During this apple activity, Sophie was really taking the lead. She was being a little bossy, in my opinion. We always encourage our children to lead - but she wasn't leading is a positive way.
So, at one point I pulled her to the side and said, "Sophie, you are being really bossy. How do you think that is making your friends feel?"
She started to cry and said, "Well, Daddy always tells me that I need to be a leader!"
I said, "Yes. Yes, you do! But here's the deal. We don't lead by yelling at our friends and bossing them around. The best way to lead is to lead BY EXAMPLE. DO what you think they should be doing. You are the oldest. They will follow. If your friends aren't following your lead as you lead by example, then you need to lead with lots of love, grace and patience. Talk softly and teach them. Kindly show them what they should be doing. Have patience. They are younger than you."
She really took it well and she got herself together.
Later that night, I was thinking about our conversation. I thought to myself, "I am a leader. I am a leader in our home. Do I lead by example? Do I lead with love and grace? I think so, but I know there are days when I act in ways that I DO NOT want my children to act. Sometimes I say things that I DO NOT want them to repeat. Sometimes I do not show enough love, grace and patience when my kids mess up and simply act their age."
I thought to myself, my children will not become loving, gracious, patient leaders on accident.
We want our children to be leaders, but we must show them the way - through our example, not just our words.
I'm so thankful for the many things I learn from my children!