This post is about how to teach your kids about entrepreneurship.
I was chatting with my friend the other day. The topic of our discussion naturally turned to juggling our work from home and managing kids. As we chatted, we had to ask ourselves the question: What can our kids learn from us?
I laughingly told her that when my son was about eight years old, he would answer my phone every once in a while—and sound exactly like me when he answered whoever was calling, sometimes even responding to their questions. If he couldn’t he would of course pass it on to me. Now, you’ll think that’s presumptuous, but the nature of one of my jobs at the time made it possible to do this. I didn’t encourage him to answer my phone calls, but I was secretly amazed at how much he must be picking up watching me at work!
Then we came up with the brilliant idea of teaching our kids about entrepreneurship. I am sure every working Mom—whether you work from home or go out to work can identify with this. We live in a competitive environment today and if we can teach our kids about entrepreneurship, I believe we are opening more doors for them to explore in terms of a career.
Growing up, I was told I’d have to choose between having a family and having a career. I was cautioned to choose wisely. Did I want to be a successful businesswoman or a fantastic mom?
Of course, women most definitely can have a career and a family at the same time.
In fact, there are several reasons why you’d want to grow a business while you’re growing a family. I’m the first to admit that it’s often exhausting to simultaneously manage situations at work and at home, but honestly, I wouldn’t want it any other way.
Starting at a very early age, children look to their parents as models of behavior.
They watch your daily routines and then strive to mimic your actions. What better way to teach them to follow their dreams than allow them to witness how you’ve followed yours along the path to success?
5 ways to teach your kids about entrepreneurship
- 5 Ways to Teach Your Kids About Entrepreneurship
- 1. Set a precedent
- 2. Keep a schedule
- 3. Share mistakes
- 4. Establish goals
- 5. Factor in money
- Teach the future
1. Set a precedent
Your kids are your number one priority and it’s essential that they know this each and every day. However, they also need to realize that as a busy mom, you have other responsibilities that demand your time, effort, and money.
When you go to work every day, you’re demonstrating that you have a meaningful life beyond the walls of your home. While very young kids may not grasp how important it is for you to maintain a regular office schedule, eventually, they will understand. As long as you make suitable arrangements for them to be taken care of while you’re at work (babysitters and daycare are possible options), you’re showing that it’s possible to balance a thriving business alongside a flourishing family.
2. Keep a schedule
When you keep to a regular work schedule, you’re demonstrating to your kids that having a working mom is totally “normal.” Watching you get ready for a day at the office will become a predictable part of the everyday routine. Of course, there will be times when the little ones won’t want you to leave, but when you stick to your schedule, you’re exemplifying commitment, motivation, and follow-through.
At some point, your children will beg to stay home from school. This is a good opportunity to explain that you understand how they feel because sometimes you want to skip work. However, you know that your employees are counting on you to show up. You don’t want to let them down, just like your kids shouldn’t want to disappoint teachers and fellow classmates.
This, perhaps, is one of the most important things about teaching your kids about entrepreneurship. It’s human nature to want to hide our mistakes, especially from our kids. But we’re doing them (and ourselves) a disservice when we cover up our flaws instead of turning them into teachable moments. For example, the next time you make a (minor) poor decision at work, discuss it with your family. Would they have made the same choice? What do they think you should have done instead?
Kids need to learn that mistakes are a natural part of a learning curve, in both personal and business relationships. The more times they see you recover from a misstep, the more likely they are to do the same.
4. Establish goals
It’s tough for little ones to wait for something they want, whether it’s a new toy, a new release movie, or the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve. However, as all grown-ups know, patience plays a key role in just about every successful endeavor. How do you show your kids that immediate gratification isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be?
Learning how to realistically set goals is a skill they’ll use for the rest of their lives. First, ask them to pick their goal and then explain why this is an important target. List ways to reach this goal as well as any roadblocks they may encounter. Use your business as a model and break down the steps you had to take to get your company where it is today.
5. Factor in money
Your toddler isn’t too young to learn about money. Certainly, they cannot grasp the concept of financial security, but kids are able to fathom that money is earned (and doesn’t grow on trees). Take the time to explain how money is made through hard work and then exchanged for goods. Take the time to discuss the difference between “needs” and “wants” and how a job and paycheck impact what we choose to buy.
Teach the future
As a successful “mompreneur,” I’ve had my share of ups and down and second thoughts when it came to my business. There were moments when I thought I should be spending more time with my kids instead of staying late at the office. Eventually, I figured out how to balance work time and family time.
I fully intend to share with my children what I’ve learned through entrepreneurship. Even as toddlers, there are opportunities to introduce to them the basics of problem-solving, communication issues, and budgets. As they grow, I hope my on-the-job learning will positively impact not only the choices they make but the manner in which they make them.
I would like to know:
- Are you a working mom?
- Do you have kids?
- Do you involve your kids in your work?
Here’s a lovely book to encourage your kids! Because they are never too young to be brilliant! The Making Of A Young Entrepreneur: A Kid’s Guide To Developing The Mind-Set For Success (Amazon affiliate link)
Setting a precedent and letting your kids see your mistakes is so important. We need to teach them how to fail – and bounce back – just as much as we teach them how to succeed.
Debbie L Hampton recently posted…How Neuroplasticity Changes Over Your Brain’s Lifetime
Great article Vidya and Samara. Sharing information with our kids is a vital part of guidance for parents and there are some wonderful ideas here to get every parent started.
This is such a wonderful way to introduce kids to entrepreneurship…thank you for the book suggestion! Will pass it on to my daughter 🙂
Great article, wonderful way to teach.