If you have a gifted child, you know he/she likes to be the boss. You’ve known it since watching your child play with others at the playground. Imagine how many bosses we have on the playground at one time at our school! There’s a big difference between being bossy and leading. To lead, one needs charisma. Charisma is the ability to draw others to oneself, and it is absolutely essential to becoming a great leader.
Charisma can be developed, but how does one go about developing it? One key aspect is to truly love life. Wow! That’s a big one! I have a lot of secondary students who complain about life. Those who love it are fewer and farther between. Honestly, I think more of them love it than let on; complaining is just a habit. Another key aspect is to give people hope. Now, that’s a pretty tall order for a person who is busy complaining about how much life stinks. A third big aspect is to make everyone feel like a “10.” Now, this isn’t “snake oil salesman” charm. This is making people feel as if they are worth your time and attention. A final aspect is to share oneself - wisdom, resources, and even special occasions.
As you can see, it is very important to break your gifted child’s habit of complaining. (Yours doesn’t complain? Yay! Not the norm.) It wears you out, I know. It’s easier just to tune him/her out… to let him/her spend the evening playing games or on social media because at least they’re not complaining to you! Every day of ingraining this habit is a step further away from charisma and true leadership opportunities.
It is your job to help your child realize how much time he spends talking about himself. I remember a painful tip from my new husband as we prepared to go to a military event. He said, “Try not to say ‘I’ so much tonight.” Ouch! I have never forgotten that, though. No one had ever told me that I talked about myself all the time. Over the years, I have had to train myself to ask others about themselves. I even have to tell myself, when I run into a friend at a store, “They don’t care why you’re here or what you’re getting. Ask them about something you remember about them.”
I still say “I” a lot; now, though, I am sharing my experiences for instructional purposes, so it’s not all bad! I’m doing it even now.
Mom and Dad, you teach your children how to see life… both by what you say and how you live and speak. If you find yourself complaining several days in a row, it’s time to be a better model. You can teach your child to see the glass half-full, especially if you model a life that is optimistic. It’s amazing how good life gets when you concentrate on the good… and people flock to those who offer hope and share of themselves and have interest in them. Charisma is extremely important to your gifted child’s development as a leader, and it’s the one in which he’s least equipped naturally.