When you look at the majority of teenagers today, what character traits do you see? Now when you look at your own children, what character traits do you see? Are they the same? Different? How different?
In an article by Fast Company, they state “TOMORROW’S LEADERS WILL BE FLEXIBLE, SELFLESS, AND READY TO COLLABORATE.”
Now what are you willing to bet that the majority of teens (you just listed character traits of them) don’t have those traits?
That means that, as a mom, we have a great opportunity before us! When we see an article like the one linked above, we have two options. The first one is to ignore it. The second one is to use it. I choose use it!
I think sadly, our older generation doesn’t have the same definition of leadership as what it is meaning now. It doesn’t always mean “president” or “business owner.” It doesn’t even mean being in a high position of power.
Every child needs to learn to be a leader.
When I asked my oldest what her definition of a leader was, she replied:
People look up to you, you are an example, you have a higher authority than some in your group, they can trust you, not get frustrated easily, being a leader doesn’t mean you are higher than everyone else, you need to be humble. Anyone can be a leader, taking up the responsibility and being a good example and helping others.
So, lets break down these three character traits. What are some ways we can encourage growth in these areas in our kids? I sat my oldest down and asked her how she can practice in the following areas.
Flexible. You can start by being prepared when a situation comes up (for example, checking the calendar for upcoming events, putting your clothes out the night before, etc.). Leave extra time in your schedule throughout the day. Don’t just have a schedule, have habits (like routines). And stay on top of things.
Selflessness. She had a hard time with this one. She said she wanted to make sure to have a balance so not too selfless that she was taken advantage of, yet not so prideful she only thought about herself.
Ready to collaborate. She laughed and suggested the book suggestion Do Hard Things because it talks frequently about teamwork. She suggested the mentality of remembering that others have great ideas and can make a project better. And to accept the ideas of others and not always think your ideas are best.
So do you or your children have other ideas? I encourage you to ask your child how they can develop these character traits (we had a GREAT discussion) and write them down. Then come back here and share with us, adding value to others!