How to Be a Good Family Leader

A family leader must be able to listen to everyone's needs, allow everyone to express themselves, and establish agreements. Learn more.
How to Be a Good Family Leader

Last update: 03 December, 2021

When couples make the decision to start a family, many only imagine Sunday lunches, celebrations, or emotional school events. However, in order to enjoy those things, endless decisions must be made every day: From accepting a full-time job to moving to a smaller city. Families are formed as they go, but we don’t always have the knowledge of how. However, it’s important to stop and think about what makes you a good family leader and put this reflection into practice.

Families have changed…

For a long time, the normal family model was one that concentrated authority on a single person, who was usually the father. Boys and girls had to limit themselves to obeying and following the rules, as there was little room for dialogue and for talking about emotions.

Now, in light of social changes and on the recommendations of the experts, today, many families seek to transform this parenting model into a more egalitarian and symmetrical one, where the voice of all the cohabitants is heard. Therefore, the goal is to validate the contribution of each family member and promote the participation of all.

From the conscious and respectful upbringing, the role of adults in the development of childhoods stands out, but not from the place of authoritarianism, but from empathy and respect.

A father and his children cleaning the living room together.

Characteristics of a good family leader

You’re not born as a good family leader, but rather this is something that’s practiced and perfected over time. Still, certain personal characteristics help to perform that role better, such as the ones we’ll share with you below.

A good family leader is responsive

This implies that they’re attentive to the needs of others and, at the same time, to the social changes and context that surrounds them. In this way, he is able to realize that circumstances change and that perhaps the way in which the family is used to solving certain situations is no longer functional and must change.

Maintains open and fluid communication with all family members

Communication is multidirectional and proactive in such a way that it contributes to strengthening family ties. A good leader doesn’t wait for situations to arise, but addresses them first and seeks to generate bonds of trust and closeness. This isn’t based on their authority or hierarchy within the family, but rather concern for creating a warm and comfortable atmosphere for all the family members.

Seeks to negotiate

A positive family leader doesn’t aim to impose their decisions but rather seeks to reach agreements. When this isn’t possible or when the matter of interest is not a subject that can be negotiated, try to explain your reasons.

For example, if younger children don’t want to eat vegetables, try to create a climate of understanding and teach the benefits of doing so. Despite the refusal, the leader doesn’t give in to their position and tries to find a way to make both sides happy.

Stong family leaders know themselves

To be a good guide, you need to know your own strengths and limitations. This way, it’s easier to identify the circumstances in which we project our shortcomings onto others and avoid doing so.

In addition, to accompany good parenting, it’s important to be able to reflect on your own education, what your parental models were, and choose what you’d like to keep and what you’d like to change.

Some tips for being a good family leader

Parents having a picnic in the country with their 2 toddler children after a bike ride.

There’s a great deal of space between our words and our actions, and everyday situations often prevent us from maintaining the necessary temperance to approach certain circumstances. However, good relationships are cultivated on a daily basis and this takes time and practice.

To become a good family leader, you can implement the following tips:

  • Spend time with your family: Sharing leisure plans, and not just duties, is essential so that everyone can be part of each other’s day-to-day life. For example, tell your children what your workday was like or what your difficulties were. This not only strengthens ties but “humanizes” relationships.
  • Know yourself: People change their tastes, aspirations, and interests throughout life. Many times, we’re left with an old image of our partners, so it’s essential to reconnect with them in order to achieve a good coexistence and an enriching experience. Also, this allows us to learn from each other.
  • Manage your emotions: This transforms the family environment into a safe and trustworthy space where people can express their emotions and find support. Parents don’t have to instill fear, but rather represent the unconditional refuge to which members can turn when faced with difficulties.
  • Make room for dialogue, ask questions: It’s important to develop the habit of asking how the other person is, how they’re doing, how they feel. It’s not only a way to show interest but also to create the space to speak.

It’s important to adjust expectations to reality

Finally, in the role of family guides, it’s important to recognize and separate expectations from reality. Children are often pressured to be those role models that parents have in mind, at the cost of giving up their own wishes. This causes a lot of discomfort and suffering in minors.

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  • Siegel y Payne Bryson (2015), Disciplina sin lágrimas: una guía imprescindible para orientar y alimentar el desarrollo mental de tu hijo., Penguin Random House Grupo Editorial España.
  • Seitun, Maritchu (2013), Capacitación emocional para la familia, Grijalbo.