By William T. (Bill) Saunders, Jr.
What are some of the common traits of good leadership that our community needs? Integrity, respect, confidence, commitment, accountability, creativity and empathy, to name a few.
For children to develop these traits and to grow into good citizens and future leaders, they need responsible adults — parents, guardians, caregivers, teachers, coaches — to guide them in the right direction and teach them right from wrong.
How can we guide our young children and help them in this endeavor?
- Give children opportunities to be in the company of people who are different from them. Show them how to be respectful of others, to smile and greet others in appropriate ways.
- Provide opportunities for children to participate in activities such as games, clubs and sports.
- Teach children the 3 Cs of life: Everyone has challenges. Everyone has choices. Everyone has consequences.
- Teach children to be responsible for their own actions.
- Teach children the value of working toward a larger goal.
Adults, be an example for the children in your life. Show them what they need to see in order to become better citizens and future leaders. Make positive comments to children as they are coming along, using phrases such as “I am proud of you” or “keep up the good work.” Express appreciation each day for the good things in your life. Whatever you are involved in and wherever you go, strive to leave that place better than you found it.
I believe that all of the above will help us to develop better leaders, if we are willing to work together, learn from one another and appreciate our differences. Let us stay open to new ideas to help make us better citizens and leaders in our communities and in the world.
William T. (Bill) Saunders can be reached at 757-727-8181.