Developing Leadership Skills in Children

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As children reach the end of their primary school years, they may be interested in taking on leadership roles. In Grades Five or Six children are typically allowed to be school captains, or sports captains or take on leadership roles in activities outside of school

Help your child think like a leader and prepare for the important task ahead by focusing on these skills at any age:


To take a leadership role you need to be responsible for yourself and help with looking out for others too. Teach your child to look after their belongings and themselves. Encourage them to look out for others in their class or sporting group too.

If there’s an opportunity to take on a peer support role at school, it’s also a great way to learn responsibility.


A great leader works as part of a team, as most adults in the workforce will know. This skill is important for leaders of every age. School captains need to work with other school leaders, teachers, and the general student population to do their job effectively.

Help your child work on their cooperation skills through participation in team sports and other group-related activities. You can also foster teamwork by playing board games that require cooperation and completing school assignments as part of a group.


A leader needs to be able to speak in front of others clearly and confidently. It’s not a skill that most people find easier, but it can be developed with practise. Encourage your child to take part in debating competitions, practise speech writing, and talk in front of groups whenever they can.

And, when it does come time to make an important speech in front of a large group, remind your child it will get a little easier every time they do it.


Leaders are organised people who often need to organise others too. School leaders might help to organise school events or be responsible for planning a school gift or end-of-year primary school celebration.

Children have plenty of opportunities to practise being organised in their everyday lives. Giving your child some independence around everyday tasks can help when it comes time to take on a leadership role.

Homework needs to be done, school items need to be packed and unpacked in their bag each day, pets need to be cared for and chores need to be done around the house. Allowing your child to organise when and how they complete these tasks can help them work on their organisation skills.

Taking on a leadership role is something that will interest many children in the upper primary years. Preparing them for success by fostering skills that good leaders possess can help them both in earning leadership positions and succeeding in them once they get there.

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