Like every parent of an incoming junior-higher, I’m filled with excitement and anxiety for what the future holds for my son. I think about the friendships he’ll form, the rush of his first crush, and the scary and difficult decisions he’ll someday have to make. It’s no secret that the stakes are higher now. He knows it. I know it. We all know it.
As a mom and a mentor, I’ve thought a lot about the tools and lessons I’ve given my son. I’ve wondered if they were enough. I worried they didn’t adequately translate. I questioned whether I said too much or too little. Sure, Boy Wonder and I have talked openly about acceptable and unacceptable behaviors. We also discussed negative influences and peer pressure, but when push comes to shove and his pride is on the line, will he possess the courage and strength needed to protect his own best interests? I wish I knew for sure, but in the absence of that guarantee, I’m focusing on the value of developing his personal leadership skills.
Because self-leadership encompasses personal identity, self-regulation, and individual insights, it felt like the logical place to start. A kid who’s learned to trust his instincts, decipher right from wrong, and hold firm in his beliefs is a kid who’s equipped to resist negative pressures. While the journey to self-leadership takes a little time and energy, it doesn’t have to be difficult. Take a look at 7 simple ways I’m working I’m working with my son to develop the personal leadership skills needed to resist peer pressure. [read more…]