super duper at work or in the outside world however when it comes to home they take it very easy.
We as parents want the best for our children; right from balanced diet to a healthy environment, from quality education to best mentors, from a good society to a good leader, we keep ticking off the points in our checklist. Our initiation and investment in our children is of utmost importance when it comes to raising them as socially responsible individuals. Being a parent in the 21st century; comes with great leadership responsibilities. We get to vote and chose our leaders but our children have no such option. They look up to us as their leader and their role models in the early days of their life and we as parents have to make sure we stand up to their future developmental requirements. Clearly, leadership begins at home and there are a few facets that every parent should go through in the journey of leading their child towards a brighter realm in life.
Leading children is like potter’s clay, you mould them, shape them and also fill them. It’s three times more the responsibility than that of leading a team of adults and professionals.
Clear, effective and non-judgemental communication among the members of the family paves the way towards the growth of a rational, logical and open -minded individual. The more you communicate with your children, the more you encourage the flow of ideas and information. This not only piques their interest and curiosity but also helps them imbibe different facets to a subject. It somehow helps you to get a sneak- peek into the mental pastures of the child and gives you a better opportunity to rear and prune the grass before it’s too late. Welcome the opinions what your children provide, accept and appreciate if they seem to be good enough. If you reject the opinions, give them reasons for it along with tips to be better at them. This will help the child be an effective and a rational communicator which is a skill inherent to leaders. Shuffle roles when it is needed, be a parent and a friend both; because good leaders are good guides but great friends for people who follow them.
It’s strange how love and empathy can replace bossing and ordering around which makes leadership a much easier task at hand back at home. Not only does it inspire to be gentler and more understanding but also leads to a more level headed individual. A good leader always puts himself in the shoes of whom he leads and takes decision that would provide an enriched experience to his followers. Only with love and empathy can a person test, stretch and reach limits, at the same time learning how to set and achieve desirable goals.
It takes confidence and courage in an individual to take responsibility and accountability for the tasks they are entitled to. “Any challenge can be undertaken and won, with a positive attitude.” This should be the mantra. Neither encourage, nor practice playing the blame game with your child or with other family members. Take accountability for your actions and decisions and notice the child follow suite. Instead of playing a blame game, make sure the child has his roles and rules chart prepared. When achievable targets are not being met, look for loopholes, encourage or penalise as the situation and attitude demands. Small household chores are a good way to inculcate such attitudes in children. Sibling relationships play a great role in the responsibility sector as well.
The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. It’s amazing how our children turn out to be so much like us, both consciously and subconsciously. This also brings to light as to how careful we should be regarding ourselves as leaders. Parents have an immense influence over their children and leadership works on the lifeline of influence. Honesty, integrity, focus and humility make for good influencers in your child. In the future, the influence of your child would affect his friend circle and being a socially responsible parent, we owe this to our society. There would be no greater responsibility as leaders than to paint the picture of the future generation and shape them to be the next leaders in making. Be a leader with a vision, and make sure your child accepts that vision, only then will you be able to achieve your goals as a family. These things need to be started early, if not it is easy to expect clashes in mentality and ideologies.
A leader is known for his focus, consistency and continuous hard work for a common cause. Being fickle minded and indecisive with regular change of plans along with lack of planning makes for an uncoordinated and messed up mentality. These are undesirable traits for any human being let alone a leader. Farsightedness and proper planning, with provisions for emergencies, are some of the qualities that your child should notice in you as a parent and learn from it. Traits like this increase the reliability quotient of the followers on their leaders and it also sets a good example to your child. The more resourceful a planner you are, the more reliability you acquire. You as a parent, while portraying such traits would encourage your children to acquire the same. The way a smile is infectious, so are virtues. Once your child picks up these traits and actually starts to implement them in his day to day life, in his school, in his playground, with his siblings, on his study table and practically in every sector and phase of his life; you have succeeded yourself as a leader.
Leadership is not something that is taught or injected. It is developed, it is inculcated and a real leader lives this life through and through every day. A leader is not only the one who leads the nation or the one with a million followers, it starts with the base of the society, and that is your family, my family, everybody’s family. Our homes are the nurturers to all the potential leaders of tomorrow; let’s equip them for the same.