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This week at Kid Ventures, we are focusing on leadership.  It’s our word of the week and to us, leadership is: the action of leading a group of people or an organization.

Kid Ventures Blog

As parents, how do you cultivate leadership in your children without pigeon-holing them or pushing them to be something they aren’t?

Kathy Caprino, contributor to Forbes, has written a series of articles on successful parenting and lays out some great tips on the do’s and don’ts of cultivating leadership.  Here are the highlights:

DO: Develop a “growth” mindset

Attitude is more valuable than aptitude.  You can help your child develop a perspective of continually striving to learn and better themselves by praising attributes that they can control, like honesty or hard work, rather than things they’ve been born with, like smarts or looks.

DON’T: Rescue too quickly 

Short-term parenting makes it tempting to swoop in and save our kids when they get into trouble or hard times.  However, this denies them the opportunities of navigating those situations and teaches them that whenever things get rough, an adult will come in, fix the problem, and remove  the consequences.

DO:  Learn about the realities of money

With online purchases and credit cards, it’s easy for kids not to understand the connection between buying things and spending money.  Remove the taboo from talking about money with your kids, invite them to help you pay the bills, and they will learn the value of a dollar much quicker.

DON’T: Let guilt get in the way of leading well

We love this quote from Kathy: “If your relationship is based on material rewards, kids will experience neither intrinsic motivation nor unconditional love.”  It’s okay and good to say “no” and “not now” sometimes, even if your kids give you a 5-day guilt trip about it.   True leaders know that success is determinant on one’s own actions and good deeds, and not doling out rewards for everything can go a long way in teaching that.

How does your family practice and teach leadership?  We’d love to hear your thoughts!