If you have a preschooler, you know that it’s important to teach leadership at a young age. It’s a skill they’ll need to possess, from day one all the way through the rest of their lives.
While I love this idea, I wasn’t sure I could do it on my own, so I’ve been doing some research to find out what the best methods were.
I’ve already decided that I’m getting some help teaching my daughters by signing them up for Girl Scouts.
When I was a little girl, the Girl Scouts were a powerful impact on me, giving me the opportunity to learn from local partners and experts which provided access to leaders and real-world experience I could see in action. I was able to go on adventures like camping and day-trips with my Troop that put me in situations I wouldn’t have otherwise been in, to gain valuable skills.
One time, I specifically remember going horseback riding with my Troop, and getting a chance to do something I’d always wanted to do–but was terrified of (yeah, big horse was scary, scary). Being given the opportunity to face that fear of the scary horse gave me a confidence and a knowledge that I CAN do things that are scary.
Based on my experience, Girl Scouts is a special organization that is specifically geared toward helping girls develop a foundation of confidence and leadership for success, both today and in the future.
But, in addition to signing my daughters up for Girl Scouts, I’ve already started to implement these 4 Easy Ways to Teach Leadership to Preschoolers. Girl Scouts is the premier organization for girls and the tips they share below is based from their research about early education .
They’re so simple, but will make a huge impact.
4 Easy Ways to Teach Leadership to Preschoolers
- Show Them. This is probably the number one way to teach a preschooler anything. They’re in a tactile stage and need to really be in a situation to learn things. They’ll probably be in that stage for a long time, too, as this won’t be something that just goes away. Learning by seeing is a great way for even adults to learn. If you don’t have a lot of leadership-viewing opportunities, you can volunteer. There are lots of opportunities to do so, like with the Girl Scouts or at your local food bank. Even taking her to the playground and walking them through the ropes of taking turns on in-demand equipment (like the slides or swings) gives the kiddo a change to build confidence and leadership skills.
- Talk to Them. When you’re not able to directly show your kiddos your leadership skills in action, it’s super easy to just talk to them, in normal conversation, about what it means to be a leader. Oftentimes, kids are fed information like “being bossy” or just being the “line leader” at school is being a leader. While we adults know there’s so much more to it. So, having those conversations and discussing what leading can really look like is sometimes more beneficial than you might realize.
- Give them Opportunities. This might be something you do already, but it may not. It all depends on your household dynamic. But letting the kids be the leader is an important way for them to learn what it really means. Some ideas would be to let them plan a meal and you ask them to guide you, or something similar. It doesn’t have to be big, although doing something big like enrolling them in Girl Scouts would definitely go a long way to teaching them about leadership. Another idea is teaching the generosity of being a leader in the community by giving. This can be donating to the food bank through the school’s food drive, or even having your kiddo go through their old clothes with you to donate and talking about how others may not have as much as you do, so giving helps them.
- Reinforce through Praise. This is super effective, if you don’t already know it. Kids take opportunities to lead all on their own all the time, but they may not realize that THAT is what they’re doing. So, directly praise the action and tell them, “you were being a good leader”. This will reinforce that this is the type of behavior you like to see–and they’ll continue to flex those leadership muscles! That’s how the patches work in Girl Scouts, as they’re a tangible positive reinforcement for having been a leader and made a decision to work hard toward a goal.
Genuinely, if you want your kiddos to become leaders, you should definitely find a way to plant those little seeds to build that long-term foundation.
For me, I’m reaching out to Girl Scouts. They’ve made it easier for parents (specifically busy moms like me) to spend time with their daughters and her friends as a troop leader by making meetings easy-to-execute. That way I can be a part of growing those future leaders
Because, that’s how it’s done–through volunteers. Without the support of local volunteers, Girl Scouts wouldn’t be able to support their mission of helping young girls to positively impact their communities and develop into our future leaders. So, volunteer today!
And, because they know girls, they know how to bring the progressive programming, critical development in STEM, outdoors, entrepreneurial and life skills, a girl needs to build confidence so she can thrive. Which makes them the best choice for our family and my daughters.
If you loved these 4 Easy Ways to Teach Leadership to Preschoolers, be sure to pin this to your favorite parenting or inspiration board on Pinterest.
And if you’re interested in volunteering, learn more here with the Girl Scouts and showing your kiddos what being a leader is all about, remember to check them out here.