If one is to lead, first they must learn to follow.
The school day is filled with activities. From handing out books to lining up after recess or even cleaning up after art class, children naturally work together in this environment to achieve their goals. School, for this reason, facilitates the birthing of leaders effectively. At home, like in the classroom, there are things to do: dishes to clean; laundry to be folded and; cars to wash.
So, how do we bring the idea of leadership into this environment?
When the teacher is choosing eraser leaders( distrube erasers) or schedule leaders( update the schedule on white board), it is only natural for them to choose children who have shown the capability to handle responsibility. In classroom, it is important to acknowledge leadership but, more so, to show what earns thats authority. We can explain to children that a leader was chosen because they were able to follow well the last time. Through seeing this example, children can earn their place as leaders. We encourage them to be role-models to each other, so that each may earn the right to lead in their particular areas.
This originates from the home. When a child shows that they can control their use of the television, or that they understand that dishes should be taken to the kitchen, they can be allowed to take charge of these things. As parents, it should be our duty to encourage responsibility so that our children can effectively lead.
On school trips, teachers, confident that parents have taught road safety, can assign big brothers or sisters to mind of smaller children. Of course, this is not a responsibility to be given over wholly but can serve as a reminder that those who understand how to care for the interests of another are able to enact it in practice. While a parent may hold their child’s hand and look both ways when crossing the road, a child can do the same in a similar situation.
This goes beyond just safety though. It is imperative to development too.
When placed in group environments, young leaders can emerge. Those who are able to steer a group in the right direction; who can harness the ideas of other team members; who take the time to count everyone’s opinion; can lead their group to success. We build this through encouraging listening, fairness and open-mindedness at home.