The Benefits of Teaching Your Kid to Lead vs. Follow 

A group of school children playing in the woods while on a field trip.

One of the hardest parts of parenthood is raising your children to be self-reliant, confident & self-assured. While for some kids leadership comes naturally, others have to be taught to lead.

Here are some benefits to teaching your kids how to lead instead of follow:

teaching your kids to lead - The everyday mom life

Reminds them that Doing the Right Thing Doesn’t Always Feel Good

I work in a middle school. I’ve heard kids say, “Snitches get stitches.” Even when kids are reporting legitimate concerns, the other kids view them as a snitch. As a school counselor, I always commend and support the child who reports something. I tell them that they are the reason our school can remain safe.

But sometimes, kids don’t always feel good about doing the right thing due to how they may be treated by their peers. It’s our job as parents to instill healthy morals & values into our children, despite what the majority of their peers are doing. It’s much easier to follow instead of lead.

Doing the right thing isn’t always fun.

Increases Confidence

Growing up, I remember my parents always told me, “You don’t go to school to make friends.”

I thought that was the most thoughtless, heartless advice they could give me. This response was usually after I complained about girls not liking me.

I lacked confidence through much of my middle and high school years, often comparing myself to others based on superficial measures.

As a young adult, I slowly became confident in the person I was from the inside out. I knew that when I had children, I would work hard to instill sense of self-assurance in them. Self-assurance pushes them to make the hard decisions — decisions that may mean standing alone.

Teaches Them to be a Lead, Not Follow

My oldest is five, and she can be pretty bossy. She will sometimes complain that she had no one to play with at recess. The more we talk, the more I realize that having no one to play with wasn’t the issue, rather no one wanted to play what she wanted, so she chose to play alone.

I use those moments as teachable lessons. Either you play with friends and take turns picking what you will play, or you be content

Empowers Them to Dream Big

Remind your kids that they can do anything they put their mind to. Encourage them to use their imaginations, and if a current job doesn’t exist, create one!

Being a leader means having big ideas that sometimes only you believe in. Teach them to be confident in the skills they possess.

What do you think is the hardest part about raising a leader?

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  1. I don’t have any kids of my own, by I was a teacher for years and I strived to teach leadership in my classroom. It is JUST as important as academics, in my opinion.

  2. Great post and oh so relevant for me. I have a 6 and 3 year old. The hardest part for me is watching my daughter process those not so good feels that sometimes come up when doing the right thing sucks. Kids can be mean and emotions can be confusing. But gotta push through. 🙂

  3. This is such a wonderful way to teach kids not to follow their peers and be confident about making their own decisions. It’s something that they can learn from and use until they’re so much older. They will be less likely to succumb to peer pressure this way.


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