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How to Cultivate the Unique Qualities of a Child Leader

Feb 24, 2023 | 0 comments

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Feb 24, 2023 | Essays | 0 comments

When a child is born, each and every parent believes that there’s something unique about the new born. From the first day, we parents often feel we can immediately identify unique talents and skills that set them apart. Being objective when it comes to your own child is quite difficult. Often, we parents are tempted to exaggerate the qualities of our children. My son (Insert name of child) is a young exciting boy who has managed to change my life. When I sat down to write about him, the hardest part was not finding the right words and expressions to describe him but rather the challenge was ensuring that I did not exceed the required amount of text.

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My son is like any other normal boy, enjoying most things that little boys do. He spends hours on the seeing set in our backyard, sometimes swinging for hours. He enjoys play group perhaps more than any other activity in his schedule. Play group is so exciting for him, that he will dress, prepare and pack his things hours before we have to leave the house. Last month in an exciting episode, he actually offered to help me complete the household chores, wash his clothes and vacuum the floor so that we could leave for play group earlier. It is not just play group that he adores, he also loves spending time in the kitchen cooking. Yes, this is one of the most unique things about him. He is always stirring something, kneading flour and if your eyes are turned from he or the house suddenly goes very quiet you are most likely to find him in the kitchen attempting to prepare lunch or dinner.

Meet, (Insert Name of Child) the Leader

When thinking about my son as a leader, I have come to the conclusion that he posses the innate talent and skill to be a great leader one day. However, like all other young children like him such skill and character needs to be shaped and restructured so that the young boy can be molded into the kind of leaders we pray and dream of. While he is often driven by what people think of him, for example always seeking approval from myself or his dad; he is quite stubborn in his own way. When he is punished for a mistake, he will ask, “Are you happy at me?” Of course this question is not put across with uncertainty, as with most young boys his age but rather with the charm that comes naturally to him. During his time out, he will smile at me, eyes twinkling and a sloppy sided expression asking: “do you love me mommy?” or “can I kiss you during time out?” Perhaps as a country we could use this talent to get ourselves out of wars and negotiations with terrorists. Leaders are often faced with challenges which they must face head on, ad whereas there are times when decisiveness is the way to go, some situations can be dissolved by simple charm.

I often observe our president, the most powerful man in the world and cannot fail to see his charm. I wonder if his mum can tell stories such as mine, learning earlier on that time out brings out the best charm in the young man.

Defends his own ideas

Majority of the time, we as parents favor children in the family who rarely talk back ad are often seeking our advice. As a parent, we want to fell competent that we are equally important in this world. This does not mean that we hate independence in children; it’s just that our innate nature is to want to be needed. My son is never afraid to voice his opinion especially when things are not going in what he thinks should be the right direction. This morning for example, there was no toast (his breakfast favorite). After a quite convincing discussion, I cited the importance of oatmeal for breakfast. He ate the oats, but for every guest who has come into our house today, he has voiced his disappointment in the fact that there was no toast for breakfast. At play group, due to persistence, and simply stating what he thought was right; he helped a little girl make friends. Some mothers may think of him as rude and lacking in civility, but the ability to simply state his mind should be celebrated.

. When his mind is set on something he will nag, pester and point out reasons why he should be considered. My husband often calls him, the immovable object and we are the irresistible force. It is important to note that while he is quite stubborn often, his democratic nature wins and tires out the stubbornness. Perhaps for example, he wants an expensive toy from the supermarket. He will nag though not by throwing tantrums (I am thankful he has outlived them), pester me and point out how the toy will be of benefit to me (rather than him). In the past, it was in my nature to ignore him, hoping that by the time we get home he will have forgotten or he is too tired that all he will want is a snack and a nap. However, I quickly learnt that when ignored my son becomes even stronger and stubborn. He will not let the issue go. Today, however all I need to do is take time from the shopping just a few minutes to explain why he cannot have the toy here and now. He often listens, asks a few questions and if am convincing that will be the last I will hear of it. Because he conveniently likes to voice his opinion, he is also quite good at listening to the opinions of others.

I look with pity at parents who are often too embarrassed to look anyone in the face as they drag a tantrum throwing child behind them. You may imagine that my son never had any tantrums, and though I would like this to be true; there was a time when going to the store with him brought on serious heart palpitations bordering on a heart attack. However, we were consistent with behavior enhancement in the store. If he threw a tantrum, we would leave the store and go for a time out or another sort of punishment. Consistency paid off, and today, my husband and I are reaping the benefits of the discipline we instilled. No child is un-teachable; all children can learn good behavior. Often when they are misbehaving, they are testing the boundaries that we have set for them. Consistency is the key, no matter how bad the situation gets because relenting will lead to total failure.

Hard Won Satisfaction

As I watch today’s generation, I have come to realize that we indeed have a problem. Today’s children do not understand the value of hardwork. Instead, they always take the easy way out. The rise in teenage crime is a good example of the shortcuts they prefer to true hardwork. Of course we all want our children to be hardworking. However, we often make excuses for them and in doing so forget to teach them the strongest value that is hardwork. Hardwork is bout acknowledging the value of our own satisfaction. Often, even as adults we are tempted to take the shortest path to the greatest satisfaction. Hardwork is not just about waking up and doing a lot of things, and finally lying in bed exhausted. It is also about the results that come from working hard such as the satisfaction of knowing that all you have, you got honestly.

