Everyone wants their children to understand the value of money. Chores and allowances are a rite of passage in many families, with the hope that it will teach kids the concepts of earning, saving, and sensible spending. But what if you did more than that? Today’s young children are tomorrow’s business leaders and founders, and helping them develop a business mindset will allow them to see possibilities and pursue opportunities for growth and innovation.
Support their passions
What are your kids into? Sports? Video games? No matter their interest, you can capitalize on it to help them develop a business mindset. Encourage your child to think about how companies make money from these interests or hobbies. You don’t necessarily have to help them program code or sell equipment, but making kids aware of how money flows through an industry can help them see where opportunities for business exist.
Teach them problem-solving
Childhood is full of challenges that require tricky navigation—and so is business. Help your kids learn how to problem-solve by identifying obstacles, brainstorming solutions, weighing pros and cons, and selecting the best choice. We often take an intuitive approach to helping our children resolve issues, but laying out all their options enables them to see the big picture. This is a crucial business skill, especially in a leadership position.
Whether they earn money from a job of their own or receive an allowance, kids need to know how to manage their money. Encourage them to learn the benefits of saving or investing, and how to focus on long-term financial goals. Do they want a car when they turn 16? Do they want a new video game? Do they want to start their own business? These are all opportunities for them to save and spend their own money.
Let them fail
This is a difficult but very important part of being a parent. Knowing how to deal with failure is an essential life skill, and it is especially crucial in business. Teach your child that failing is not the end of their efforts, and how to get back up and try again. Mistakes are how we learn and grow. Walk your child through what went wrong, what they could do differently next time, and frame the failure as a positive learning experience.
The skills needed in business are also skills your child can use and apply in many different areas. Knowing how to work hard, take risks, solve problems, and be persistent will serve them well throughout their lives. As parents, we can help them cultivate these skills by taking advantage of their interests, giving them opportunities to grow, and encouraging entrepreneurship.