Parenting Tips and Strategies
The journey of Leader in Me begins as soon as my kindergartners enter the room on the first day of the school year at Brookridge Day School. The steps involved in this program are not meant to be mastered in a short period of time. In fact, we will be working on Habit 1 Be Proactive- You’re in Charge the whole entire school year.
Defining “You’re in Charge” is a hefty feat for a teacher with 5 and 6-year-olds who are still in the preoperational stage of development. This stage of development is marked by egocentrism in which they believe they are the center of all things and have little regard to other’s feelings, attitudes, and interests, and beliefs. This is why it begins on day one even if they don’t know anything about the Leader in Me yet.
Here is how the Leader in Me program defines being proactive
- I am a responsible person.
- I take initiative.
- I choose my actions, attitudes, and moods.
- I do not blame others for my wrong actions.
- I do the right thing without being asked, even when no one is looking.
Like I said before, a pretty hefty feat for a teacher with 5 and 6-year-olds. But it can be done! I begin by empowering them to believe they really are in charge of themselves. No one else can tell them to be responsible, take initiative or make decisions regarding their actions and mood.
For me, if I can have children relate to a character in a book or use the book to provide examples of the habits, I feel like I am on the right track. For this habit there are many books that provide examples of characters who are responsible and take initiative. One of my favorites is The Little Engine that Could. This book gives a strong example of a train who is a leader who continues to try even though the other trains thought it would fail.
What other characters might exhibit this habit and show a good example? Stay tuned–
definitely more examples to come!
*image via www.npr.org