As a parent, you play a crucial role in shaping your children's lives. Your influence as a leader is undeniable. I embarked on my journey as a Leadership Coach for teens in October 2020, but my journey as a parent began in December 2017. Initially, I didn't realize the leadership role I had in both of these positions, but I soon discovered that our children struggle to see themselves as leaders for the same reasons.
So, what does this mean for you as a parent? It means that if we want our children to embrace their leadership potential (and let's face it, you wouldn't be reading this if you didn't), we must first acknowledge and embrace our role as leaders.
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Unfortunately, there are many myths surrounding leadership that hold us back from fully embracing this identity. We often believe that leaders are perfect, that they have a title, or that leadership skills are innate. Read more about these myths here: Leadership Myths. These misconceptions prevent parents from seeing themselves as leaders, and consequently, our children struggle to see themselves in that light as well. It's not enough to tell them to take on roles that require them to step out of their comfort zones; we must lead by example.
But here's the solution: the only requirement for being a leader is the ability to make decisions. Once we realize this simple truth, we can see how often we are already fulfilling this role for ourselves, as well as for our children and families. You are a leader of utmost importance, especially in the lives of the children you are raising. Embracing your leadership role allows you to stand a little taller and reassess those myths that often trip up parents. One common myth is the belief that leaders need to be perfect.
Let's be real here: no parent is perfect. Even those seemingly flawless individuals we follow on social media, who always present their children in picture-perfect moments, make mistakes. Parenting is a constant learning process, and we make mistakes all the time. And you know what? That's absolutely okay! In fact, it's crucial that we let our children know that we make mistakes too. They are already aware of it, but they may not know that we are willing to admit our mistakes. Building a strong relationship with our children involves showing them that we are not perfect. This doesn't mean making sarcastic remarks or waiting for an obvious blunder to occur. Instead, it means humbly sharing with them when we've made a mistake in our parenting decisions. We made those decisions based on the information available at the time, but we now understand that they weren't the best choices.
Allow me to illustrate this point with a personal example from my own experience. I am a dedicated small business owner who deeply values my family's support and confidence in me. Recently, I planned a special trip to express my gratitude, ensuring it aligned with everyone's schedule. However, I overlooked a major conflict: my child's important sporting event. Sadly, this made them feel neglected and as if their passion wasn't important to me. Initially, I didn't fully grasp the significance of their event and dismissed their feelings, believing my plans were justified. Looking back, I realize this was a tremendous mistake on my part as a parent.
Over the past couple of weeks, I experienced a mix of emotions. I was hurt that my child appeared selfish, and I failed to admit my wrongdoing. Our disagreements escalated into fights until it finally hit me that I needed to acknowledge the importance of this competition to them. Even though adjusting our vacation plans financially was not feasible, what truly mattered was demonstrating that my child's happiness mattered to me above all else.
While I explored the possibility of rescheduling the vacation, it became clear that shifting the dates was not an option. However, what I could do was ensure open communication and express to my child how much they truly meant to me. I needed to convey that their interests and passions held immense value and were worthy of my consideration.
The result was that my child felt seen, and heard. I felt a strong connection to them, and I demonstrated that we all make mistakes - even when they are not intentional mistakes can have an impact, and being able to accept that impact can go a long way in growing a relationship with others in our lives, most importantly, our children!
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leadership skills for your children - and improve your own today!