Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, a famous German novelist, poet, scientist once said: “Thinking is easy, acting is difficult, and to put one’s thoughts into action is the most difficult thing in the world”. It seems that the huge importance of teaching children to take initiative was emphasized a long time ago. In today’s world which is more and more globalized and rapidly changing, parents and teachers might wonder how to prepare young children with vital skill sets to succeed, especially in the 21st century skills for children. In this blog, Skidos would like to bring up the topic “taking initiatives” which is believed to be one of the most important keys to success in our lives.
Children are expected to learn how to take initiative, not to just follow the rules, wait for someone to offer options but do the work themselves. Children when taking initiative will become more proactive, to look for different ways to grow, study, excel and take the lead.
Skidos shall focus on giving clear explanation of what taking initiative is, why it is important for young students to master and how to teach your kids initiatives from an early age.
What is taking initiative?
Taking initiative basically means being able to see what needs to be done and deciding to finish the task on your own without waiting for someone else to request you to do it. It can be interpreted as the skill and act of anticipation and proposing solutions before you being asked to do. Simply put, initiative means making thing happen, it is about to be responsible, to think different, to overcome hardships and difficulties that appear when trying to accomplish a goal.
Initiative is the skill we should learn in our childhood when many habits are formed and those habits shall become useful when we reach adulthood. If your child has not yet shown much initiative, please do not worry. Their brains are still upgrading, so it is high time that parents and school teachers help kids learn how to take initiative, an emotional skill that will greatly contribute to a life time of success.
A number of scientific researches have shown that being intelligent can help people gain around 25% of life success, while the rest 75% of life success can be supported by personal character traits such as initiative. Taking initiatives can be said to be among the most important determinants of achievement in life.
Opposite of taking initiative can be passivity and conformism in which an individual feels weak and insecure, lacking confidence in his ability to take charge of his own life.
Why is taking initiative important for kids & young students to master?
There are important reasons for stimulating your kids to take initiative at their young age. And why we have to teaching children to take initiative!
#1 Helps kids to live their lives toward a purposeful goal
First, initiative plays the role as a link between thought and action which helps kids to live their lives toward a purposeful goal, to get things done as planned. Initiative shall shed light on their way toward a challenging task and shall be a light house for children to be empowered to overcome obstacles on the way to accomplish their goals. Learning to take initiative is an important skill needed for the process of growing up for kids to be successful in the future.
Furthermore, children will feel much happier when they learn how to conquer challenges and take initiative and involve themselves in activities that help kids create their own future.
#2 Make them “Cooler” by teaching children to take initiative!
Second, kids who know how to take initiative are really cool kids! For example, a kid that prepares lunch for themselves to eat school instead of waiting for his or her mother to rush to do it the next morning is thoughtful and supportive. A child who is nice to say hello to the new comer in the class is much cooler than the ones who hope that new friend will say hello first.
A small kid who keeps his or her room clean or tidy up the bed is excellent! Numerous individuals may have good intentions but only a few take the initiative to take the action and be cool.
#3 Your children into a responsible team member!
Moreover, taking initiative on school projects shall turn your children into a responsible team member to excel at doing team work, and teamwork is one of the vital determinants for future success. By taking initiative in a certain task, it means that young students are self-confident and willing to put in the hard work necessary to get ahead in both school and real life.
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Taking initiative also demonstrates great leadership skill in the sense that leaders almost never hesitate to step up and get something done. Children need to take initiative to be good future leaders, to be proactive to lead others because they know what is right and they are willing to take risks to make things happen.
How to teach your kids to take initiative?
- Be a role model for them
- Let them try to do thing themselves.
- Praise your children work away
#1 BE ROLE MODELS IN TAKING INITIATIVE
If you have no clue on how to teach your children to take initiative, remember that you are their role model and your children learn a lot from you. Parents should be great examples to take initiatives always and do not forget to explain why you do what you do. “I think our trash is full, I will go to throw them away”. Small things we do can make huge impacts because for children, they need to see the process from the beginning to the end and connect the causalities.
#2 LET CHILDREN TRY TO DO THINGS THEMSELVE
Another tips to get your kids to take initiative is to let them try to do things by themselves. Parents, in the meantime, can encourage kids to take action proactively and get them to know what it takes to get the job done.
How does a child cultivate the willingness to take an initiative?
If they come to you with a problem, ask them how they see it, what is their opinion about a possible solution, support them to come up with an idea to solve the problem and then let them practice it. For instance, if your daughter wants to do the handmade homework dressed for school in the morning.
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She does a fine job getting ready but the process takes a little more time than it would if you were helping her. try to wake her up a little earlier. It might not be perfect, but at least they’re learning what it means to see something and do something about it. If they feel like they’re able to show initiative, they will use it in the future.
#3 PRAISE YOUR CHILDREN’S WORK ALWAYS
Children when trying to accomplish a task on their own might not do it very well. Parents should give kind compliments such as “Perfect”, “Good job!”, “Well done!”, “Excellent!” or sometimes tell a ‘white lie’’ to admire the work done by their children even if that work may not be done perfectly.
Let our children feel the taste of the joy that comes from accomplishing a task. In tasting it, they will have discovered the fountainhead of true initiative. Taking initiative for children simple is about starting and finishing the task; their skills to do the work to come close to perfection is somehow not that important; not to mention that their skills will develop in time.
In conclusion for how to teaching children to take initiative
taking initiative plays a big part in building vital personal traits for children and teaching children to take initiatives might seem challenging for the ones without much of experiences. For children to practice taking initiative, it can take a long time and parents as well as school leaders need to be patient to teach and reinforce teaching method while guiding children to be more proactive!
Use Skidos tips to stimulate your kids abilities to take initiatives so they can have a successful future!
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