The term “alpha male” brings to mind an individual who dominates others or has an innate ability to lead. Jeff Wise, science writer and expert for PsychologyToday.com, asserts that high levels of oxytocin and testosterone (which controls aggression and dominance) combined with low levels of cortisol (which the body releases as a result of stress) can cause an individual to exhibit alpha male characteristics. According to oxytocin expert Kerstin Uväs-Moberg, M.D., Ph.D., exercise and intimate physical contact increase the levels of this hormone in the body. However, while being an alpha male is largely due to hormones, it is also possible to foster alpha characteristics in your child.
According to AlphaMaleTribe.com, confidence promotes success and popularity, which are directly tied to being an alpha male. In order to build your child’s self-confidence, nurture his self-esteem. Kidshealth.org reminds parents that a child’s sense of capability increases with each new accomplishment. Praise your child for his accomplishments, and do not just focus on the things he does well. Offer praise when he puts effort toward something that he finds difficult. If your child is nervous about doing something because he feels that he is not good at it or because it is something he has never done before, remind him about all of the things he can do. The more experiences your child has and the more capable he feels, the more self-confident he will become.
Good Social Skills
Alpha males are good communicators and are well-liked by males and females. Their social dominance is a result of their ability to listen, resolve issues peacefully and relate to a variety of people. Alpha males also have a way with words and persuade others in positive ways without coming across as bossy. The best way to arm your child with good social skills is to be a good social role model yourself. Listen carefully when your child is speaking to you, even if you have a million things on your mind. When faced with a disagreement – whether it is with your child, your spouse or a co-worker – resolve the issue with calm communication and through compromise. Know when to let an issue go, and be willing to apologize for your wrongdoings. Expose your child to a variety of cultures and beliefs without passing judgement, and remind him that it is okay to be different. Most importantly, speak to your child with respect by asking him nicely to do things instead of giving him orders.
Not only do effective leaders have good social skills, but they are also driven to succeed. As a result, the leadership ability of an alpha male is often due to his high level of intrinsic motivation. Intrinsic motivation is a characteristic that drives people to succeed regardless of whether or not an imminent prize is at stake. According to Education.com, being a role model to your child by working hard to achieve your goals is the best way to nurture his sense of intrinsic motivation. Helping your child develop a can-do attitude also encourages intrinsic motivation.
Alpha males are physically active and typically maintain a healthy weight. According to the American Heart Association, physical activity enhances a child’s social well-being because it boosts self-confidence and increases self-esteem. If your child feels good about himself, he is more likely to participate in physical activities. Boost your child’s physical fitness by encouraging him to participate in organized sports or outdoor play with friends. If your child is not fond of team sports, encourage him to try biking or hiking. Take younger children for regular walks, and have them practice skipping, hopping or walking backwards for added enjoyment. Minimize the amount of time your child spends playing video games or watching TV, as sedentary activities do not promote physical fitness. AHA recommends that children should participate in at least 60 minutes of moderate to intense physical activity on a daily basis.
- PsychologyToday.com: Who'll Be the Alpha Male? Ask the Hormones
- LifeScienceFoundation.org: Oxytocin: World’s Expert Talks About This Calming Hormone
- KidsHealth.org: Raising Confident Kids
- Education.com: Intrinsic Motivation
- Heart.org: Physical Activity and Children
- TraitsoftheAlphaMale.com: 25 Traits of an Alpha Male
- AlphaMaleTribe.com: 7 Easy Ways to Boost Self-confidence