I have four kids ranging in age from 6 to 17. I’ve been parenting for 17 years, so I know a little bit about parenting. I’ve been leading for about 20 years. I also know a little bit about leading. By the way, I’m still learning a lot about both parenting and leading.
What intrigues me, though, is how much you can learn about leading through parenting. Do I believe parents make better leaders? You bet I do! I believe there’s a lot to be learned through parenting that shapes leadership. That includes everything from establishing values, setting expectations, motivating, developing, disciplining, encouraging, celebrating, etc.
There’s no question that our experiences as parents shape our capacity as leaders. I’ll go so far as to say that I think you can learn a lot about the capacity of a leader by looking at how they parent their kids. (If you don’t believe me, see 1 Timothy 3: 4.)
Let’s look at an example. Emily and I have an intentional plan to teach our kids about money. Here’s what it looks like:
Parenting First Graders
With our youngest, we make all the money decisions for her. We decide what she eats, what she wears and what she does for fun. We provide all the income, and we make all the spending decisions. Sometimes, we’ll ask for her input and let her have a choice between options, but we ultimately make every decision. In the process, she’s learning our values, our priorities and how we process decisions.