The Young Leader
“Leadership is unlocking someone’s potential to become better.”
Leadership constitutes of several things. It is the ability to take independent decisions while keeping in mind the effect it would have in their surroundings. It is the ability to be self-motivated and motivating others around you. It integrates positive and creative thinking.
Nobody is born a good leader, leadership is acquired through experiences and understanding. It plays an important role in children’s independent and group play. Toddlers engage in parallel play, where they must be active, leadership plays a big role in the process of finishing a task. As they grow, they spend more time in social and interactive play. You can see them play hide-and-seek or tag or any other peer game. These games help in developing leadership qualities in toddlers. It important to cultivate leadership skills in toddlers because;
- It Helps in Problem Solving: Leadership skills help in problem solving. It teaches you to learn from mistakes and take better decisions, so the same mistake is not repeated twice.
- It Teachers them to take Independent Decision: Leadership skills help kids make decision which are not influenced by variables in their external environment.
- Helps develop empathy and emotional intelligence: An important trait of leadership is empathy. Leadership skills help in understanding and connecting with people which helps in building long term social contacts. Helps in self-motivation: At a tender age, leadership skills can help in self- motivation. As toddlers are involved in independent or parallel play, leadership
- skills in from of self-motivation helps them get thoroughly involved in their creative engagement.
- Helps children build self-confidence: Finally, with all the qualities mentioned above, leadership skills help build self-confidence. They can cooperate with other people and initiate actions.
Developing leadership skills takes time but will help children in every aspect of their lives. Every child has the potential of developing these skills. An earlier encouragement can give a them a head start. There are different ways in which you can cultivate leadership in toddlers, following are a few:
- Reading: Nurturing the love of reading can help in developing leadership skills in children. Read and talk about the characters in the book and their relations.Stories of superheroes often convey the importance of responsibilities and independent decision making.
- Sports: Sports teaches teamwork and cooperation, it pushes kids to take quick decisions and calculated risk, all of them being necessary elements of leadership.
- Let them take Risks: Humans learn from mistakes. Let them take risks, for as long as the risks don’t cause serious damage. Few doctors state that children who do not experience risks have low self-esteem.
- Teach Patience: Get kids involved in things which requires waiting. Activities like baking, gardening, etc, teaches proactive patience.
- Engage in Creative Play: creativity is an ability every good leader must possess. Engage your toddler in creative activities as it is the basis of creative thinking and decision making.
It is also important to remember that being a good leader constitutes of being able to lead oneself. For toddlers, something as simple as picking a colour crayon of their choice to draw with, is a huge step towards developing leadership skills. So, let them think independently and explore their options of creative play.