Posts tagged ‘reasoning skills’

How to Raise Children to Be Good Leaders – #4 in Leadership Skills Series

So you have tried to create a home environment conducive to instilling leadership skills for all your children, whether they be preschoolers or teens. It’s been said that leadership starts at home and directly linked to early training. Experts disagree about how much leadership is inborn and how much is learned. I believe that it’s a combination of learning plus a child’s innate abilities.

If you’d like to do what you can to raise your children to be good leaders, here are some tips that may help.

Teach Them to Think

Some argue that the school system, whether it be public or private, teaches kids what to think rather than how to think. Common core curriculum has placed uniform requirements and testing standards on schools across the United States. There are likely exceptions to this – special schools and special teachers – but it’s entirely possible that your kids are not being taught how to think. So whether you homeschool or enroll your children in a traditional school setting, you might try some of these exercises to encourage independent thinking.

  • Give them an age-appropriate reading task that expresses a particular point of view. An opinion piece in the newspaper is a good place to start. Ask what your child thinks about it, and have him or her write an age-appropriate response. Do the same thing with an article that expresses a contrary or different opinion.
  • Encourage them to read about topics and books that covers a range of opinions and views.
  • Ask them if they agree or disagree, and why.
  • Any time your child reads something, ask him (or her) what he thinks about it. Find out what information he drew from the reading rather than finding out if he picked up what she was “supposed to” from the reading. Let them know it’s okay to disagree with parents and teachers. Encourage them to discuss the reasons behind their disagreement.

Leaders tend to be independent thinkers, so these exercises may go a long way toward teaching your child to be a good leader.

Teach Organization

This may be something of a challenge for parents who aren’t that organized themselves! On the other hand, for those parents who are very organized, you might find that you tend to organize everything for your kids without teaching them to do it themselves. Parents need to discover a comfortable balance between the two.

Give them a calendar and show them how to keep track of their own activities. Chore lists are an excellent way to help them organize their time. Age-appropriate chores and activities, written down or drawn on a calendar, can help kids “see” their time and how they are using it, even if they are too young to tell time yet.

Ask for Arguments

Huh! Are you joking with me? Ask your kids to talk back to you?

The art of arguing respectfully is an important leadership quality. We’re not talking about angry arguments. Think in terms of negotiation and persuasion. Ask your child to tell you why he (she) wants a certain thing, or why he should be permitted to attend an event or participate in an activity. This helps your children learn how to analyze his thoughts and present reasons that produce an argument to justify why he should achieve this goal.

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DOGGIE DILEMMA

I Want a Dog: My Opinion Essay The Read and Write Series

Written by Darcy Pattison

Illustrated by Ewa O’Neill

iwantadog

Clever and interesting way to discuss a subject that many families face. Dennis and his cousin Mellie both want a dog and have been emailing each other about what kind of dog to get. Now Dennis has been assigned a school essay to write about what kind of dog would be best for his family.

Mrs. Shirky informs Dennis that he must use criteria (reasons) to explain his choice. As the story continues, Dennis compares his criteria including size, energy, attention, exclusivity, training, grooming and others with the needs of his cousin, which are very different from his. At the end of the book the reader sees the essay Dennis wrote as well as the choices and names that he and Mellie picked. Lots of illustrations accompany the text as well as names and pictures of the most popular breeds of dogs.

Teachers could use this book as an interesting way to generate interest and jump start a personal essay lesson. While the pictures and concepts are simple, the actual writing lesson is more suitable for children in second through fourth grades. Parents who are contemplating adding a canine to their family could also use this story as an incentive to guide their final choice.

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