My son is 3+ year old. He is smart and energetic kid but he is very shy towards new people and also he will keep quite if some one tries to dominate him. Going further, I want my son to be bold, talk well and resist others dominance and have more leadership skills. I am worried because I am also shy and more accomodative type.

I think leadership skills are more of genetic (by nature) but they can be well Nurtured as well.

So, I would like to know what methods do you suggest in order for him to grow as a bold person and a good leader. One I am right now doing is a Role play with him to teach him how to react in some situations. Any other suggestions?


2 Answers 2


The usual guidance given sounds odd: in early years leadership is learned by example.

I know that seems counterintuitive, but really what a child needs is a role model (or more than one) that inspires them. Now the first role models are a child's parents, so you are key to early development. So demonstrating leadership qualities yourself is an excellent way to start a child's development.

If you aren't a natural leader type, another option open to you is to identify a school which has a strong record in encouraging leadership and associated skills. These schools will not only provide role models, but will encourage the right behaviours in small groups and in public.

One thing you should be aware of is that there are many different leadership types, and some are shy or self effacing - a leader needn't be dominant. Some quiet leaders are followed and respected because they inspire trust, or they are known to be fair, or do the right thing - and conversely, some outgoing and dominating individuals can be very poor leaders - so don't try and teach behaviours until you fully understand which may be positive and which negative.


Another idea in addition to Rory Alsop's excellent answer, try goal-setting. Set goals for yourself, for the family and help him set realistic goals.

These must be tempered for younger children but the ideas are excellent. There are more ways to help in the link, this is their first point.

Confront unrealistic goals. Sometimes kids choose goals so big or so out of their element that it’s nearly impossible to meet them. When my daughter first set her goal of becoming a champion, we had a long talk about the difference between long-term and short-term goals.

If your cat-allergic child sets a goal of getting a cat, it’s time to have a reality check. If your little basketball player identifies the NBA as his goal, help him set a more attainable and age-appropriate version of the goal for this year.

Encourage your kids to choose goals that are realistic. Whatever the goal your child sets, be sure that your child came up with the goal. If you want your child to follow through, the goal has to have meaning to your child.

You are meant to make sure it is his goal, but at 3.5, this may not happen without you 'helping' with some gentle suggestions or guidance. So the goal at your child's age level might be something like: "I will learn to colour inside the lines this year." You help set up ways that help to to accomplish this goal. You are modelling leadership, which is the easiest way to teach it.

Also, when you are doing an activity that your child already is comfortable doing -- put him in charge. "What do we need to do or have before we go to the park?" Allow him to make mistakes and allow him to say, "You need your car keys, and everyone needs a hat and sunscreen." If he forgets something important, ask about it in a way that will help him remember the next time. "I wonder if anyone will be thirsty at the park?" He then can reply, "We need our water bottles in the bag, too!" By being in charge and even by forgetting his shovel, he is learning to make choices and take on the leadership role.

I go on a lot about giving your child choices. This is vitally important to help your child make decisions. If you want more about choice, let me know and I'll add to this answer.

For teens -- here are some excellent ideas about setting goals I won't quote them because this doesn't answer the question.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .