Cultivating Leadership skills in our kids – FINAL

Kids

October 31 2017. As today is the last day of October, this will be the last post on the series.

I really want to say a big THANK YOU to everyone who has read & commented on my posting across all platforms since I started. You have truly encouraged & energised me to keep going on.

Our anchor scripture has been Prov 22: 6  which says Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it”.

We’ve spent time looking at the first half of that scripture with the Key words Train up & in the way he should go  as we talked about Modelling & Management. 

There is a WAY our kids should be trained up & it’s our responsibility as parents to find out.

God gave them to us as His heritage, so you need to check with Him on how best to raise them up. Just like you need a manufacturer’s manual to properly assemble & operate an equipment, you need God ( the manufacturer) to give you the manual on your kids.

The second part of our text is really amazing as it points to the fact that after we train up our kids in the way they should go, later in life they embrace & remember those things & dont abandon them.

In yesterday’s post I mentioned that we use independence management as a means of judging how far our kids have embraced the things they’ve been taught over time.

It helps them recall the things they’ve been taught when it’s required.

Another task that parents are responsible for in the life of their kids is  making memories. 

There are a lot of definitions for memory but I like to define it this way: It’s the creation/retention of information/experiences over time for the purpose of influencing future action.

There are good & bad memories & our emotions influence how we process them.

There are 2 schools of thought on this,one  believes that we tend to remember bad memories more than good ones & the other believes that as a natural brain protection mechanism we remember good memories more than the bad so as to keep a positive outlook on life.

Growing up as a child, I had experiences that were both good & bad with my parents especially my late Father & personally, I remember both but tend to have more details of the good ones than the bad.

Every time I think of him, my memories are filled with the good ones, the wonderful traits I inherited from him ( my writing & speaking abilities), the road trips we took together that ignited my love for travelling & seeing the world as well as many more lovey memories.

Our job as parents is to ensure that we create a lot of good memories for our children, so that they remember us by those memories when they grow up.

While buying things for them is great, making great memories with them are much more important!!

Things like playing with them, taking them out to a park or a game arcade, spending time with them talking, going on a road trip or travelling, working with them on projects (e.g. art & craft, science, technology or computing, etc) & planning surprising events goes a long way to fill up their minds with great memories that they will cherish for the rest of their lives.

As a family we love taking pictures & making videos, we ensure that we keep records of  key “Kodak moments”  & with the aid of technology we can keep & file them so as to recall them later in the future.

Last December when my son was 10, we took sometime to look at all of his pictures & videos from his birth & we just had fun chatting about how he has changed & grew over the years. It was fascinating to hear him talk about the things he remembered the most, they were majorly things we did together as a family, places we’ve been to, houses we’ve lived in, etc.

I am really committed as a father to ensuring that I make great memories with my family especially my kids so they have them as treasures to cherish forever.

Great Leaders draw inspirations from their childhood whenever they are faced with challenges & difficulties & anytime I listen to the audio-book of Barak Obama’s “Dreams from my Father” I realise the importance of creating great memories with our kids.

Recalling some of his childhood experiences made him the leader he is today.

Please ensure you are doing your best to cultivate leadership skills in your kids by Modelling, Managing & Making great memories!!!

What sort of memory are you creating with your kids?

Will these memories help them become great future leaders?

This is my snippet, I AM SHALOMESQ!!!

Cultivating Leadership skills in our kids VIII

Kids

Hello family, as we wrap up the month of October, I thought it apt to also wrap up this series on “Cultivating Leadership Skills In Our Kids“.

There is a lot more to point out on this topic & I will try to take it further at another time as I am inspired.

At the beginning of this journey, while I was thinking about the name for the series, I thought about a couple, one of such was “The 3 Ms of Parenting – Modelling, Management & Memories” but it just didn’t sit well with me, so I settled for the current one.

Just to recap, our anchor scripture has been Prov22:6  which says “Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.” I highlighted that our job as parents involves, Modelling ( or Mentoring) in which we display the right characters we want our kids to emulate so as to be worthy citizens in our society, then we talked about Management & all of its various flavours.

My last post highlighted the need for failure management for our kids as a way of ensuring that they learn from these failures & turn them around as stepping stones to greater successes.

This & many other areas ensure that we help develop greats leaders of tomorrow.

