By the time a child reaches third grade they are fully aware of the comparisons and assessments being made of them in everything from social skills and personality to physical appearance and athletic ability. They are at a real crossroad in their early lives where their self esteem is either built or broken. They now have a choice to make as to whether their decisions will be made from an internal direction or if the choices they make will be based on external influences.
As parents / leaders we too have to consider how we are leading both our personal and professional life. Are we trying to impress others in order to influence them, or are we focused on who we really are, not trying to be perfect in the eyes of others or the center of attention. If the example we set for our children, in our personal life is – saying, wearing, and driving the right thing, having the right job and social status or the example we set in our professional life is – struggling to get ahead, looking out for number one, working long hard hours to make the credit card payments – our children notice.
Children will see it in our words, actions and feelings and they will also feel the pressure to follow suit. Always trying to impress others is hard work. Both personally and professionally those who are leaders attract others to themselves by focusing on others rather than themselves. They ask questions, listen and don’t try to be the center of attention. Being the leader in the family, setting this example will produce children that will make decisions based on internal directions – morals, values, and ethics – rather than being influenced by outside peer pressures. Is that not how we want our children to really make decisions?