Your child has big dreams of starting their own business. As a parent, you want to encourage their ambitions. But you also don’t want to see them get in over their head. Parenting Kidpreneurs isn’t always easy. To help kids become successful entrepreneurs, it’s crucial to balance support and independence.
Parenting Kidpreneurs: Provide a Strong Foundation
A garden needs fertile soil to bloom. Likewise, your child needs a nurturing environment to reach their potential. Provide a strong foundation by:
- Unconditionally loving and believing in them. Let them know you see their awesome abilities, even when they doubt themselves.
- Teaching strong values like integrity, diligence and respect. Character matters.
- Promoting their passions and talents. Help them identify and develop their natural gifts.
- Exposing them to entrepreneurship. Share stories of inspiring founders. Introduce them to local business owners as mentors.
- Limiting screen time and promoting educational activities. A broad worldview fuels creativity.
- Modeling a strong work ethic in your own career. Kids emulate what you do more than what you say.
- Celebrating effort and progress. Don’t just praise end results. The journey matters.
To help children succeed, it’s important to raise them to be strong and adaptable.
Parenting Kidpreneurs: Teach Financial Literacy
Kidpreneurs must understand money to manage a business. Start teaching financial literacy early on:
- Explain core concepts like saving, budgeting and investing. Have them handle an allowance to practice.
- Discuss your household and business budget decisions. Show them behind-the-scenes finances.
- Help them open a savings account. Let them set small financial goals like saving to buy something.
- Introduce the connection between time and money. Show how you get paid at work.
- Familiarize them with taxes, credit and other real-world financial dynamics.
- Use online games and apps to reinforce money lessons.
When they start being independent, knowing about money helps them make wise choices.
Help Them Find Their Passion
Kidpreneurs need something they care deeply about to motivate them through tough times. But many kids struggle to pinpoint their true passions. Guide them to self-discovery by:
- Trying new activities and experiences until something clicks. Passion takes exploration.
- Thinking back on what captivated them as young children before outside influences. Their innate tendencies reveal natural talents.
- Identifying issues in the world they get fired up to solve. What social wrongs do they want to right?
- Considering how their personality aligns with certain careers. What work environments would energize versus drain them?
- Volunteering with organizations doing work that resonates with them. Hands-on experience clarifies interests.
- Mapping skills they love using and want to develop further. What comes naturally and brings joy?
When you help steer them toward purpose, the path ahead becomes clearer.
Parenting Kidpreneurs: Teach Perseverance
Even passionate Kidpreneurs will face obstacles in starting businesses. Early hardship builds resilience. Encourage them to:
- View setbacks as learning opportunities, not failures. Losing a sale brings helpful customer feedback for improvement.
- Analyze what went wrong after stumbles. Make constructive tweaks to strategies.
- Remember the bigger vision during tough times. Endure short-term discomfort for long-term rewards.
- Manage frustration productively, like channeling it into hardcore training after losing a competition.
- Learn about inspirational leaders who kept going through hard times. For example, inventors whose ideas were dismissed at first.
- Keep going after getting knocked down. The phoenix rising from the ashes is the entrepreneur’s mascot for a reason.
With your reassurance, they will get back up stronger after inevitable falls.
Help Them Set Goals
Goal-setting builds the bridge between ambition and achievement. Teach Kidpreneurs to:
- Set specific long-term goals. Quantify revenue targets and timelines for reaching milestones. Vague aspirations like “I want to be rich” won’t cut it.
- Break long-term goals down into step-by-step short-term goals. Mini victories build momentum.
- Attach deadlines to goals to create urgency. Set reminders on a calendar to revisit progress.
- Write down goals and post them visibly as a constant motivator.
- Share goals with a support network for encouragement and accountability.
- Analyze each goal decision. Is it achievable but ambitious? Is there a logical plan to get it done? Tweak goals that don’t meet these criteria.
With your help, they can create empowering goals to see and make their dreams come true.
Help Them Learn from Failure
Entrepreneurs must get comfortable with failure, as it’s guaranteed at some point. Position setbacks positively as learning opportunities. When ventures go awry, have your child:
- Take a beat to process emotions. Feel the frustration fully. Sleep on it before reacting.
- Identify what specifically went wrong by replaying the scenario. Resist blaming external factors.
- Consider what they would do differently next time. Extract the wisdom.
- Recognize that the failure still brought them closer to their goal. Failure means you’re trying versus sitting idly.
- Remember that mistakes provide more useful lessons than wins. The toughest teachers ingrain insights most deeply.
- Focus on the opportunity in the obstacle. Walt Disney was fired from a newspaper for lacking creativity—before building Disney.
Framed productively, missteps speed up growth. Setbacks today strengthen victories tomorrow.
Parenting Kidpreneurs: Provide Encouragement
The entrepreneurial path is a rollercoaster. Emotional support helps kids handle the highs and lows. Confirm their experience when they:
- Feel overwhelmed by how much there is to learn and do. Assure them feeling in-over-their-head is normal in unfamiliar endeavors.