Last summer, my husband and I made our attempt at bringing up a responsible young man. My son had pestered us for a new bike, simply because he did not like the old red bike. Apparently, one of the boys at play group had called the bike “girly” and now my son had become allergic to it. He had resorted to praying fervently, within our ear shot of course for a new bike. Of course, in his little mind we were just delaying the purchase to punish him. My husband felt that the little guy did not understand the value of money and hardwork. The old was actually much newer than he indicated. So in an effort to teach a lesson, we told him he could buy the bike if he found a way to save up money for it. Unfortunately, the poor guy took it to heart, saving all our coins. For weeks, we could not find a coin in the house. Money for sweets was put in the piggy bank and after a while the little elephant was so heavy. Seeing as we had made a promise, we walked to the store and bought a blue shiny bike. At play group the next day, he could not hide the grin. He was so proud of the bike which he had bought for himself. He has now began saving, to purchase a new car. Apparently, he wants to ride on his own like the super heroes in his cartoons. I do not have the heart to tell him that it will take at least 15 years to reach his goal. My son has finally discovered the secret that after hardwork, with challenges and sacrifices: rewards however small become sweeter. The next generation will of course be much better if children not only understand but also value hardwork. It cannot start early enough, as soon as children can understand; it is our responsibility to instill hard work as a core element in their lives.

Total comprehension of knowledge vs. responsibility

In bringing up a child, the biggest challenge has been training him on responsibilities. There are too many cases in the modern world, where irresponsibility has caused serious problems. Increase in crime, cases of teenage parenting and even absentee parents all point to a society where responsibility is not of great value. Responsibility is not just about doing what is expected but rather having the knowledge of what is expected. As a parent am tempted to state ambiguously that my son is absolutely responsible, that he does what he is expected when he is expected to. However, just this morning I caught him being slightly off mark, and this not a onetime occasion. Before coming down for a snack or a short walk, he is expected to put away his toys. This morning knowing I was overwhelmed with several tasks, he threw the toys under the bed and indicated he had indeed returned each item where it should be. Such dishonesty stems from simple laziness or maybe what he considers a tight schedule: cartoons play group and naps take too much time. Each individual has an element of irresponsibility and carelessness; some grow this element focusing on it instead of focusing on becoming more responsible. Responsibility is about understanding when you have not met the expectations of others.

Sometimes, we are tempted to take the easiest way out. This is like my son telling me, he has put away all his toys when they are actually under his bed. However, once we have taken the shortcut, we can become guilty and opt to come clean or correct the situation. In essence, we recognize that what we have done is wrong and could have serious implications on our relationships with others in terms of trust. So what happened after the episode, I later found my son cleaning his room and putting his toys way properly. Having thought that was the end of the matter, I was shocked and indeed entertained to find him in the “time out” area. He had done something bad, and even though I had let it pass, he could not. He needed to be punished, even if he was going to punish himself.

As a leader, subordinates need to be able to look up to you in terms of completing their duties. In this, you need to be completely responsible, not because society calls upon you to be responsible but because, it is ingrained in you to be responsible. Responsibility is a part of you rather than a demand placed on you by the society. With a bit of toning, exercise and consistently, I believe that my son will develop into a mature, responsible man.

Delay gratification

Perhaps, the one thing that is common with toddlers is that they want something and they want it immediately. Delays do not feature anywhere in their schedules. Mothers are often running around trying to meet the demands of a two year boss who wants things done yesterday. I am not any different, much as I would like to be. There are many times when I spend hours playing hide and seek, when I would rather be cleaning or doing something more adult-like. For such a demanding child, he is learning and in fact has come close to mastering the art of delayed satisfaction, perhaps too much.

For example, two days ago we were on our way to vats a relative who lived a bit far off. Normally, he has his peanut and jam sandwich (he is a creature of routine) right before leaving the house. However, on this particular day, he knew that his aunt always makes a delicious fruit cake for him. I tried forcing down the sandwich, so that we should leave but he was well prepared with academic arguments. He clearly stated that not only would his stomach be upset, but he would prefer to wait until the fruit cake was served foregoing even the lunch set before him. A similar episode took place in the store, when we went shopping. He had cajoled money from his father to purchase what he thought was the coolest action figure. When we arrived at the store, he found an even better, more unique action figure that could do much more but cost much more than he had. Seeing as I did not have extra cash to spare and especially for a toy, I advice him to purchase the older toy. However, despite many children walking by and throwing tantrums; he quietly requested to wait until mummy could find enough money to purchase the newer version. We left and went home, quietly without any tantrums; of course we were back in the store the following day to get the toy.


I would like for you to have an opportunity to meet this amazing toddler who has completely changed my world view. I know that with his innate character and natural abilities, he can be molded into becoming an influential person in the community. I look forward to seeing him mature into a responsible adult, who will definitely stand out from the crowd at least to me.

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