Developing Compassionate Leaders!

Posted on by Helena Eddings


Young children absorb every aspect of the world around them, including parents’ attitudes and empathy toward others. A safe and loving home helps to develop a child’s positive world view. Basic emotional security sets the stage for children to reach beyond their own needs and develop empathy for others.

Our children will be the leaders of tomorrow. Their future attitudes and actions as adults are shaped by the attitudes and actions of parents and educators now. What are the qualities we want our children to demonstrate that will serve them and others well? We need to prepare them to meet the unknown with confidence and compassion.

When you listen respectfully to your child, she learns that her voice matters. And, as she matures, she learns listening skills from your example. This is a lengthy, sometimes painful process! We are conditioned to tell children what to do and how to be. Stepping back and allowing children to make age-appropriate decisions as well as mistakes, with frequent encouragement and periodic coaching, builds a child’s confidence and willingness to be a leader.

All children need to be presented opportunities to practice leadership, to speak up, express their thoughts without criticism or ridicule. Leadership is a risk.  Confident, compassionate leaders focus on listening and supporting the needs of others. They do not need to prove they are right. As they practice these skills, leaders develop the ability to collaborate and achieve goals.

Collaboration leads to better results, and at the same time leadership skills grow. Look for opportunities in your home where your child can take the lead and help to plan a family gathering, trip, or adventure to the park. You will be well on your way to developing a compassionate leader.

Lynn Fisher,

Head of School

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West Side Montessori is an independent, accredited Montessori school educating children 13 months through 8th grade (preschool, kindergarten, elementary and middle school) with locations at 13587 Roachton Rd in Perrysburg, Ohio, and 7115 W. Bancroft Street in Toledo, Ohio.