Parenting, alas, does not come with a handbook. How good would it be if we as parents had parenting lessons, at every other interval of time? Wouldn’t that do wonders? But sadly, we are left to wade through situations where we have to find ways to raise children who are ready in all ways.

It is at these moments, my heart screams, “Is there anything else that I can do to raise great kids?” While I agree there are no parenting handbooks, am I not equipped enough to do wonders for my children? Today, I feel inspired to write something that is close to my heart. And, I am sure that there are many other parents who will benefit from this!

I grew up in an atmosphere that definitely gave importance to studies and jobs. But entrepreneurship never came to us. Call it being risk averse or playing safe, we never ventured into any business. But, after seeing first-hand, what entrepreneurship does, I am simply smitten by this. The thinking process and the preparedness to life are amazingly different. And this is the main reason I feel driven to write about how and why entrepreneurial skills must be inculcated in children right in their growing years.  

Changing times need a different approach

Everyone knows how changing times bring about new challenges. The challenges or situations that we faced as kids are entirely different from the ones that today’s kids face. And so, it goes without saying that we have to raise our kids to be more confident, and those who are ready with 21st-century skills. They should also have an entrepreneurial mindset to be successful. Our kids should be able to create opportunities and not just look for some. They must be able to look for opportunities in everything. And that comes with a little nudge from our side. Just as we teach them the basic lessons of life, as parents, we also ought to imbibe in them certain life skills that foster creativity, innovative thinking, and entrepreneurship.

Creativity and innovation are here to stay. There are no two ways about it. Anyone with these skill sets can aim really high. They also help in bringing out the best in worst case scenarios! After all, our kids have to be ready for something that doesn’t even exist today. Our children have to be consciously aware of situations, and being alert to the various possibilities that life holds.

But why entrepreneurship?

The answer to this in simple term is: Because entrepreneurs think and do things differently. They exploit their knowledge to create new and better opportunities. They see a problem and think outside the box. Failures in their attempts are major learning sessions for them.

Can entrepreneurship be taught to kids?

So, does that mean we can train our kids to become good entrepreneurs? Well! Yes. Most certainly. It all boils down to what we inculcate into them right through their growing years. Starting with as simple as teaching budgeting skills to eight to ten-year-olds, we can lay a foundation in carving out successful future entrepreneurs.

Financial literacy in childhood is the first step towards teaching entrepreneurship to children. Haven’t we, as kids, got money in exchange for the household chores completed? Don’t we all teach our children the basic household chores? My household too is not an exception. My children are given some chores which are age appropriate. And they learn to handle various aspects of money including dealing with shop owners, dealing with change, and getting the required stuff for the household.

Handling money is one of the first basic ability that children need to learn and master. Real life situations are a different ball game altogether. Math problems given in school may be solved by taking homework help. But, what about real life situations? Obviously, our children have to face them on their own. They will not get any kind of help, whatsoever. And, by preparing them in the right direction, teaching them those skills that help them survive in this world, we will have definitely sown the right seeds of entrepreneurship in them.

Lack of real world and practical financial knowledge among kids set off a bad precedence later on in adult life. If these basic elements are not taught in childhood, then how can we expect wonders when they grow into adults?

A family I know of has really ensured that their kids develop entrepreneurial skills right from an early age. This learning, mind you has nothing to do with the school-based learning. These kids were average students, who demonstrated excellent leadership skills. Academically, they did not top the class, but they were always bursting with innovative ideas. The parents were quick enough to recognize this innate talent in leadership and entrepreneurship. They went ahead and groomed these children. These children are now in their late teens, ready to start off their small business!

This was an eye-opener for me. After coming across such success stories, I felt that parents play an important role in a child’s life in developing the entrepreneurial mindset. And from now on, we all can make a difference in our children’s lives.

7 ways to turn your kids into successful entrepreneurs

  1. Teach them the basics of handling money and finances at an early age.
  2. Encourage them to set goals. Working towards achieving these goals makes them better focused.
  3. Teach kids to seek out opportunities. Recognizing opportunities and acting on them, are traits of successful entrepreneurs.
  4. Make them independent. This instills in them a sense of accountability as well as wanting to try out things in numerous ways.
  5. Inspire the spark of creativity in them. Teaching them the small nuances of marketing at a young age paves way for a better perspective on customers and their importance in businesses.
  6. Don’t punish children when they fail. Failures are important ways in which successful entrepreneurs learn to adapt themselves. Learning something positive out of a failed situation leads to perseverance, and not giving up until goals are achieved.
  7. Encourage them to lead. By sowing the seeds of leadership skills at a very young age, children begin to grasp what it takes to be tough and smart leaders.

Finally, a lot rests on us. We, as parents must know where to draw the fine line of guiding the children and letting them experience things. If we are able to impart the right knowledge and wisdom, we have paved the right path towards success in life.