Tuesday, January 8, 2008
Parent to Parent: Learning to be a Leader
Commitment, determination and integrity. These are just some of the qualities leaders possess. So how can you help your child develop leadership skills? Dr. Valerie has advice in today's Parent to Parent.
WSVN -- Sixteen-year-old Oliana Torres knows how important it is to develop leadership skills at a young age.
Oliana Torres: "Once you're off to college, you need to have leadership skills, and the earlier you start the better it is."
She's the vice president of DFYIT (Drug Free Youth In Town) at her school, a prevention program encouraging kids to stay drug-free. Douglas Hughes, the executive director of the Miami Coalition for a Safe and Drug-Free Community, says Oliana is a great example of a leader because she stands up for what she believes in.
Douglas Hughes: "They have to make a decision that they can be bold, that they can be brave, that they can take a position and that they can influence their peers."
Seven's Parenting Expert Dr. Valerie Goode says developing solid leadership skills starts at home.
Dr. Valerie Goode: "Parents need to set standards. They need to tell their children what they expect from them, and then hold their children accountable."
Dr. Valerie says parents should encourage their kids to make good choices. Have confidence in your child even when they do not, but, she warns, don't push your child.
Dr. Valerie Goode: "You don't need to push a child to be independent; they love being independent when they know that they can be successful."
She says in order to be a successful leader, kids need to set goals for themselves, get involved in organizations or after school activities that interest them, and no matter what they choose, stick with it.
Dr. Valerie Goode: "Leaders are committed. When they say they're going to do something they actually follow through and do it."
Oliana has built up her leadership skills by organizing meetings and activities through DFYIT. She says even though it's difficult not to fall to peer pressure, it's worth it in the long run.
Oliana Torres: "Don't worry if other people are calling you weird or a loser, just keep going with what you believe in because in the future it will get you somewhere."
Lynn Martinez: "Research shows having positive role models is the key to keeping kids stay on the right track."
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Drug Free Youth in Town
The Miami Coalition
Dr. Valerie Goode