Extra Curricular Power

familyWe don’t live in a vacuum. In order to accomplish most things, we need the participation of others, and that requires some level of leadership.

Over the years, we have heard many parents say they don’t think of their child as a leader — not even as a potential leader. We have heard things like, “Oh my son isn’t really cut out for leadership. He’s not going into politics or anything. He won’t be a CEO.”

But leadership is more than an elected position; it is how we make things happen. It’s the ability to cast a vision, set goals and prepare a course of action that draws on the talents and insights of different people.

Ted Cruz 2016


Whether or not a kid will one day sit on a board of directors or manage a team of employees, they need leadership skills. Confidence, creativity, the ability to communicate well, to plan, to organize, to make decisions and to solve problems — these are the nuts and bolts of leadership.

The question is, how to help our kids develop these skills?

Many roads lead to leadership development, but one way to help foster these skills is through well planned extra curricular activities.

Woodrow Wilcox


Sports, music, dance, theater, scouting and other specialized activities have the potential of instilling confidence as kids master new skills, win games, overcome stage fright and achieve some level of success. Kids can learn how to work with team, make decisions and solve problems in after school activities.

But to get the most bang for your buck when it comes to developing leadership skills, kids need a certain amount of longevity. So the question for parent is this: “When is it okay to let my child quit and try something else?”

We want our kids to learn commitment and reliability, but we don’t want them to continue doing something they don’t enjoy. A good rule of thumb is one semester.

When Jenni’s daughter first started singing with the Sarasota Youth Opera at the age of 10, she did not like. If it had been up to her, she would have quit that year.

But with a fair amount of parental coercion, she reluctantly agreed to go back the second semester, and that was when she fell in love.

Now in her 6th year and appearing in her tenth production, she has learned how to face the disappointment of not getting the role she wanted and grow from it, as well as the thrill of being cast in a dream role and working hard to master it.

Extra curricular activities have the potential to shape our children and prepare them for the future. With some research and planning, we can find the right programs to suit our kids’ talents and interests and with our encouragement, our children can build the character to lead and influence their generation.

Tune into Parenting On Purpose this Saturday at 10AM on WSRQ. We will be talking about how horseback riding and theater can groom leadership skills in our kids.

Learn more about your Constitution with Jenni and Jody and the Institute on the Constitution and receive your free gift.

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Jenni Stahlmann and Jody Hagaman are super moms with nine children between them, from an attorney to a toddler, and one on the autism spectrum. Together they host Parenting On Purpose with Jenni and Jody, a one-hour weekly talk radio show. They are parenting experts and leaders in the homeschool community, as well as weekly newspaper columnists and freelance writers.
Jenni Stahlmann and Jody Hagaman
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