Developing Confidence and Leadership Qualities in Children
Building confidence and honing your leadership skills can lay the foundation for success in school, at home, and in the world at large. That’s why parents and teachers often encourage joining in activities, clubs, or sports teams which can help you be more confident and can turn kids into more responsible citizens. The knowledge and experience that you gain from these activities can last well into your adulthood; they can even help you get into college or convince companies to hire you for your dream job. No matter what age you are, you can take charge of your future by improving your self-esteem and becoming a leader. While learning these skills, remember to fairly assess your progress. Be proud of what you have achieved and note what you still have to work on to become the best version of yourself!
Take the Lead at School
- Volunteer to be the “point person” for school projects. Group projects will often need someone to be the leader, and when you step up to do it, you can make sure that everyone does their fair share of the work and the group gets the best grade possible.
- Join a sports team. You might test our your leadership skills as a team captain, or you might see if you can help the coach by being in charge of making sure that the team has their equipment. Build a sense of community by suggesting that your team do some physical icebreakers.
- Join student government. This will help you stay aware of all of the issues affecting students at your school and will let you use your voice and organize events to change things for the better.
- Get involved with other extracurricular activities in school. Find out which clubs can help you focus on your strengths or fix your weaknesses. Speech and drama clubs might be able to help you learn how to start interesting conversations, battle a fear of public speaking, and be more comfortable in groups.
- Ask teachers, librarians, and counselors for ideas for activities that can help you gain confidence and become a better leader. They might be able to help you learn about your leadership style.
Take Charge at Home
- Plan meals or game nights together so that your family can bond. To start a tradition, dedicate a special day during the week to eating together or spending time with each other.
- Start a chore list. Assign yourself and your siblings some chores to help your parents. You can use charts for one person or for everyone in your family. Managing the household chore list can give you great leadership skills if you have younger siblings.
- Put in extra effort at home if your family is going through a major change. Kids whose families are moving, who have parents who are divorcing, or who are going through another big change can protect their self-esteem by staying positive and helping out more around the house.
- Go to summer camp and become a volunteer who helps camp counselors. Use your time off from school to support counselors and help them manage their groups of campers. Becoming a camp counselor or helping one can help turn you into a great leader.
Lend a Hand in Your Community
- Start a fundraiser for a good cause. Think of a group that needs help, and organize an event like a bake sale or car wash to raise money for them. You might also collect things to give to people who need them. For instance, if kids at your school need school supplies, consider collecting donations for them.
- Grow a community garden. Planting a garden at your school or in your neighborhood can bring your community together, help you feed your friends and neighbors, and improve the environment. Take charge by helping to design the garden and picking out which crops you want to plant.
- Take food to people in need by becoming part of the Meals on Wheels program. Helping people will improve your self-esteem by making you feel helpful and appreciated. Work on your confidence by learning how to introduce yourself and give the people you’re helping a little company. You’ll get plenty of practice with each stop!
- Get involved in community events. If events are already planned, take the opportunity to become part of the group and build your confidence by interacting with others.
- Offer to help take care of dogs and cats at an animal shelter. Helping to care for animals can give you a sense of responsibility and help you learn empathy. Take your love for animals into the world by making animal-friendly fashion choices, choosing cruelty-free products, and starting clubs about animal welfare.
Find More Ways to Help Others
- Make friends with kids who don’t have a lot of friends. Get to know a new student at school during an icebreaker game. Introduce them to their teacher(s) and show them around campus.
- Offer to tutor other kids. You’ll boost your confidence about your own knowledge and help others succeed in school.
- Join peer mediation groups so that you can help other students solve problems. These groups will help you sharpen your analytical skills and can help you become someone who others look up to for advice.
- Become a volunteer at a hospital, a companion at a nursing home, or a food server at a homeless shelter. You’ll learn valuable lessons about life, and you’ll feel proud about what you contribute.
- Become a peer mentor. You’re never too young to act as a mentor to even younger kids. Organizations like the Boys and Girls Club are always looking for volunteers who want to lead after-school activities and are willing to help children from different backgrounds succeed. With the right tools and activities, you can help every kid you meet reach their potential.