Empowering School-Age Children For Leadership Success by Dr. Linette Daniels
“I believe that given the right space, tools and training ALL youth can succeed!”
Leadership is the key to success in life and those who have achieved success have reached the top by displaying leadership qualities. In an effort to promote leadership success among the youth in your group, you must make opportunities for leadership available.
The following suggests are ways you can help young people develop leadership skills.
- Allow school-agers to make decisions. This is a hard one for some adults to accept. However, to develop leadership skills, youth need to make decisions. Even the smallest decisions will help prepare them for the future. Not allowing school-agers to make decisions will hinder their ability to be successful. Remember, practice makes better.
- Encourage school-agers to take on leadership roles. When the opportunity presents itself, encourage the kids in your group to take on leadership roles. This can be in the form of being team captain, running errands, or taking the lead on a group project. Encouragement will go a long way. If a child knows you believe in him, he will believe in himself.
- Give school-agers opportunities to practice. Too many youth are getting by without assuming any real responsibility. If leadership is going to be a lifestyle, youth must realize that they, too, are held accountable. Examples of this can be making good choices, being a peacemaker with friends, following directions, etc. BUT, you must also allow them to experience the consequences when they fail to act responsibly.
Teaching leadership is actually easier than it sounds.
Give these group activities a try. They are loads of fun.
Blindfold everyone in the group. Whisper to each person a number from one to the number of persons in the group. After you are done, tell the players they must line up by consecutive numbers without talking. Everyone should begin to move slowly around each other, putting palms up facing outward to protect themselves from collisions.
A group of six to 12 people forms a circle. Each person puts the right hand into the center of the circle and clasps hands with one other person who is not standing next to him or her. Then everyone puts their left hand into the circle and clasps hands, again making sure that person is not standing next to them. They should be holding two different people’s hands. The goal is to untangle the knot without letting go of anyone’s hand.
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