10 Effective Ways to Build Leadership Skills for Kids

Contrary to traditional beliefs, children are quite aware of leadership roles and the benefits of being a leader in a group. From an early age, children will form playgroups, usually with a leader who decides what to play and what to do. 

If your child possesses strong leadership skills, they are more likely to develop strong character as well as clear directions in life as they grow up. Children with good leadership skills are also able to help others reach their goals much quicker.

Educators have been searching for the most effective ways to teach leadership skills and instil a trailblazing spirit in children for decades.

Below are eight effective ways that have been proven to work.

1. Encouraging the Development of Self-Regulation and Personal Responsibility

Self-regulation and personal accountability are the two foremost qualities of every leader. Educators can promote the healthy development of self-regulation and personal responsibility through leadership games for kids.

Strategies to Teach Self-Regulation at School

One of the most effective strategies to teach self-regulation to children from an early age is through mindfulness exercises. Being mindful of themselves and their surroundings will help children appreciate the world around them even more and be more restrained when it comes to emotional outbursts. Some great mindfulness exercises include muscle relaxation training and heartbeat exercises.

Educators can also teach personal responsibility to children through stories as well as through setting goals. The goals here have to be realistic and simple, such as cleaning their room twice a week, and there should be some small incentives to help them. If the child manages to stick to the goals, they will be more aware of personal responsibility and will have a much easier time managing responsibilities as they grow older.

Strategies to Teach Self-Regulation at Home

Learning happens at home as well as at school, so parents can also chime in to help children learn self-regulation. Here are 4 ways to teach them about self-regulation at home:

  • Give a clear leadership definition for kids to help them understand this complex concept.
  • Set out a realistic goal for your children and monitor their progress.
  • Use positive reinforcement instead of disciplinary methods.
  • Try to give compliments to your children if they manage to keep up with the goals.

2. Promoting Empathy and Establishing Meaningful Connections

All great examples of child leadership, like Malala Yousafzai and Greta Thunberg, are empathetic leaders who inspire thousands of people to follow in their footsteps.

Empathy is a great tool, and children should learn to appreciate and adopt it from an early age to become better adults.

Empathy-Building Strategies at School

At international schools, educators teach empathy through community service projects to help children understand the perspectives and conditions of others. When engaging in these activities, children will understand that there are people from all walks of life with different circumstances, helping them to appreciate the differences and be more empathetic to the unfortunate.

Promoting Empathy and Establishing Meaningful Connections

Aside from community service activities, children at international schools will also have plenty of opportunities to read and discuss inspiring stories or books about compassion. A key difference here is that children will have a safer zone to voice their own opinions about the stories themselves.

Empathy-Building Strategies at Home

At home, parents should encourage children to volunteer for local community service programmes to help out their neighbours and the people around them. As they help people, children develop better empathy as well as emotional intelligence, enabling them to know when someone is in need of help.

Children are also naturally attuned to stories, so teaching empathy through this medium is another great approach. As the family sits down to enjoy a meal together, you could start with a fun story that tells children the benefits of being empathetic and then add some leadership quotes for kids. Remember that the story should not be too didactic!

3. Augmenting Communication Skills and Contributions in a Collaborative Environment

Every good leader knows how to communicate their ideas well, and children who learn these communication skills from an early age will be able to convey their ideas as well as arguments much better than their peers. Teaching children to contribute more in a collaborative environment will have the same effect as well.

Augmenting Communication Skills and Contributions in a Collaborative Environment

Communication Enhancement Strategies at School

Educators can help children develop communication skills through active listening lessons. Active listening differs from passive listening in that children will have to actively make an effort to understand the speaker’s points of view and emotions. Educators can also encourage children to speak up and articulate their ideas in front of their peers to train their confidence.

Communication Enhancement Strategies at Home

There are plenty of opportunities for children to train their communication skills at home, especially with their parents’ guidance. Some great leadership activities for kids include game nights, where children have to work closely with their team to win a game. You could also try to have heart-to-heart sharing sessions with your kids to encourage them to talk more. This is also a great chance to foster a strong familial bond between family members.

4. Building Confidence and Encouraging Risk-Taking

One of the key characteristics of leadership for kids is confidence. Confident children are much more likely to become leaders in all stages of life, which leads to even more success.

4. Building Confidence and Encouraging Risk-Taking

Promoting Initiative and Risk-Taking at School

A confident leader takes the initiative and is not afraid of taking risks when needed. At school, educators will provide plenty of opportunities and activities for children to take the lead. Good educators will also take these chances and push them to take the initiative, whether it is a game or a presentation in front of the class.

Promoting Initiative and Risk-Taking at Home

At home, parents could try to encourage children to take on new hobbies or new interests, which would require them to step out of their comfort zone and actively learn something new.

5. Promoting Teamwork Skills and Decision-Making Capabilities

Teamwork skills are important to every child, not just a good leader. What sets a leader apart is their capability to make decisions at crucial moments within a project.

Promoting Teamwork Skills and Decision-Making Capabilities

Teamwork-Building Activities at School

Schools will not lack teamwork-building activities for children. From learning activities to games, children will have to work with their classmates or teammates in order to be successful at school, presenting the perfect opportunity to train their teamwork skills. Educators can also organize team-building exercises to foster bonds between classmates.

