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Why should I provide my daughter with leadership opportunities?

Michele Borba
Psychology
Girls say that environments in which they can develop crucial leadership skills are scarce. And when we finally do provide those leadership opportunities, they are often “too late.”

A 2008 Girl Scouts study found that a girl’s desire to be a leader changes with age. It peaks at 44% among 8- to 10-year-olds, then drops to 36% for 11- to 13-year-olds, rises to 40% for 14- to 15-year-olds, and drops back to 36% for 16- to 17-year-olds.

The crucial lesson: Find ways for girls to practice leadership skills earlier so that they find ways to be in charge, gain confidence, and practice those crucial leader skills.

Also, don’t think of leadership roles as only elected positions such as class president or team captain. Any opportunity for your child to lead another is fine. For example: babysitting, tutoring the neighbor child, watching a younger sibling, or teaching a small Sunday school class. The size of the group also doesn’t matter; the opportunity to lead is what does.

Also, watch out that you don’t enroll her in too many adult-supervised, highly structured activities. Girls will never be able to practice leading if someone always leads them.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.