Before I talk about the last job of a parent ( Making Memories), lets look at 2 more points about management of our 21st century kids.

Team & Independent Management

I mentioned team management in passing while I was talking about talent management, but its worth emphasising again.

As they grow older in this current age, the requirement to be a vibrant team member is of great value especially as the world is becoming a global village.

The need to collaborate with people in different time-zones with different cultures, beliefs & upbringing will be super high in their generation, so we need to ensure they develop with the required skills to be fantastic team players.

We are intentional with our kids as regards extra-curricular activities in school, we enrol them in team oriented sports like Football, Basketball, Athletics-(Relay races), Ballet, etc to ensure that they imbibe the team spirit.

To be an effective team player we ensure our kids:

  1. Have an Identity ( Self-Awareness): In a world where people are trying to be others, we ensure that our kids know who they are as a person & as a member of our family. They have clarity about Dos & Donts as well as Whats & Whys.
  2. Understand their strength: We ensure that they know exactly what they are contributing to the team as a member. So they are not intimidated by another team member, we reason with them to see what their unique strengths are & how that helps the team.
  3. Be socially-aware: To know that there is a whole lot more in the world than what we are teaching them right now. There are different people, cultures, beliefs, experiences, etc. Going to a school that is truly international has opened up their eyes to the world at large as they interact daily with colleagues from different parts of the world.

We are blessed that God has given us the privilege to raise our kids as citizens of the world & super proud when we see them interact among their colleagues.

They are bold, articulate & always ready to help & take up responsibilities amongst their mates. I recall a time we travelled on vacation to the UK & my son didn’t miss a beat interacting with his cousins & their friends as if he had always lived in the UK, he wasn’t out of place.

By virtue of his participation in a summer camp programme “Leadership in TrainingLIT in church, his leadership skills & team spirit has greatly increased & at the recently concluded Family Conference, I saw him display these skills as he interacted with others in a group activity to solve a problem & provide services to other kids.

I have a great relationship with my kids which is far better than what my Father had with me, but I also found out during the Conference that I need to do more especially as they are getting older.

Independence management is about creating a culture, a template for them to follow & then empowering & releasing them to use it independent of you as they grow older.

Give your kids the ability to make choices for themselves ( especially not so critical choices). This may mean allowing them to make mistakes from time to time ( remember failure management), as it forms part of their learning process & experiences.

A typical example is picking up what they will wear, while they were younger we picked what they wear, but as they are getting older, we’ve eased out on that & sometimes allow them to pick what they want to wear just to see their choices & rationale so that we can either validate or correct it accordingly.

Before, we chaperone them to all parties & events, now sometimes we drop them off & transfer their care to a trusted elderly person  & come back to pick them while getting feedback from the person on how they are doing or did at the event.

We see independence management as a way of judging how far they’ve imbibed what we’ve taught them over the years.

I remember when one of my son’s best friend was having his birthday party & both my wife & I had somethings to attend to that Saturday, I dropped him off at the place, handed him over the the parents of his friend & picked him up later.

When I came back for pick-up, I was properly attended to with food & drink, I sat down in a corner, eat, cleaned up after myself & trashed things properly, before I went to play with the kids.

Unknown to me, a guest had been watching & while I was playing with the kids she came up to me & asked “Is that your son?” pointing to my kid.

I said “Yes, dont we look alike” & she said we do in every way, she told me how she noticed him as being polite & intelligent & that he did exactly what I did in eating in a corner, cleaned up after himself & trashed things before running off to play.

I told her that it’s all about God’s help & the support structure my wife & I have intentionally put in place & as I drove off, I was filled with pride & gratitude.

Days like this encourage me a lot & also drives me to do more as I really dont have a lot of time, he will be 11 years old in December & in my mind I have 7 years to go to cultivate & activate what he can GO & IMPACT the world positively with……. Time is of the essence!!

We will conclude on this series tomorrow while November will be dedicated to something else.

Are you doing a great job as a model to your kids?

Are you managing your kids correctly in all the required areas?

This is my snippet, I AM SHALOMESQ!!!

Cultivating Leadership skills in our kids VII

Kids

Hello everyone, I hope we are all doing great as we wrap up the year 2017? Its been about 7 weeks since my last post on this topic & a lot has happened during that time.