Teamwork-Building Activities at Home

The whole family can organize teamwork-building activities as well, such as outings or short hiking trips, which require some degree of preparation, so children will have to learn to work with other family members as a team for the trip to be successful. Additionally, parents can empower siblings to share housework to improve their teamwork skills.

6. Stimulating Inspiration and Fostering Motivation Among Individuals

Children will need to find motivation and inspiration themselves first before they can instil these spirits in others. The beautiful thing about inspiration is that it can come from anywhere. Children only need to learn to realize it.

6. Stimulating Inspiration and Fostering Motivation Among Individuals

Motivation-Boosting Techniques at School

Motivation comes from positive reinforcement, and educators can boost a child’s confidence simply by acknowledging their academic achievements as well as behaviours. If they have been good kid, praises will go a long way! Educators can also help children set realistic goals and monitor them as a means to boost their motivation.

Motivation-Boosting Techniques at Home

Parents play a crucial role in helping children find motivation and inspiration, as they will spend most of their time with you. By practising positive reinforcement and guiding your children through a vision board, you will push them in the right direction and help them find their sources of inspiration.

7. Encouraging the Growth of Patience and Inclusivity

Patience is a great virtue, but it is also among the hardest to attain. Teaching children the value of patience and inclusivity requires patience from the educators as well as the parents themselves.

Encouraging the Growth of Patience and Inclusivity

Promoting Patience and Inclusivity at School

The best way for children to learn patience and inclusivity is by listening to their peers and seeing things from their perspectives. Educators could organize group discussions or storytelling sessions to let one child speak up and the others listen attentively. It is also a great idea to promote inclusivity activities at school so that every child feels welcome and safe to share their stories.

Promoting Patience and Inclusivity at Home

At home, parents could promote patience and inclusivity by being patient when rearing children instead of scolding or using discipline, which could backfire.

You could also discuss the value of patience with them and let them tell you what they think. Children will learn much quicker if they feel like being heard!

8. Enhancing Abilities in Conflict Resolution and the Development of Problem-Solving Skills

One of the most important leadership skills for kids is the ability to solve problems peacefully. This is an important skill that both educators and parents should not skip through.

Enhancing Abilities in Conflict Resolution and the Development of Problem-Solving Skills

Problem-Solving Skill Development at School

Aside from logic lessons or math lessons, which help children develop logical thinking capabilities, educators could encourage children to take part in puzzle games or challenges to improve their problem-solving skills. Alternatively, educators could create fun mystery challenges for the entire class to solve together to help train teamwork skills.

Problem-Solving Skill Development at Home

Even at home, parents can still help children develop through puzzles as well as fun activities. On weekends, you could organize a puzzle night and solve the puzzle together with the kids. Alternatively, you could sit down with the kids and talk to them about how they would solve daily problems in their lives.

9. Implementing Collaborative Problem-Solving Approaches

A great leader should always work together with others to solve problems, not alone. The two keys behind problem-solving skills are critical thinking and collaborative communication.

Implementing Collaborative Problem-Solving Approaches

Fostering Critical Thinking Through Collaborative Problem-Solving

Critical thinking is the key for children to find creative solutions to problems. To help promote children’s critical thinking in a collaborative environment, educators could create complex problems that require children to team up to find solutions. At the end of these sessions, there should be a reflective space for children to think about their approach to the problems and why they chose such an approach.

Developing Communication Skills in Collaborative Settings

Educators can also create collaborative settings for children to develop their communication skills together without friction. Storytelling sessions or discussions are the perfect opportunities for children to speak up as well as listen to others, helping them to gradually improve their communication skills.

10. Cultivating Active Listening and Comprehension Skills

With strong, active listening and comprehension skills, children will be able to solve problems quickly and help their peers more effectively, making them better leaders in the long run.

Cultivating Active Listening and Comprehension Skills

Activities at School

Schools offer much more opportunities for children to learn active listening and comprehension skills, as they can practice with their peers. Educators who wish to cultivate children’s comprehension skills can organize peer reading lessons, where one child will read a text aloud, and the others will summarize it. Other group activities with instructions will also be valuable assets for this particular skill set.

Activities at Home

At home, parents can help children develop active listening and comprehension skills by letting each family member read stories aloud. At the end of the session, prepare some fun questions to help children gain a better understanding of the stories themselves. Once the child has developed competent reading comprehension skills, you can read news articles and stories to them.

Great Environment Build Strong Leadership Skills for Your Child!

Nurturing future leaders starts at an early age, so you should consider a great environment such as UNIS Hanoi to help your kids grow into fearless leaders.

Great Environment Build Strong Leadership Skills for Your Child!

UNIS Hanoi offers a wide range of activities, both in academic lessons and co-curricular activities, that foster teamwork skills, communication skills, and leadership skills for kids.

Ready to set your child on a path to becoming a future leader? Contact our admission office now for more details!

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UNIS Communication Team
UNIS Communication Team
UNIS Hanoi is ever-evolving, but one thing that remains is our passion to nurture and equip students to be agents of change for a better world.

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