Today I have a Guest Post by Joshua Fredenburg, who is a teacher, Keynote speaker, author of “Vision, the Answer to Generations X and Y” and the president of his company: Vision XY. I had the pleasure of hearing him speaking to motivate young people to be leaders and achieve their full potential and thought he could write a great guest post on how parents can encourage their kids.
PARENTS, YOU’VE GOT THE POWER WITH YOUNG PEOPLE. ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS USE IT!
A few years ago I was producing a show which was entitled, “Parenting In America”. During the preliminary stages of producing this show, one of my producers advocated excitedly in the production meeting that this was not only the most important issue that we have covered on the show, but it was the most important issue in America.
For the next few months, I had personal reservations about this opinion because I felt that there were several other important issues in America that we needed to address more than parenting in America. After months of experience in the education system and staggering research on Generation Y, I realized that parenting could be the most important issue in America.
For instance, as an educator in the public school system, I realized that many of the issues and circumstances that many students face are formed from various experiences at home. I also learned that a majority of young people are impacted by many other outside forces aside from parents, but the morals, values, and life lessons instilled by the parents can have the greatest impact on the success of a child.
In addition to these personal experiences, I also discovered through countless hours of research on Generation Y for my next book that: of 8 in 10 individuals from Generation Y who talk with their parents regularly, 9 in 10 are satisfied with their parents, and 64% turn to their parents first for advice before visiting a spiritual advisor, reading a religious manuscript, or seeking help from a governmental or higher official.
Due to the influence of parents on many individuals of Generation Y, I personally believe that the parents of these children are one of the key ingredients to creating a positive future in America. In order for this to actually occur, I believe that parents must become effective leaders of these young people and I want to personally share with you five leadership principles that can enable parents to be more effective at leading their son or daughter.
- SET EXPECTATIONS: Anyone who desires to be an effective leader of any business, organization, or entity must have a vision and set of goals they wish to attain because it provides direction, focus, and inspiration. As a parent, it is essential that you set positive expectations for your son or daughter, so that they can set their minds toward becoming something special and great in life. This can counteract negative images and influences.
- LEAD BY EXAMPLE: All effective teachers understand that young people learn in different ways. Some learn through lectures, while others learn through hands on training, or personal examples. As parents, a majority of young people do not just learn about life through our words, but they learn about life through our actions. If we are going to lead our sons and daughters effectively, we must lead by example, which means our actions should be an expression of our words.
- ADOPT A SERVANT LEADERSHIP MODEL: When I use the term ‘servant leadership’, I am referring to becoming a leader that is actively involved with your team, taking time to listen to the concerns of your team, making sacrifices for the team, building up the team to do more than you could have ever imagined, and being someone that puts the team before your individual accomplishments. Personally, I believe this is an extremely important principle for parents, as an essential requirement that can determine the future of your family as a cohesive team.
- STUDY YOUR CHILD TO BE A MORE EFFECTIVE PARENT: Every great leader understands the power of knowledge when a leader really understands the dynamics of his team. As a parent, it’s the same principle, the more knowledge you have about your team members, the more effective you will be, and the more knowledge you have about your child, the more effective you will be at raising them and instilling the values you desire for them to obtain.
- SURROUND YOURSELF WITH OTHER POSITIVE PARENTS AND LEAD WITH LOVE: As a young man, my great grandmother used to say that birds of a feather flock together. In essence, she stressed to me that surrounding myself with the right people not only helped me grow, but it served as great encouragement during tough times. My father took her words to another level when he told me that the most important thing in life is love, which to me meant that I need to do everything in love to the best of my ability. As parents, it is extremely important that you not only surround yourself with other positive parents, but that you also lead your son or daughter with love.