As parents, we have the responsibility of raising the next generation of leaders. From firefighters, movie stars, professional athletes, and even President of the United States, our children often have big plans for what they want to be when they grow up. It’s important to encourage them every step of the way and guide them towards reaching their dreams.

It’s up to us to help preserve our children’s’ ambitions, curiosity, and enthusiasm towards the things they want to achieve in life no matter how big or small. Here are a few tips for instilling leadership skills in our children.

Set an Example

Kids learn directly from their parents, so it’s very important to set a good example that’s both positive and influential. Include your children in day-to-day problem solving tasks or let them watch you tackle difficult problems and overcome obstacles that may get in your way. Consistent communication and leading by example is key!

Encourage Positive Decision Making

When your child finishes a chore, a school project, or even a sports game ask them questions like, “How did you do it? Is there anything different you could have done to make the outcome better?” These questions encourage them to be more thoughtful in how they approach their next big task or challenge. Decisiveness and clarity are two key traits of strong leaders, so prompting critical thought at a young age is essential.

Support Their Passions

It’s very important for kids to feel like they are capable of doing anything they set their mind to. As parents, encourage them to chase their dreams. If they want to become a ballerina, you can encourage them to take ballet classes. If they want to become an astronaut, read books on space.

Encourage Them to Start Something

Leaders are both innovative and creative. Try finding opportunities for your child to create something from scratch, all on their own. A few ideas could be starting a local book club, building a dollhouse, or putting on a neighborhood talent show.

Build Negotiation Skills

Every good leader knows the art of compromising. Instead of telling your child “yes” or “no,” try negotiating with them. Allow them to accept the offer or negotiate another possible solution. While you ultimately have the final say, this practice can present a unique opportunity for your child to draw upon their experience and prove you wrong!

Practice Self-Confidence

One simple way to build self-confidence is by letting your child take the initiative. When you’re eating out at a restaurant, allow your child to tell the server their order. You can also allow them to run certain errands like entering a grocery store to purchase an item. Permitting opportunities for independence can instill confidence.

Encourage Reading for Growth & Development

We all know the benefits of reading, but having your children read books about their interests and passion is key. Studies show that children who read have higher intellectual progress in a variety of subjects. Also encourage self-development and motivational books to your child to help build that confidence they’ll need as a successful leader.

Teach Them Leadership Skills

Whether they are playing sports or socializing with their peers, when your child is placed in a leadership position, be sure to show them that great leaders put others first. By serving their fellow peers, they will learn that leadership is about making the world a better, more positive place.

Encourage Them to Dream Big

Great leaders have large visions. If your child has a vision that might even seem impossible, it’s important to embrace them, encourage them, and equip them with the necessary tools to make the impossible possible.