“The hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world.”
Mothers lead, whether or not we want to. Our example and words teach our children what it means to be a leader, because we are the first leader to have their undivided attention. We have such power for goodness! If we hope to make the world a better place, we can make our home a better place and teach our children how to be happy. Then they can take those lessons into the world and practice them.
None of us are perfect leaders, but every little good thing we do will help. It is tempting, and I struggle to remember this, but we musn’t discount any act of goodness that we do, no matter how small. Brushing a child’s teeth for them and then helping them learn to brush their teeth matters. Reminding them to brush them and then rewarding them if needed matters. As they grow, we provide this leadership pattern for them: serve (and do for others what they cannot do for themselves), then teach with sufficient support, then be present while encouraging, then guide from a distance, and always try to provide a continuous correct example.
We cannot be passive about leading: it takes effort. We have to lead out. We have to get up. We have to train ourselves to be better, to be humbler, more disciplined, happier, gentler, stronger, wiser. We do this by improving ourselves through repenting, one day at a time, so that our children see real change in our lives. When they do, I believe they are inspired to want to follow the pattern we set.
Here are some posts I’ve written about teaching leadership to children: