by Dyan Eybergen
Good leaders must lead by example; and who is in a position to lead better than a parent? Through a parent’s actions, which are aligned with what they say, they become a person their children want to follow. When parents say one thing but do another, they erode trust – a critical element of productive leadership – and parenting.
Here are 10 of the dozens of ways to parent by example:
1. Take responsibility. As a parent when you haven’t handled a situation correctly, or made a mistake, or blamed a child without evidence, you can always go back and take ownership for what mistakes you made. Taking responsibility will go a long way in helping you to make amends and repair relationships.
2. Be truthful. Inaccurate representation affects everyone. Show that honesty really IS the best policy. And when your children tell the truth, no matter how insignificant, give positive reinforcement by appreciating their honesty.
3. Be courageous. Take calculated risks that demonstrate commitment to a larger purpose. Show consciousness for those less fortunate and bring awareness to the importance of servitude. Don’t be afraid to stand up for what you believe in; but do it with grace and respect.
4. Acknowledge failure. It makes it OK for your children to do the same. When we define failure as an extraordinary opportunity for learning, we create an atmosphere where it is alright to safely explore, take risks and learn from our mistakes.
5. Be persistent. Try, try again. Go over, under or around any hurdles to show that obstacles don’t define who you are. When things are important enough you make them a priority in your life no matter how hard you have to struggle to make something happen.
6. Create solutions. Don’t dwell on problems; instead be the first to offer solutions and then ask your team for more. Demonstrate to your children fair conflict resolution skills.
7. Listen. Ask questions. Seek to understand. You’ll receive valuable insights about your children and set a tone that encourages healthy dialogue; not to mention, you will also maintain their respect!
8. Delegate liberally. Encourage an atmosphere in which people can focus on their core strengths. Make it known that everyone in the family helps to keep the household functioning – chores are a natural part of living within a family unit.
9. Take care of yourself. Exercise, don’t overwork, and take a break. Teach your children to do the same. A balanced family, mentally and physically, is a successful family. Model it, encourage it, support it!
10. Roll up your sleeves. Help your children to accurately assess their abilities and manage their weaknesses. You’ll inspire greatness in your children when you actively pay attention to their strengths and interests and have realistic expectations of them.