Firstly, my country of birth Nigeria celebrated her 57th independence anniversary & more than ever before I am convinced & committed to the success of this nation &  Nigeria will indeed flourish again!!

Secondly, in the past 10 weeks or so, my focus has been on one word – GROWTH- its been an intensive 1 hour weekly session with my mentor John Maxwell looking under every rock related to that word & it’s been a blast.

There is so much to learn & i’m amazed at the body of work that is available on this topic, it’s been an ocean of knowledge relating to personal,corporate & governmental growth. I am ever learning & I will be sharing more on that in the coming days.

Lastly, I’ve had to make some adjustments professionally, reshuffle my priorities & optimise my focus so as to remain on track & bring out the best in my current situation.

Now that we’ve sort of caught up on my hiatus, let’s do a brief recap on the topic.

I started out with Prov 22:6 & the first point was about us training our children by being Role Models to them, second point, I talked about Management & we delved into different aspects of management, i.e. Position, Chore, Knowledge,Authority & Talent.

You can check all of my previous posts for more details.

In this 7th post, I will continue on management & look at Failure Management.

Throughout time, a lot of focus has been directed towards successful people & how they became successful. So much noise about the things they did right & very little about what they did wrong & how they failed. It seems to me that we get so familiar with & get to study their successes while little attention is given to their failures.

But for those that actually have real & lasting success ( not just flash in the pan), they all have something in common, they made mistakes, had challenges, failed & then learnt from those failures turning them into stepping stones to success.

History is filled with such great people like Thomas Edisson,Abraham Lincoln, The Wright brothers, Mary Kay Ash, Usain Bolt, etc.

One thing I must clear out is this “The fact that you failed, doesn’t mean you are a FAILURE. You become a FAILURE when you accept that point of view & decide not to do anything about it”

I’ve read 2 books on this topic by John Maxwell, Failing Forward & Sometimes you WIN, sometimes you LEARN & it has shaped my perspective about failure.

As parents we need to have the right perspective about Failure so that we can help shape our kid’s perspective.

When our kids were growing up, there is a disposition we had about failure that we tend to loose as they become older.

While they were toddlers & as they started to move from crawling to walking, we encouraged them when they fell ( i.e. failed to walk), we walked around & gave them the picture that walking is possible, we took them by their hands & helped them one step after another.

They held on to stuff to help them stand upright & with time they started to do what seemed impossible before, they started walking.

Every time they fell, we didnt say “Well James walking is not for you”

NO!! We gave them all the encouragement they needed to try & try & try again till they made it.

When my son was in primary school, he contested to become the Sport Prefect & we were all excited about it, we had hand-made posters, wrote campaign speeches & slogans,worked on his public speaking skills, designed a new strategy for sport related activities & developed ideas to jazz up the inter-house sport day, etc.

Unfortunately, for one reason or another, he lost as 1st runner-up, but I’ve always told him that this is a game & someone must win. He was disappointed, but saw areas where he had learnt a couple of things like improvement in his confidence to speak in public, strategic thinking, wholesome times that the family spent together during the campaign, etc.

I ensured that he congratulated the winner, highlighted the things they did better than us & also shared some of our ideas with him. I saw the opportunity for him to learn how to manage failure & he was better for it.

Now that he is in high school, I will encourage him to go for it again because he loves sports so much or even become the school president, who knows?

I once read the story of a boy who could not handle failure. He has always been the best in the class in all subjects until a new girl transferred to the class & started beating him.

He was so bitter about 2nd position that he was caught in the science lab attempting to put acid into the girl’s drinking flask. Thank God no one was hurt,but the alarming thing was the fact that he decided to harm ( or kill) opposition so as to get back his  no.1 position in class. Where did he learn that from?

The school authorities called in the parents & they were shocked at the action of their son. The issue has been taken out of the spotlight & hopefully settled, but it has not left my mind ever since.

Could it just be that the boy’s action is a reflection of how his parents perceive failure & handle opposition?

I see the same in our society in which our leaders view politics as a do or die affair in which they must win at all cost & by all means possible.

We must do better for our kids, encourage them to handle failure properly.

Let them learn how to FAIL FORWARD & know that sometimes they will WIN & sometimes they will LEARN!!

This is my snippet, I AM SHALOMESQ!!!