How to Help Your Teen Be a Leader

Not all teens accept their natural leadership skills right away—sometimes they need a little coaxing from parents, friends, community and teachers. And for others, leadership skills have to be learned traits. Here are some ways to encourage your teen to embrace their leadership skills, learn new ways to lead and take charge.

Be A Role Model

We often think of role models as being people who are older than us or who have more experience than we do. But a role model can be anyone, even your baby sister! Leaders are role models—they set a good example for others and strive to be and do their best, while encouraging others to do the same. If you, as a parent, are and act as a role model, your teen will naturally mimic your behaviors and become a role model themselves.

Accept Opportunities

Leaders don’t sit on the sidelines and watch things go past—they grab opportunities when they present themselves and make things happen. Help your teen to recognize these opportunities if they haven’t already noticed them themselves, and encourage them to take chances. Be careful not to go overboard and have them overloaded with commitments, but rather be able to recognize a good opportunity from a bad one.

Be Confident

Leaders have a lot of confidence—good confidence, which is not to be confused with arrogance or vanity. Teach your teen to be confident in their abilities, natural skills and accomplishments. This doesn’t mean praise them, but rather acknowledge their hard work and dedication so that they will be able to recognize that in others and return the acknowledgment.

shutterstock_210382045Image: MOSO IMAGE / Shutterstock

Have Goals

People who have natural leadership skills, or are learning new ones, often have very driven and dedicated work ethics. Setting goals is a great way to make sure that your teen is staying on track, continuing their achievements and taking steps in the right direction—toward success and their ultimate dreams.

Strengths and Weaknesses

We’re not all perfect and it’s important to remind ourselves of that from time to time. Being able to recognize our strengths and weaknesses and be OK with them is a very valuable trait to have and one that serves leaders well. Work with your teen to find their strengths and weaknesses—what needs to be worked on and what skills can they put to the test?

When talking to your teen about their leadership skills, make sure they are approaching their leadership from the right place, meaning a desire to help themselves and others, rather than from a place of arrogance. There are always things to learn as leaders and there are new things to be learned at different times, so take your time introducing new tips, rather than bombarding them all at once.

Feature Image: beornbjorn / Shutterstock