All parents want to give their children every advantage possible to live a fulfilling and independent adult life. However, many children arrive to young adulthood somewhat clueless in terms of livelihood. These young adults typically have to move back home until they can figure out how to make a living.
Today’s educational system teaches kids how to be good employees. This system works when the economy is fully up and running. However, you’ll give your child an extra edge by teaching them how to build and manage a business for themselves.
Cut the Allowance
Parents commonly give their children a weekly or monthly allowance for small purchases. Some parents even give their children their own credit card and pay it off every month without even discussing the statements with their children. You shouldn’t deprive your child, but children like cash. If they don’t get it from you, they will have a good reason to start earning some for themselves. Encouraging your child to earn his or her own money will help instill a strong work ethic and foster early entrepreneurial creativity.
Encourage Entrepreneurial Activities
Did your kid mention setting up a lemonade stand or growing vegetables to sell around the neighborhood? Let your kid take the lead, but offer support and guidance as they try out a new venture. It’s okay if they fail or don’t turn a profit. It’s all part of the learning experience. Failing at a business will teach your kid valuable business skills and help them refine their next venture. Failing as a kid when the stakes are low is a lot better than failing at business as an adult. Build the foundations of good business sense while your child is young.
Be a Mentor
Talk about business plans and money management. How many kids learn how to write business plans in school? Your child’s business plan will probably be very simple (e.g. shoveling driveways), but it’s a great way to learn about fundamental concepts such as profits/losses, business expenses, and breaking even. Ask them about how they plan to advertise their product or service. This will help your child consider all aspects of running a business. Pose these questions to your child to guide them towards writing a smart business plan.
Teach Basic Bookkeeping
Your child won’t learn how to track expenses and revenues or file his or her taxes in school, so it’s up to you to fill in the gap. Sit down with your child and teach them proper bookkeeping and provide a rundown of business tax laws. This is one of the main challenges for people who try to go into business, so give your child an advantage by helping him or her navigate the more tedious aspects of business early on.
Teach a Kid to Fish
You’re probably familiar with the following expression: “Give a man a fish and he’ll eat for a day; teach a man to fish and he’ll eat for a lifetime.” Take this approach to parenting to help your child be more independent, savvy, and more likely to make a good living as an adult.