Many parents fall asleep at night dreaming of the day their child becomes president of the United States, develops a cure for cancer or performs an equally impressive feat. The best way a parent can help their child conquer the world, or at the very least become a responsible adult, is by teaching them to be a leader, not a follower. From starting a modest business to creating a chore chart, there are many ways parents can help their children down the path to an entrepreneurship MBA.
Think back to all the times you squandered your allowance or wished you’d started saving for retirement while in college. Don’t set your child up for the same regret; start teaching him now how to effectively manage money now. Establishing a chore chart is a great option that teaches your child the link between hard work and earning money. Even a toddler can help sweep floors or wash windows for a few dollars every week, but don’t expect him to save his pennies for a rainy day. Some children, on the other hand, may be completely capable of understanding the concept of saving versus spending. Allow your child to spend his money as he sees fit, but remind him that once the piggy bank is empty he’s out of luck during your next trip to the toy store.
Your Child the Small-Business Owner
You may have visions of your 6-year-old running a successful business someday, so why not start teaching him the skills necessary to lead and succeed by starting your own modest, home-based enterprise now? Once again, your child’s age and willingness will play a role in your start-up, so don’t overwhelm him with responsibilities and concepts he cannot grasp. For example, running a lemonade stand or offering to pick-up leaves or sticks in a neighbor’s yard is a great undertaking for younger children. Older adolescents and teenagers will benefits from the problem solving and entrepreneurial lessons learned while mowing lawns, walking dogs or shoveling sidewalks. Whatever venture you choose, pay attention to allow you child most of the control when it comes to solving issues and spending his earnings. Don’t be surprised when your little one has recruited other kids from the neighborhood and considers opening a second location at grandma’s house.
Your children are faced with decisions every day. A toddler’s major dilemma of the day might be deciding between breakfast cereals, or choosing a T-shirt to wear on a play date. As your little one matures into adolescence, the choices and decisions become more serious. It might be difficult for you to give in and let your child make his own decisions, but it’s important to allow your child some control of his life and decisions. For example, allow your preschooler to choose his own clothing or which vegetable to consume at dinner. Give your adolescent control over how to spend an allowance. Chances are, your child will make poor decisions at first, but he’ll also learn from the experience. His decisions will become wiser as he matures into adulthood.
Setting and Realizing Goals
The majority of adults are unaware of how to set and achieve a goal. Give your child a decided advantage over his peers by teaching him to determine and realize an aspiration. Start by creating a goal chart and write down the steps necessary to complete the objective. For example, let’s say your adolescent really wants the latest video game system. Help him create a chart that outlines how much the system costs and the necessary steps required to earn that amount of money. It might take several months of raking leaves, mowing lawns and acing tests, but eventually your child will meet his goal. Don’t be surprised when he abandons the video game system in favor of working toward a new goal.
Far and away, one of the best ways to ensure your child becomes a great leader is by setting a good example. Create your own goal chart, volunteer and encourage everyone in your household to succeed. Teach your child that winning isn’t everything, mistakes are inevitable and that ultimately, success is possible with an amazing education.
About the Author: Courtney Jacobs is a recent graduate and blogger. She plans to get her MBA through Benedictine online.