I’ve constantly reminded you in these newsletters that parents are the leaders of their home. And, today’s newsletter is no different. I’d like to share with you what I call the ABC’s of Parental Leadership. Take time to think about each of the 26 words of this home leadership course and seek ways to help them become part of your children’s character building process. It takes a bit of work to accomplish this but then, what else does a parent have to do?????

1. Ambition: Infuse your children with the spark of ambition they will need to achieve their dreams. Ambition is good so long as it does not abuse others. Teach your child to stretch and seek greater excellence in all he or she does. This stretching is fueled by ambition.

2. Boldness: Success requires risks and the courage to step out of our comfort zone. Encourage your child to be bold and courageous and opportunities will unfold before them.

3. Curiosity: Being content with yesterday’s knowledge is the surest way to perpetual dumbness. Be curious about the world around you and the vast array of information that surfaces each day. Grow and you move forward. Foster the natural curiosity of your child.

4. Decisiveness: Winners make decisions. Losers procrastinate when action is needed. Being decisive helps you move forward. Being decisive demands courage. So, help your children build a courageous and decisive mindset to get what they want from life.

5. Enthusiasm: Passion and gusto emanate from enthusiastic people. Enthusiasm is an energy building and a supporter of momentum. Don’t stifle enthusiasm in your household.

6. Fitness: Encourage a lifetime of exercise and healthy eating habits to remain fit. These habits tend to stick better when learned in the home. Stay fit with your children by incorporating a good diet and exercise program in your household. Shut down the video games and go walk outside.

7. Genius: We all have the potential for genius in some component of our make-up. But we must search deeply to release it. Teach your child to have confidence in their abilities and believe in their potential for greatness and you just might release a bit of genius.

8. Honesty: Every event in life should be blanketed with honesty. This is the principle characteristic that creates respect and allows one to sleep well at night. Be honest and demand honesty in the character of your child.

9. Imagination: We sometimes chastise children for “day dreaming.” Let them do it. Children are imaginative but all too often we adults stifle their personal visionary thoughts. Encourage imagining. It’s what created all the wonders originating from mankind.

10. Journal: Encourage your children to write their thoughts and dreams and the things that make a daily impact on their life. It’s a release mechanism and a great resource to re-read periodically.

11. Kindness: Treating all we meet with respect and consideration creates acts of kindness. What a great characteristic to practice every day of our life. Let your children see you display acts of kindness so they get a first-hand lesson.

12. Laugh: Children laugh a lot; most adults don’t. Teach your children to laugh at themselves, not others, and to look for the humor and fun things life offers. Be serious when required but never lose your sense of humor and ability to laugh. It will make you live longer.

13. Manners: Children with manners stand out in a crowd. Adults with manners are appreciated by all they meet. This is a most important trait parents should practice and insist their children incorporate into their daily habits.

14. Nurture: Parents nurture your children and teach them how to nurture those they love. Remember, a lack of this trait in the character of your children moves you one step closer to the Nursing Home!

15. Optimism: Share with your child how important maintaining an optimistic outlook can be for developing a successful approach to life. Yes, understand things can go bad. But keeping the bright light of optimism shining makes life much more enjoyable.

16. Philanthropy: It’s important to earn income but it probably is more important to give some of it away. Sharing your financial success with worthy causes can bring immense satisfaction. Giving away is much more beneficial to mankind than hoarding. Make your child share a bit of their earnings for worthy causes. It’ll make them a better human being.

17. Quality: Everything your children do should be done at the highest quality of performance they can muster. Excellence is the goal. Doing it right the first time not only saves time but produces a much better end result. Quality really does pay.

18. Responsibility: Understanding that your life is your personal responsibility and willingly accepting that responsibility is the highest form of maturity a person can reach. I am responsible are powerful words. Forget finger pointing and fixing blame on others. Accept your failures and relish your successes. Children who understand this principle will never become chronic complainers.

19. Self-worth: We need to love ourselves enough to see the real value we bring into the world. Learn to appreciate the gifts and talents that have been gifted to your children and help them learn to believe in themselves.

20. Talent: We’re all given sufficient talents to become what we can envision ourselves to be. We may have to work very hard to develop and grow talents but it can be done. Our deep-rooted desires don’t exceed our abilities to achieve them. God doesn’t play tricks on us and he won’t play tricks on your child.

21. Understanding: With understanding comes patience. Teach your child to be understanding of the shortcomings of others. Tolerance is an admirable trait that can ultimately win friends and influence people.

22. Values: We must identify our values and live our life in congruency with those values. Parents teach and demonstrate values. Always be sure what you teach and demonstrate will help your children.

23. Wisdom: This should be the ultimate destination we want to achieve—being a wise person. Wisdom takes time to grow into place but, once acquired, really takes the stress out of life. Emphasize the importance of growing in wisdom every day and your child will be the great beneficiary of these lessons.

24. Xerox: Wondering why in the heck this word is here? Well, I don’t want you to make your child into a “carbon copy” of you. Let them experience their own individuality and ultimately become who they were destined to be. (How’s that for a solution to struggling for an “x” word?)

25. Yin/Yang: This is a Chinese philosophy that represents the principles of femaleness by Yin and principles of maleness by Yang. They are opposites in the universe that can be reduced to one of the opposite forces—yin or yang. Here’s hoping your child learns how to yin with the yangs.

26. Zest: Enjoy the life you’ve been given—challenges and all. Life is meant to be a wonderful and enjoyable experience. Having a “zest for life” makes the time on earth meaningful and memorable. Help your children grow their zest for life.

Author's Bio: 

Billy Arcement, MEd., is a Leadership Strategist who works with leaders in all sectors. He is the author of the internationally published book, Searching For Success, and the co-author of Journeying on Holy Ground. Information about his services can be found on his website, www.SearchingForSuccess.com. He can be contacted directly at his office in Prairieville, LA at 225-677-9426. Subscribe to his newsletter, Children First.