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ACES in our Pockets An introduction to The Leader in Me program, and the 7 habits, for families.

A quick introduction:

The 7 habits of highly effective people were developed by Stephen Covey in 1989. His book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, has sold more than 25 million copies world wide and is one of the best selling business books in history. In 2008, Stephen Covey developed The Leader in Me to serve as a model for use in schools, helping students become more successful in school and in life.

Students begin by learning the first three habits: be proactive, begin with the end in mind, and put first things first. This helps students develop themselves, from the inside out, before moving on to habits that involve developing their relationships with others. Next, students learn the next three habits: think win-win, seek first to understand, then to be understood, and synergize. These habits teach students strategies for working with their peers and overcoming differences. Finally, students learn the last habit, sharpen the saw, so that they can continue to renew themselves and keep a balanced life.

How to support the leader in me initiative:

Try using the language of the program at home.

Habit 1: Be Proactive. Tell your child that he/she is in charge of his/her happiness. This supports taking ownership and focusing on how to solve problems independently.

Habit 2: Begin With the End in Mind. Tell your child to have a plan. This will help your child prioritize as well as set and achieve clear, established goals.

Habit 3: Put First Things First. Tell your child to work first, play later. This encourages your child to prioritize the most important things. You child will be more productive, and find more satisfaction, in having fun after completing more the most important tasks first.

Habit 4: Think Win-Win. Tell your child that everyone can win. This ensures that your child will take the wants and needs of others into account, helping to build their peer relationships and leading to the development of sympathy as well as empathy.

Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood. Tell your child to listen before talking. This will allow him/her to establish good habits when disagreeing with others. If your child works to listen before speaking, he/she will better understand the viewpoints of others and learn how to communicate effectivly.

Habit 6: Synergize. Tell your child that together is better. This highlights the importance of knowing your strengths and playing to them. Students who practice this habit are able to utilize teamwork in order to be more successful than they could have been independently.

Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw. Tell your child balance feels best. Knowing how to set aside time in order to develop himself/herself as a person will allow your child to feel more fulfilled in life and avoid burning out.

Another school that utilizes the Leader in Me program came up with a song to explain the 7 habits in kid friendly terms. Below is a fun video to share with your child so that they can begin using the 7 habits at home as well as school.

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