Dear Dr. Laura,
As a middle school teacher, I can tell you how parents can make sure their children will never be leaders:
- Make excuses for homework not being completed, and make excuses/blame the teacher for their child's misbehavior.
- Let them watch endless TV or play endless video games.
- Give them a phone.
- Allow them to have nothing to do after school, and make sure it is not supervised.
- Don't talk to them about local/world politics, local events, finances, individual behaviors.
All of these contribute to children who can't follow schedules or complete tasks, and have no sense of accountability or responsibility for a task or personal behavior.
The students who are successful are the ones whose parents:
- Hold them to task: completing homework, and enforcing consequences at home when dealing with school misbehavior.
- Have some kind of after school supervision: homework club at school/sports/scouts/music.
- Have limited electronic time, usually as a privilege after chores/homework is completed.
- Spend time together as a family, so the idea of being 'face to face' with other people is valuable.
- Engage in meaningful conversations with their children....about the world, their city, finances, hard work, being a responsible student and responsible citizen.
There's my two cents.