How to Teach Your Child to Be Self-Aware
Teaching Your Child to Be A Leader – Part 1of 5 (Self-awareness)
Today I begin a 5-part series on teaching your child to be a leader. First, let’s look at why it is important for your child to learn to be a leader. When you understand leadership to mean being a person whose life is worthy of emulation such that it influences others to want to imitate you then you will immediately see that a child who understands the attitudes and behaviours for leadership and practices them will at the very least give you less headache and at the very best go on to be an asset to herself, community, nation, and world.
In this 5-part series I will share five (5) behaviours leaders practice consistently and show you how you can help your child to imbibe them.
To be a leader your child will need to:
- Be Self-aware;
- Be Focused;
- Commit to Lifelong Learning;
- Win with People; and
- Manage Successes and Setbacks
Beginning with SELF-AWARENESS, I will explore what each of these behaviours means, and how they can be developed.
Self-awareness in very simple terms is knowing yourself: your beliefs, values, preferences, weaknesses and strengths. The main purpose of self-awareness is self-improvement, that is, if I am self-aware, I can work to be a better version of myself everyday.
The vehicle for self-awareness is reflection. It takes deliberate effort to reflect on your thoughts, words, and actions, and to discover yourself. At the core of this process of reflection are your values which form the standard against which you measure your thoughts, words, and actions to see if you measure to the standards you hold dear. Where there is a shortfall, then there is need for improvement. Where the standards are met then it is time to raise the bar. So no matter where you fall; below par, at par or above par you can always aim to be better.
In summary, your child can be exemplary by being more self-aware, and you can help him or her to be self-aware by:
- Helping them to identify values by which to guide their lives
- Asking them guiding questions for self-reflection
- Encourage them to compare their conduct in thoughts, words, and actions with the standards set by their values
- Spur them on to be a better version of themselves whatever the outcome of their self-reflection and values check
- Create time to have this conversation with them regularly, daily if possible. With time they will learn to do it by themselves
- Be supportive and never judgmental
- Teach them that they are their own competition and should always aim to be better than they were yesterday
We can represent this concept of self-awareness in an equation thus:
Values + Self-reflection + Self-improvement = Self-awareness
Finally, here are some values your child can start to build their own list of values from:
Honesty, Friendliness, Discipline, Focus, Punctuality, Humaneness, Courtesy, Forgiveness, Embracing Diversity, Excellence, Exercising, Respect, Optimism, Love, Integrity, Hope.
Did I miss out any important one? Please share in the comments section below.