Tools For Learning

Inspiration for Parents & Educators

Leaders in the Making

on February 7, 2015

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Observing my 3 1/2 year old granddaughter playing with her friends during a recent visit, made something very clear to me: 3 and 4 year old children are born leaders in the making. Although their sometimes strong wills can exhaust moms and dads, they are natural leaders in the making when it comes to decision making.  These youngsters are opinionated, bossy, and they know what they want and when they want it – even if it’s chocolate milk for every meal. Their overbearing, demanding nature, if channeled appropriately, can help them grow into confident adults that others look up to.

So how do you direct your future CEO? The most important and helpful strategy is to provide kids at this age with choices whenever possible. “Would you like pizza or mac & cheese for lunch?” “Do you want to clean up the playroom before or after dinner?” Making these small decisions helps kids FEEL more in control while not really being IN control. As we all know that Master or Miss Assertive are happiest when they can call all the shots.

Leaders in the making also think outside of the sandbox. Painting on the coffee table instead of on the paper provided, or digging up mom’s flowers and giving them as a gift, may not seem like acts of genius, but 3 and 4 year olds have their own unique way of looking at life. They are individuals without inhibitions and are abounding with creativity. The best possible outlet for their passion is to provide a “free to create space” of your choosing that can handle the best and quickest clean-up possible. Your creative youngsters then can express themselves without causing lasting damage. Most importantly, these unrestrained moments of creative play give your young ones the independence they really desire. They also provide kids with the vehicle to build their confidence, and helps them to settle down when it’s time to do other things, or to calm down, especially, before  bedtime.

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