A Quick Parent’s Guide to Cultivating Leadership in Your Kids

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Did you know that kids can start developing leadership qualities as early as their preschool years?The sooner children learn to use their leadership skills the more opportunities for success they will have.

Consider the follow strategies to help your children take command of their lives and grow up to be more productive and happy.

Understanding the Basic Principles of Leadership

  1. Develop emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence is the basis for sound leadership. Kids can work on accurately identifying specific feelings in themselves and others and managing them constructively. This way they’ll solve emotional issues more easily, get along better with others and avoid destructive behavior.

  2. Generate compassion. Keep the focus on caring for others. Let your children know that the purpose of becoming more influential is to have a positive impact on society. Life is full of opportunities to serve others and recognize that we’re all connected.

  3. Take charge of your life. Show kids they can take an active role in making things happen. Help them to understand that they create their own outcomes rather than viewing life as something that happens to them.

Leadership Development Strategies for Younger Children

  1. Delay gratification. There are valuable life lessons in learning to plan ahead and work for rewards. For example, help your kids to understand that by going to bed on time, they get a longer bedtime story.

  2. Learn to read emotions in faces. It’s important to become sensitive to non-verbal cues. Play games with your own facial expressions or you can draw pictures. Discuss how someone may look if they were preparing to eat an ice cream cone versus surprised by a loud noise.

  3. Choose your words carefully. Encourage kids to select words that convey their affection for others. Ask them to talk about what they like about their siblings or friends.

  4. Practice teamwork. Demonstrate that it’s fun and effective to cooperate with others. Spend time washing dishes or picking up toys together. Sign up for softball or split up into teams for playing charades.

Mind your manners. Show kids how to act appropriately in different social situations. Praise your kids for mastering basic table manners and acting as gracious hosts when you have guests in your home.

Getting your kids off to a good start with leadership skills can create a better life for them and help them to become a positive influence on others. When children learn to manage themselves and get along with others, they’re better prepared for happiness and success.

And the most important is to be leaders ourselves and teach kids by example!

What are some ways you teach leadership skills to your children? Please comment below.

9 Ways to Develop Daily Discipline

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Discipline is something we all wish we had a little more of. With discipline, losing weight, going to the gym, and flossing regularly are a piece of cake. Goals are achieved, and we feel good about ourselves when we exercise discipline.

You’re also less susceptible to your impulses and emotions when you have a high level of discipline.

Use these techniques to gain the discipline necessary to control your behavior and achieve your goals:

  1. Make your bed. It’s a simple thing, but if you’re like most people, you either don’t do it or you don’t do it well. When you’re rushing around getting ready for work, you don’t feel like making your bed. But when you make your bed, you start out the day with a win, and this can alter the rest of your day for the better.

  2. Take a cold shower. There are health benefits to cold water, and you’ll save a little bit of money on the utility bill. Get under that stream of cold water and take your normal shower. You’ll be surprised how easy it is after a week or so. If you can stand a cold shower, you can take on the world.

  3. Eat a super healthy breakfast. Decide on the healthiest breakfast that can possibly be created within your budget. Now, eat it every day. The healthiest breakfast is the healthiest breakfast. It’s not just the healthiest breakfast you would enjoy. This is the meal equivalent of a cold shower.

  4. Create a to-do list each day and complete it. Avoid making an endless list of items to complete but create a reasonable list. Don’t allow yourself to go to bed until it’s completed. One night with only three hours of sleep will teach you to take yourself seriously.

  5. Determine your motivation for doing something. One way to stay the course is to understand the value in what you’re doing. Going to your night class might be a drag, but if you remind yourself that you’ll ultimately become a nurse and help people, you’ll have the discipline to keep showing up.

  6. Have a plan for what you’ll do when your discipline falters. Suppose you’re going a party and you want to stick to your diet. Have a plan for what you’ll do when faced with delicious, unhealthy snacks. You might decide that you’ll drink a glass of water or eat the apple that you brought with you but have a plan.

  7. Become a master at finishing. Whatever you start, finish. Get the job done. You might feel like finishing the laundry or writing a book report tomorrow, but get it done today. So many people leave things 10% incomplete. Overcome the urge to put it off and just finish it.

  8. Eliminate temptations and distractions. Why make life harder than it has to be? Temptations and distractions can include ice cream, Facebook, or your cell phone. Discipline is easier to exercise when there are fewer distractions.

  9. Brush your teeth at least twice each day and floss. Poor oral hygiene can be extremely unhealthy. It’s a simple thing with great benefits. It’s also boring. Take care of your mouth each day whether you feel like it or not.

How much more could you achieve if you had more discipline? You know what you want and how to get it. With all the information available today, it’s not hard to figure out how to get what you want. The challenge lies in controlling yourself. It’s making the cold calls or skipping the hot fudge sundaes.

Discipline may be the missing ingredient in your quest for success!

What are some things you would like to be more disciplined about? Please comment below.

Why You Procrastinate and How to Overcome It

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Procrastination…

You procrastinate because the thought of taking a certain action makes you feel bad. There are lots of actions that give us that “Ugh” feeling when we even think about doing them. The unpleasant action could be going to the gym, doing your taxes, making an unpleasant phone call, or scrubbing the toilet.

So, procrastination isn’t really an issue of laziness. It’s an emotional issue. Your brain predicts that you’re going to experience a negative emotion and does its best to help you avoid it.

However, you don’t have to allow your emotions to guide you. They’re merely suggestions you can choose to follow or reject. It’s not easy to take an action that feels uncomfortable, but it can be done.

Even if you procrastinate, you’ll eventually feel even worse about not taking the appropriate action! Why not save yourself some time and drama and just do it now?

Sometimes it’s okay to procrastinate, but there are other times that it would be best to take action immediately.

