Bramell, Party of Five: What Does Leadership Look Like For Kids?

Friday, November 13, 2015

What Does Leadership Look Like For Kids?

I am participating in a monthly awareness campaign with my fellow bloggers and friends in the Northwest Arkansas Bloggers group. Each month, we have a selected topic of focus to learn about, discuss and share with our readers. This month the focus is on leadership; particularly women in leadership roles and/or politics.
At this stage in my life, I think a lot about what leadership means in the eyes of my daughters. I want them to think, and to know, that they can do and be anything that they can imagine. I try hard to be a good example to them and to encourage them in every way. I want to introduce them to strong women who are doing good things in the world.
My older daughter is in third grade. I look around at the things she's already being taught in school, and I know she's way ahead of where I was at her age. Her school administration preaches the ideal of "I can't YET" instead of saying "I can't," when things seem difficult. It's written on banners in the school hallways and often recited aloud in the classrooms. I absolutely love this! So much so, that I find myself saying it at home when the kids want to quit or give up on a project, homework, a game, etc.
To me, that is perfect leadership. A leader is never a quitter.

Leadership didn't come easy to me, either. I was a shy kid. Like, super shy. I didn't really get my sea legs until the middle of college, when I was living in a house with 60 other dramatic young women. That will do it to you, for sure. I see a whole lot of myself in Big Sis: she's quiet, shy and just kind of blends in with the other kids. Gradually, she's getting more involved and interested in things at school and certainly in helping others.
This school year, Big Sis has joined Girls on the Run. It's an after school club for 3rd-5th grade girls, where they spend time learning about self esteem, self control, confidence and leadership. After the lesson, the girls hit the track to train for a 5K at the end of the semester. First, I'm thrilled that the school sees the importance of such a program that works on the mind, soul and body. Second, I'm beyond thrilled that Big Sis chose to be a part of it on her own, without my prodding! The 5K is coming up next weekend and I'm going to be her buddy runner.
Big Sis has learned so much as part of this group. In addition, it's given us the opportunity to talk about their lessons at home and lets me affirm to her how important all of these things are in her life.
To me, this is another example of perfect leadership. Girls need to know early that everything they do is important, whether it's related to their personal health or in the way they treat others. Affirmation = Confidence = Leadership. Right?
Here is a worksheet she brought home from Girls on the Run a couple of weeks ago. I want to frame it or maybe just hang it on the fridge...or on a billboard.
Just like any mom, I want my baby girls to grow up to be great. I want to see them be successful and happy, above all else. I can't wait to see what their future holds...stay tuned.

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