According to a survey conducted by 4-H, 77% of today’s youth consider themselves to be true leaders. While many kids view themselves as leaders, others need additional guidance or motivation to get there. But have no fear, there are many ways to encourage kids to be leaders at home, school and even within their communities. I know as a parent, I’ve encouraged my kids to take on leadership roles at home by doing daily chores, helping in the kitchen and assisting with yard work. Can you think of other ways you can inspire your child to be a true leader in your community? Here are a few of my thoughts on how to get your kids actively involved within your city.
Help Serve the Homeless
One of the big issues within most communities is the number of homeless people in this country. Many community organizations, such as churches and shelters, rally people to get involved by offering clothes, food and even just their time towards helping someone in need. This can be a great opportunity to get your kids involved in volunteer efforts like serving food, donating clothes and interacting with other volunteers to learn more about this community issue.
Clean Up At Your Park
Another engaging idea is to take your kids to the neighborhood park. While they may only have eyes for the playground and open field, have them look beyond by pointing out the trash, graffiti and other ways people have mistreated this community area. Remind them that a good deed doesn’t go unnoticed, and schedule a day to surprise the community by cleaning the area. This may even motivate the other kids in the park to get involved, and lead to more youth community projects in the future.
Raising your kids to be leaders in their communities starts with building leadership habits in the home. A leadership quality that can be grown within the home is teaching your kids how to better care for the environment. Does your family have a recycling plan? A couple of recycling bins around the house and helping your kids to understand the importance of recycling will teach, and hopefully inspire them, to better value the environment, and therefore better care for their communities. Most establishments nowadays have recycling options. By teaching your kids to know how to appropriately recycle within the home, they can venture out to these establishments and lead their peers in knowing how to better care for the environment. However your children choose to be a leader, it’s important to recognize them for their contributions.
With this in mind, 4-H has a new campaign, called, “Grow True Leaders,” that recognizes youth leaders, and inspires them to discover their unique talents to contribute to their communities. Parents can also get involved by shouting out youth leaders for volunteer acts and leadership skills within their homes, schools and communities. So join me, along with my kids, nephews and nieces plus thousands of kids across the country, in recognizing true leaders around us through 4-H’s ThunderClap: https://www.thunderclap.it/projects/39987-grow-trueleaders.
These three tips are just a few ideas on how to grow true leaders in your community. But it doesn’t end there. If your child’s eager to learn more, encourage them to shadow a trusted community leader, like your local 4-H program director, a teacher, coach or city official. This opportunity can provide your child with firsthand experience on what it takes to be an impactful leader in the real world, and encourage them to set leadership goals within their community and beyond. Go ahead and inspire your child to continue to evolve into a true leader in their community today. Their willingness to lead may even motivate others to grow into true leaders as well. Let’s get things started by joining the growing team of true leaders http://www.4-h.org/get-involved/grow-true-leaders-campaign/.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of 4-H. The opinions and text are all mine.