While there is a strong emphasis on grades in Singapore, an aspect that is equally, if not, more important, is holistic development. Although parents may spend money on enrichment programs and Math and English tuition, there are actually ‘free’ and everyday ways we can encourage holistic development in our children. Holistic development encourages children to develop strong internal values and confidence in themselves. This is why we are starting the Holistic Development Series: to learn the various aspects of holistic development and how to develop them in our child. To start the series, we have leadership. Let us learn the different ways to inculcate leadership in our children.
1. Read Books On Famous Leaders
There are resources available online and physical books for kids with central themes of leadership. These materials are bite-sized and are written like storybooks. The books explore the leader’s journey from young and how they triumphed through hardships. Some leaders featured in these books include Malala Yousafzai, Michelle Obama, Rosa Park and the likes. Other than real-life figures, there are also fictional characters whose stories write about how they exemplify leadership. The next time you are shopping for books to read, or heading to the library to check out some books, why not pick up ones with leadership themes? Sit down with your child and read the books with them. Ask them questions, like how is she/he setting an example for others? Having some discussion time alongside reading also stimulates self-reflection and critical thinking.
2. Volunteer Together
Volunteering in the community encourages your child to look beyond his/her interests and more into the needs of the community]. Through regular volunteering sessions at nursing homes, places of worship or the nearby community centre, parents themselves are also setting good examples of what being a leader is. Your child will also, no doubt, learn to develop empathy and be more resolved to create change in the community in the future. With the experience, they will be able to lead projects aimed at bettering the community.
3. Set Goals Together
Setting goals together motivates your child to take ownership of their habits and routines. This can be in the form of academic goals through target setting, such as writing down what needs to be done every day and rewards for achieving them. Other than academic goals, there are also financial goals that parents may consider. With all the red/green packets or money received from allowances, parents may set up different tiers of money to save up together with their children. Find out how you can create meaningful goals with your child here.