The advice usually goes the opposite way: take all the lessons you learnt parenting your children, and apply them in the office. Unfortunately, this doesn’t work because the employees you manage in the office are NOT your children and they are liable to take offense to certain techniques you might consider (emotional blackmail is a definite no-no).

On the other hand, business and leadership strategies that you use in the office can be used in the home with your children with a few modifications. After all, if you can get adults to listen to you like children, surely they would work on children too?

Get Them Involved

Young workers hate to be in offices where they have no say, and the quickest way they learn their job as well as learn to make decisions and acquire leadership skills is by actually doing it. The best thing you can do as a boss is to invite them to join in on the decision making process or at the very least, witness the process and ask for their thoughts later on. The same technique of employee engagement programs translate well to children. Think about it: if you want your child to brush their teeth every day, the best way to condition them is to do it with them morning and evening. Go into the bathroom, look in the mirror with them and brush your teeth together. They will learn faster that way by emulating the ‘grown up’ behaviour.

Acknowledge Their Achievements

If a young worker figures out a way to increase efficiency and profitability in the office, they usually receive acknowledgement from the management and even a bonus. In fact, corporate recognition programs are in place to encourage even ground level employees to innovate and think outside the box. Apply the same logic at home. Whenever your children do something praiseworthy, praise them. Make a big deal of it. Point out that it is something new and that they are learning. Don’t let them forget it either. Remind them periodically of their achievements and how proud it made you. This will motivate them to keep trying and also motivate their siblings to try harder. It can stimulate some healthy competition between your children that will benefit them.

Share and Care

Companies that encourage a learning environment where employees pool ideas under the mentorship of their team leaders usually have a lower turnover and experience happier employees. This is because employees feel heard, they are on a growth and learning curve and they have good leadership that they trust in. Model the same at home whenever possible. Encourage your children to talk at the dinner table about what they did and draw out the lessons they would have learned from it. Get the older children to help the younger ones. Hold all children equally responsible for their actions. Allow them to make mistakes so that they learn from them and show them the correct way instead of punishing them – do not confuse wilful wrongdoing with a mistake.

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