How to Demonstrate Leadership and Character to Kids

By Maria Magher
Volunteering gives you an opportunity to give back to the community.
Volunteering gives you an opportunity to give back to the community.

You are your children's biggest influence, and the example you set will teach them how to develop leadership skills and character. Your actions can have a much more profound effect on your children than simply telling them what you think about how to develop these traits. You can model leadership and character in your everyday routine and in special activities in which you invite your children to join.

Volunteer as a coach for your kids' sports team or as a teacher's aid in their classroom. Talk to your children about the strategies you plan to use to motivate the team or the students in class, then make sure you enact those strategies. Encourage teamwork among the students in the team or the class. Counsel students on good sportsmanship and praise those who demonstrate it.

Volunteer together. When you volunteer, you show the leadership trait of initiative and demonstrate character by showing the importance of helping those in need. Choose an age-appropriate activity, such as serving food at the local homeless shelter or picking up trash at a local park. Talk with your children before, during, or after the event about the importance of the work to the people you are helping and to the community.

Plan a special event, such as a fundraiser or community dinner. You'll demonstrate leadership skills, such as communication, planning, self-motivation and negotiation. If the fundraiser or event is designed to help those in need, you'll also demonstrate character.

Bring your children to work. Many employers will allow for a "bring your child to work" day, and doing so will give you a chance to showcase your leadership abilities in your everyday routine. You can show your child how to work with a team, how to communicate well with others, how to take initiative and present ideas and possibly even how to negotiate, such as with a new project proposal or when trying to land new business.

Be an example in all your activities in your daily life. When you need to lower your phone bill, show your child how to communicate and negotiate effectively. When you make a mistake, admit it and make amends. Treat people with fairness.


Invite your child's opinion and feedback in all of these activities to encourage him to develop confidence in his own abilities and to learn how to make decisions. Give your child chores and responsibilities to encourage leadership at home.

About the Author

Maria Magher has been working as a professional writer since 2001. She has worked as an ESL teacher, a freshman composition teacher and an education reporter, writing for regional newspapers and online publications. She has written about parenting for Pampers and other websites. She has a Master's degree in English and creative writing.