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Monday, October 5th 2009

12:09 AM

Is your child a follower or a leader?

How do you cultivate a leader at home?  As I watch the way parents nurture their children’s personalities, I am beginning to understand the importance of exposing children to many influential people throughout their formative years.  We’ve had many opportunities to host pastors, missionaries, musicians and international guests.  And it has been a joy to watch these guests engage my children in conversation.  It stretches their worldview to talk to someone who has experienced life from a different perspective!  If I want to raise leaders in my family, then they need to observe a leader in action.  John Maxwell notes that The Law of Legacy takes place by reproducing qualities in others that will give them tools to succeed. 

What will it take for a child to succeed in life?  Survival skills, relational tools, a healthy self-esteem and a support system are all essential ingredients.  Last summer, we watched a transformation take place in our daughter when she worked in our friend’s business.  She worked hard and enjoyed having a paycheck.  But she also learned to interact with people and realized that she had something to contribute to the world.  It took her outside of our realm and placed her in an environment where she learned from a great leader.  And the experience enabled us to reap better conversations when she was at home!

How can we raise leaders?  First, by cultivating their potential lying dormant under the surface.  We’re not trying to replicate carbon copies of ourselves, but human beings who tap into their own personality strengths.  Second, by equipping our kids to fail in life.  Yes, you read that right!  When our children learn how to handle failure, then they will be able to pick themselves up when life knocks them off their feet.  And third, we’ll raise leaders when we place them in situations where others can impact them for good.  When my kids were little, I held a tight grip around them.  As they’ve grown, the process of letting go has released them to learn from many who have mentored them, challenged them and affirmed them.  Proverbs says to raise up a child in the way he should go, and as we study our kids, we will recognize the qualities that will lead to their own path in life.  And that’s the kind of support system they’ll need to succeed!


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