Every parent wants their children to do well in whatever they choose to do. One of the ways of ensuring this is allowing your child to explore their interests. However, are you already raising your kid to be a thinker as well as a doer? Congratulations! You are raising an entrepreneurial child.
If you are not raising one, but are curious about what this is all about, this article is for you.
Before I begin, let me tell you that an entrepreneurial child is not going to be an easy one to handle. She is going to ask a lot of questions and you would have to answer them and not just brush her off. But this is the kind of investment many successful entrepreneurs are doing themselves, and they have a strong reason to do so.
Entrepreneurial kids are made, not born
The difference between a prodigy and an entrepreneurial child is that the latter are taught to be so. They end up being curious than the rest, would try out more things, and may fail. However, these kids end up having much more experience at problem-solving than their peers and often take up the role of situational leaders.
Another compelling reason to raise curious kids is that an estimate by Robert Reich, a Berkley economist, states that 40% of the American workforce would be engaging in non-conventional employment by 2020. This would include freelancing, contract, self-employment or some other work arrangement. So, chances are that your kid might end up doing the same.
So if you want your child to be an entrepreneurial kid, here is a simple 5-step process to follow:
1. Get them out of the comfort of routine
When I say that, I don’t mean turning their world upside down with no schedules. Instead, try not to be too strict about enforcing a routine on them. If they get used to very little variation during the day, chances are that they going to face fewer challenges in the day. This is something you want to avoid if you want to raise a child who masters the art of problem-solving!
2. Take the pain out of failure
A natural instinct of a person is to avoid pain. As a baby, your child failed a hundred times to stand up and walk but did it eventually. Now that he is growing up and understands the concept of a ‘reaction’ to something, he would also experience new nuanced emotions like dejection following failure. Parents can play a great role in taking the pain out of it.
Once the pain is gone, failure becomes a great learning experience. An average entrepreneur fails many times before becoming successful in his ventures. Along the same lines, let them fail and figure the way out themselves. Be there whenever they need you, but let them show the initiative.
3. Encourage them to ask a lot of questions
As I grew up, I saw many children being asked to shut up when they would ask some questions. Parents did this, so did the teachers. It was sad to see those bright children lose interest in the topic and do something that was rewarded – obey. They ended up being excellent followers of instructions, but never did great on critical-thinking.
Please let your kid be curious. If you cannot answer any of his questions, buy him encyclopedias! Encourage him to write to people who could answer his questions. Entrepreneurial kids ask more questions than their peers and tend to assimilate the information in a better way. It pays to have this quality early on in their lives.
4. Reward problem solving and not obedience
It is important to obey, but not at the cost of knowledge. Reward skills like problem-solving. Ask them their opinions on the current affairs at dinner time. If they are too young, simplify the problems. Let them think about the issue at hand and come up with a solution.
This will hone their critical thinking as well as improve their awareness about the world events.
5. Challenge them every day
Children love challenges till they don’t. It all depends on how they look at a challenge and you have a big role to play there. Concentrate on STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) learning, but also give them challenges that would improve their soft-skills. This is also one of the good ways to get rid of their stranger anxiety.
There is really a great deal of reward in raising your child to be hands on. Trust me, he will thank you as he grows up!
Source and inspiration: How to raise entrepreneurial children: Reva Seth
Infographic: Entrepreneurial skills that you should teach your kids
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