So, what can you do to mitigate procrastination?

Try these tips to overcome procrastination:

  1. Focus on the physical sensation. When you think about doing the thing you don’t want to do, it creates a feeling in your body. Notice where you feel that negative sensation. How would you describe it?

    1. Focus on the area of your body where you feel the sensation and see what happens to that physical sensation. See how long that feeling lasts.

    1. Once you see how this feeling dissipates in a short time, it will be easier to handle it or even disregard it in the future.

  2. Find an easier way to do the task. Maybe there’s a better or easier way to do what needs to be done. Some tasks are just so big they’re intimidating to even consider.

    Can you do a little each day until it’s done? Is there a special tool you can rent? Hire someone else to do it?

  1. Promise yourself a reward after the task is complete. Maybe all you need is an ice cream cone (pick your favorite fruit instead to feel even better!), a massage, or a new book to inspire you to get busy and take action. A reward can be a powerful motivator.

  2. Think of how great you’ll feel after completing the task. There are few feelings better than completing a dreaded task. It’s such a relief to put it behind you.

    Instead of focusing on how awful it will be to do it, focus on how awesome you’ll feel when it’s done.

  3. Start small. Plan to work on it for just five minutes. Promise yourself that’s all you have to do and then you’ll give yourself a break. You might find that it’s easy to continue after you get started.

    Getting started can be the most challenging part of accomplishing just about anything.

  1. Get help. Do you know someone that can help you? Having some company can make unpleasant tasks more tolerable. Find a friend to help, and you’ll get done twice as fast. Better yet, find five friends and make a party out of it! Unpleasant tasks are less miserable when you have company.

  2. Be tough. There are some tasks that simply have to be done even if you don’t want to do them. Summon your inner gladiator and overcome your resistance. Just get it done.

Everyone has the urge to procrastinate. One thing that separates successful people from the masses is the ability to overcome this urge.

We procrastinate because the thought of doing the task is unpleasant. There are ways to minimize the discomfort of performing a task. Seek out these ways.

Focus on the benefits of taking action, get your work done, and give yourself a little reward. You’ll feel great when it’s over.

Wake Up, Mama!

So I’m sitting here with my morning coffee and thinking, What a day I had yesterday

My son, Noah, had at least 10 tantrums, which was unusual, and at one point, I was just ready to flip out and had to just walk away, except he followed me to the kitchen, bawling his eyes out, and grabbing my leg. I looked down at him and his little face, and my heart just melted. Must be tough to be in a bad mood all day and not knowing how to deal with those emotions. So I picked him up, told him I loved him, walked around with him for about 3 minutes, just giving him kisses and hugs, and he fell asleep with his little angelic smile on. I laid down next to him and nothing else mattered. He just wanted to be loved on all day by his mama…

I spent the rest of the day thinking about how irritated I was because of his constant wining that day, but then I thought of myself having those days occasionally when nothing just seems right. We get so upset at our children for being extra needy sometimes that we turn to some unhealthy stress relievers like sweets, cigarettes, alcohol, or binge shopping–just to make ourselves feel better. Or we snap or yell at our kids, or even spank them in the heat of the moment. Or we do both. Afterwards, we feel guilty about eating that extra piece of cake and gaining that extra pound, in addition to feeling guilty about snapping at the child. So it goes… that vicious cycle that repeats itself. And no one is truly happy, and no one’s need is met.

What if there was a better way? What would it look like?

I remember my mom beating me up just this one time when I was fairly young because I was refusing to leave the house when it was time to go. That was the only, and the most memorable time that got imprinted in my memory from that age. After that, I was always an obedient girl. It wasn’t typical behavior for mom, so I wasn’t used to that. It hurt deeply though. I learned my lesson quickly and never did that again. What if my mom just sat down with me, hugged me tight and talked to me for a couple of minutes instead? Maybe she would be a few minutes late wherever she was supposed to be, but we would have preserved the same sweet relationship as before. Wouldn’t that be worth it?

By refusing our kids love (at any age) at their ugliest or neediest moments, we show them that they are only valued when they act like good little boys and girls, and that their negative feelings are not acceptable, and that their need for our attention is not ok. They look at how we deal with stressful situations, and they learn from us, which then causes all kinds of havoc in their lives when they grow up. For example, they can become too controlling in their relationships, or angry and lash out at others, or turn to self-destructive behaviors because they don’t know how to accept and validate their own feelings when life gets hard, so they go numb.

What if I am having a bad day and complain to my husband and just act needy, but what he does is reject my “wining”, not pay any attention to me, or raise his voice to “stop being a baby” and goes out with his buddies to a local bar? Is our relationship going to grow stronger? Am I going to feel better? Or, what if he just hugged me for a few minutes and said, “Sorry, baby, your day is not going so well. Is there anything I can do to make you feel better?” How would that change the whole situation. Just having your loved one acknowledge your feeling can make a whole world of difference. Maybe, you will forget all about having a bad day, but smile and say, “Let’s do something fun together! It’s really not that bad anymore.”

Now, of course, wining and tantrums shouldn’t become such a habit that we just get manipulated on a regular basis. There should be certain limits, but my belief is that as mothers, we should really take care of our own emotional health first, so that we learn better, healthier ways to manage stressful situations and not be left feeling guilty afterwards. Our children will learn from us and then teach the same habits, whether good or bad, their own children.

So wake up, mamas! Let’s take care of ourselves and love and nurture our children, whether they behave or not. They will remember love and hurt forever…

Please comment. What are the different ways that you deal with stressful situations when it comes to your little ones? If unhealthy, how does this make you feel afterwards? What do you wish you could do differently?

#motherhood, #habits, #stressmanagement, #love, #nurturing, #emotionalhealth, #relationships, #childrenneedlove