- Want to quit after a demoralizing setback. Empathize with their disappointment, while urging them to get back up and try again.
- Need a reality check when expectations exceed abilities. Lovingly nudge them to refine their approach versus abandoning their vision.
- Feel lonely forging their own trail divergent from friends. Remind them that originality requires independent thought.
- Are burning out from overwork. Insist they take a break to recharge before diving back in.
Your steadfast support helps them build resilience to weather entrepreneurship’s turbulence.
Allow Failure in a Safe Environment
Childhood is the time to make mistakes. Early setbacks in low-stakes environments teach lessons viscerally. Let them:
- Experiment with lemonade stands, yard work businesses and other starter ventures. Let reality humble unrealistic expectations.
- Manage small investments like stocks with pretend money. Simulate real financial scenarios without real risk.
- Shadow you or family friends at work. Understanding business nuances firsthand prevents avoidable missteps later.
- Research industries they’re interested in. Learning what succeeded and failed informs their strategies.
- Take a class on entrepreneurship for youth. A structured program lets them learn with peers.
Hands-on experience inoculates them against naivety. The earlier they confront obstacles, the faster they learn how to overcome them.
Connect Them with Mentors
No successful entrepreneur did it alone. Introduce mentors who can share hard-won wisdom:
- Friends, family, teachers, coaches. Anyone with business experience can impart basic insights.
- Local small business owners. Their day-to-day reality check balances starry-eyed optimism.
- Professional associations, like the Chamber of Commerce, that organize mentoring programs.
- Youth entrepreneurship groups that connect peers for idea exchanges and support.
- Young founders and influencers share advice through online communities, courses, and social media.
The more diversity of guidance, the broader their knowledge base to draw from. Each mentor provides a unique puzzle piece.
Parenting Kidpreneurs: Establish Trust
Kidpreneurs need to know you have their back as they spread their wings. Build trust by:
- Making yourself emotionally available. Keep communication open so they come to you with challenges before things escalate.
- Respecting their emerging independence. Let them make smaller mistakes even if you can foresee the consequences.
- Giving the benefit of the doubt versus jumping to conclusions if they mess up. Assume good intent.
- Apologizing when you overreact or impose unrealistic expectations. You’re modeling how to take accountability.
- Compromising, when possible, to accommodate their entrepreneurial aspirations. Meet in the middle.
- Being supportive even when their path diverges from yours. This is their journey, not yours.
When your child knows they have your trust, they will thrive and be happy.
Loosen the Reins Over Time
Parenting an entrepreneur means gradually transferring control. Like spotting a toddler on a bike, you keep a watchful eye at first before letting go entirely. Slowly relax your grip by:
- Starting with small freedoms, like managing an allowance. Then expanding permissions once they show responsibility.
- Moving from being told what class to take to being asked which classes you find interesting and why.
- Moving into an advisor role suggesting versus mandating direction.
- Asking their opinion before major parenting decisions affecting them.
- Making them accountable for their own schedule, tasks and communications.
- Letting natural consequences do the teaching after clearly explaining expectations.
This incremental handoff empowers their self-reliance muscle.
The hardest part of parenting Kidpreneurs is knowing when to get out of the way. Recognize when it’s time to step back so they can step forward by:
- Letting go of unrealistic expectations. Their path may not align with your hopes.
- Handing over more control of day-to-day choices. You’ve taught them how to decide wisely.
- Letting them learn from mistakes rather than overprotecting them from failure. They gain resilience from falling.
- Letting them manage their own finances, time, and responsibilities. They learn through practice.
- Checking in with a mentor they seek advice from vs. an authority figure that orders direction.
- Accepting that the training wheels have to come off at some point.
Your new role is cheerleader, not quarterback. Trust you’ve equipped them to call their own shots.
Keep a Safety Net
Removing parental controls doesn’t mean withdrawing all support. Maintain a safety net when needed:
- Be a sounding board when frustrations boil over. Lend perspective during rants.
- Remind them of their vision during crises of faith. Help rekindle their spark.
- Confirm that their struggles are normal, not signs of failure. All entrepreneurs share similar insecurities and roadblocks.
- Suggest talking to mentors in specialty areas where you lack experience. Leverage your network.
- Help research options and contingencies if original plans fall through.
- Provide financial support only as a back-up emergency fund if all else fails.
When you reassure them that they can always come home, it boosts their confidence to keep going.
Cheer Them on
Parenting Kidpreneurs means transitioning from backseat driver to cheerleader. Embrace your new role wholeheartedly:
- Express genuine enthusiasm for their undertakings. They feed off your excitement.
- Focus on progress when they feel discouraged. Celebrate small wins along the way.
- Fan the flames of their ambition. Remind them of how far they’ve come.
- Allow them to vent when overwhelmed then offer loving reassurance.
- Step in with advice only when explicitly asked. Otherwise, just listen.
- Let them share lessons from failures without judgement. Say “What’s next?” versus “I told you so!”
- Show up consistently with high-fives of support. Focus on encouragement over criticism.
You use your experience to encourage and boost their confidence in their abilities. That’s the greatest gift a parent can give.