New Year’s resolutions are not generally on the forefront of children’s minds, but your potential future leader should create short-term and long-term goals to stimulate growth. Ensure the goals you and your child create are specific and measurable. For instance, stating “I will give a speech in class” is not nearly as strong as “I will give a 5-minute speech in my history class this semester.” Also, ensure your child’s goals are attainable within the timeframe they set. Learn about a few goals that can help your child build leadership skills in the new year.
Volunteering one day out of the month for a few hours at a local soup kitchen or animal shelter is a realistic goal for school-aged children. Most organizations allow young volunteers to help out when they are accompanied by an adult, so this can be your resolution, as well! Performing any form of community service gives your child a deeper understanding of the world and how they can make it better.
Join a club
Meeting others with similar attributes or goals assures your child that other people share common ground, whether it is an after-school LEGO® club or your county’s 4 H organization. Your child can spend time doing and celebrating what they love with like minded peers. Older children and teens can also run for leadership roles within student organizations. Many clubs offer volunteer opportunities, which can allow your child to get more involved in the community.
Reading holds within it a treasure trove of learning, imagination, and skill-building. The ability to be a solid reader sets up your child to readily understand school assignments and easily interpret the world around them. Learning to enjoy reading early on can help your child throughout their lives. Reading as a hobby comes with many benefits, from expanding horizons to creating opportunities for bonding with others who enjoy the same kinds of books.
Build healthy habits
Brushing your teeth twice a day and eating vegetables are a drudgery to most children. However, the ability to follow through on difficult tasks sets up a strong foundation of good habits. Teach your child by example. Your actions send messages about the importance of daily exercise, eating healthily, completing work on time, staying in touch with family members, and writing thank-you notes, for instance. These life-long habits begun in childhood become routine and easy to master as your youngster enters adolescence and early adulthood.
Learning beyond the classroom
Learning does not end when the school bell rings. Clubs and sports help with learning, and reading is a definite learning activity. Be sure your child never has to say “I’m bored” – have learning materials available to stimulate a thinking activity. When you introduce learning as a game, your child’s curiosity is piqued to take in even more information. Being a lifelong learner is one of the most valuable leadership skills one can have.
Every month, sit down with your child to review the New Year’s resolutions you have chosen together. Discuss if they are being met or what needs to be accomplished to more readily bring the resolutions to fruition. Look to Lake Forrest Prep School for more great ideas on building leadership skills in your children. Call us today at 407 331-5144.