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  • Psychologist Shares How To Raise Successful And Selfless Future Leaders

    How do we make sure that our children will have the best economic, social, and political climate in their future?
    by Gail Reyes Galang, Ph.D. .
Psychologist Shares How To Raise Successful And Selfless Future Leaders
PHOTO BY SHUTTERSTOCK
  • How do we make sure that our children will have the best economic, social, and political climate in their future? We can start by doing our best with things within our sphere of influence: our own children.

    As parents, it is our duty to provide that space for our children to examine ways to be more mindful of other people in their surroundings, instead of focusing only on themselves.

    How can parents help their children move from self-absorption to self-introspection, so that they can connect better with others in more meaningful ways?

    Building empathy is an essential skill for future leaders. Today is the best time to  strengthen their capacity to understand and share the feelings of others.

    Here are seven ways to raise successful and selfless future leaders.

    1. Listen reflectively.

    This is best learned from parents as role models. When engaged in an intense discussion, make it your intention to listen. This means checking if you understand what your child is trying to say by paraphrasing what they have expressed.

    Avoid the tendency to rehearse your reply in hopes to win the discussion. When children learn this, they become adults and leaders who listen more and talk less.

    2. Cultivate trust.

    Your home should be a safe space for children to speak their minds without fear of being scolded, grounded, or being judged. Respect the need of children to be alone sometimes or to be with peers, but constantly invite them to sit with you for some quality time.

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    When children learn this, they become approachable leaders, ready to be present to anyone who needs a listening ear.

    3. Show support for others.

    This means giving children the opportunity to help in whatever way they can. Train them that helping others need not be an instagram moment, unless they wish to share the priceless effects of touching others with acts of kindness.

    During the pandemic, we have seen many leaders who have inspired others to reach out to the outer layers of society even without much fanfare.

    4. Celebrate wins.

    When children feel genuinely happy for other people’s success, they become leaders who inspire others to contribute to the common good. In today’s cancel culture, sometimes there is a tendency to put down the good work of others for fear that it will outshine or remove them from the spotlight.

    5. Be compassionate.

    The world needs more kind souls. Parents can help children develop this further by identifying people they wish to help. Begin with someone known to the child, so that feedback will reach them instantly.

    Feeling good about helping others will fuel more acts of loving kindness extended to strangers later on. As future leaders, this will make them work towards a sustainable future that is sensitive not only to human beings but to all living things on earth.

    6. Nurture gratitude.

    There should be no limit in identifying what children should be grateful for. When people are grateful, others simply want to continue helping them. Notice how some leaders inspire others to keep on supporting them, just because they are humble enough to acknowledge every little thing done for them.

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    7. Forgive to be forgiven.

    No one is perfect and making mistakes is part of the journey towards success. Encourage children to reflect on their behavior and to apologize when they know they have hurt someone.

    Making amends can be done in the form of making little sacrifices as a way to repent or to be truly sorry for the harm they have done on others. When children learn this, they become leaders who are accountable for their wrongdoings.

    With the elections coming up, it is never too early to teach children the concept of servant leadership. When children learn to put the needs of others first, it suggests that they value others more than power.

    Lent is an excellent time to teach the value of serving others by denying self-gratification and the tendency to be self-entitled.

    Imagine a world where leaders truly serve the people. It starts with children who understand that the world does not revolve around them. 

    Dr. Gail Reyes Galang is chair of the Family Studies program of Miriam College where she also teaches under the Department of Psychology. She is currently the associate director of the Center for Peace Education. Follow her on Instagram @gailfrancesgalang

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