(photo compliments of Morguefile.com)
When my children were little, I was known as “Queen of a Hectic Schedule.” I kept super busy, but never felt like I accomplished anything.
What about you?
I was often in a hurry, driving the kids to activities, the library, the grocery store. I drove a mini van and the kids would ride along in the back seat. I was never tolerant of erratic drivers, or those who took forever to turn, or those who drove below the speed limit.
I’d say, “Come on, Buddy.” Or “Move it, Buddy!” And once in a while I’d say, “What a jerk!”
Then one day my five-year-old son, Ryan, was playing in the living room with two toy trucks. He slammed one into the other and said, “Move over, Jerk!”
That stopped me cold.
Children do what children see. Was I portraying the image of the person I wanted my child to see? If there was a video-recorder filming my life, my influence on my children, would I be proud of what that would look like?
I used to think that if I read enough parenting books I’d figure out how to be the most effective parent, but that wasn’t enough. When our son grew up to be a teenager he said, “You don’t even know how to parent. You have to read all those books to teach you how!”
He doesn’t remember saying that, and he has children of his own now, but I’ll never forget the feeling that I had no control over my children. I didn’t understand what I was lacking.
That is, until I started studying leadership. John Maxwell says, “Leadership is influence. Nothing more. Nothing less.”
I was leading my children in the game of LIFE and I had no road map. I didn’t understand how important self-leading was in raising my children. Since they do what they see, I needed to improve my skills.
How well you lead as a parent will determine how successful your children will be.
Some people are born with gifted leadership skills, but some aren’t. If your child is typically a follower, don’t despair. You can teach him or her how to increase their effectiveness by raising your awareness. Leadership skills can be learned!
The first place to start on this journey is with yourself.
Questions to ask yourself:
- What kind of leader are you now? Study leadership growth and reassess this in a month. Grade yourself.
- What could you improve on? Time management? Prioritizing? Accountability? Focusing?
- What kind of person do you want your child to grow up to be? Are you that person? What are you lacking?
- Where are you spending most of your money for your children? Is it on food, clothing, extracurricular activities? Is it for their college fund? What about increasing your budget for yourself? To make leadership growth a priority?
- Track your time. How much time are you spending with your children? Yes, they’re home with you, but how “present” are you in their lives? What are the actual minutes you spend developing them, showing them what’s important in life?
If this is something you want to do, then stick around. We’ll help lead the way to a better awareness. We’ll give you examples and study the principles of leadership.
Make LEADERSHIP an INTENTIONAL priority in your life. The best way to lead your child is to LEAD YOURSELF first.