For most of us, the fondest memories of our childhood, usually hovers around happy occasions: Those when we achieved something, when our ideas clicked or the times when we were honored. I myself still preserve the badge declaring ‘Squad Leader’ that I was given ages ago, when I was in class 3! The thrill of being in the limelight stimulates the oh-so-forgotten skills in the child. It serves as a wake-up alarm to an otherwise docile and resigned youngster.
“If you don’t agree with a rule, follow it, become the leader and change it.” This is an interesting quote that I read recently. On second thought, I find that this cannot be applied to the ‘rules’ of childhood –whether within the confines of his home or within the school premises. The child may resist a rule, but once he becomes the leader, he is almost always found to adhere to it or even surprisingly defends it, as
the sense of belonging clings to his mind, and
the sense of responsibility demands that he gets the team members to follow the same rules!
Some children appear to be born leaders, as they manifest ease in –
boldness in approach
Shakespeare would nod in agreement with you if you still look forward to making a somewhat-withdrawn-backbencher as Leader: Well, you are thrusting greatness on him, simply put. Go ahead! The child may be unwilling, anxious and panic-stricken. It is all the outcome of his low self-esteem. Still he deserves a chance — not one, but at least two with an interval of a couple of months.
The first stint as Leader could be too challenging to such a child. He could be overpowered by the mighty rest and hushed to his own corner. He could end up feeling miserable, unable to control the team, ending up as a failure. NO HARM. It is worth giving him time– about a couple of months– so that he gets the feel of the past, its advantages and shortcomings, and then to watch others handle the same challenges which branded him as a ‘failure’. The second spell after a meaningful break could bring out the best in him, as the observation period rings the bell in him:
He learns from his mistakes
He learns from others’ success and blunders.
He strives to keep up the role in order to continue to enjoy the importance.
He improves his performance in order to bridge the subordinates and higher authorities.
He learns the intricacies of the area of interest.
He finds an increased urge to keep up the winning spirit of his team members.
He even makes efforts to fine-tune the team members’ performance so as to gain credibility to his group.
In short, with a second chance, the child begins to accept himself as a potential leader and rises to the mark as to command the group. This time around, he certainly is more brisk and agile as his confidence level is amazingly high, at par with his sense of responsibility.
Well, what if your child is home-schooling? No problem, still! You may confer responsibilities on him and make him think independently. You may gauge his activities and guide him objectively. You may encourage him in multi-tasking or to bring out his best with reducing scale of time. Maybe he could trace the hidden skills of leadership in himself by tutoring a group of children who are younger to him.
Leadership helps an individual to mature and maturity makes him a better leader in every field. In academics, too.