How to Raise Young Entrepreneurs: Teaching Tips for Parents
Mar 17 2011

The following is a guest post by Alexis Posharo. Alexis is a stay at home mom, freelance writer and representative for Home Security where she writes about security cameras, wireless systems, and other methods to keep your family safe and sound.

As you read about and experience the current economic crisis, it’s hard not to worry about the future and what your children will be able to do with it. Some analysts say that our country’s economy is suffering from a “creativity crisis” – the absence of new, marketable ideas and products. Wall Street needs a breath of fresh air. Will your child be the one to provide it?

If your child is old enough to be in school, he or she is old enough to start learning how to be a successful entrepreneur. Teaching your child how to implement good business skills and creativity will be immeasurably helpful in the future, where these skills will be valuable resources. Of course, not all children will be interested in entrepreneurship, but giving your child the opportunity to discover the world of business early in life is a wise and lasting gift.

You don’t have to know everything about entrepreneurship in order to teach your child the basics. Starting a business requires an individual investment in the process of figuring out the best way to do things for a specific idea. You can provide the tools to do this, but it will be up to your child to do the rest. The following tips will help you stock your child’s entrepreneurship toolbox with valuable skills that will be applicable in the world of business and beyond.

Earning Allowances: How to Use a Chore Chart

If you want to teach your child the reality of personal finance, it’s a good idea to require him or her to earn an allowance rather than simply giving it out each week. To do this, you can set up a chore chart by date with the specific work involved in each chore, the amount you’re willing to pay, and a blank for your child’s initials. For example, next to the date column, you might write “empty the dishwasher” with “compensation” at $0.50. If you have more than one child, this is likely to incite competition – but that’s a part of entrepreneurship.

When your child works for his or her allowance, it’s more likely that he or she will develop good personal finance skills, which are essential to learn before embarking on entrepreneurial efforts. Your child might start comparison shopping without even understanding the concept, simply because it makes money go further. This kind of self-discovery is one of the best ways to learn what it means to be an entrepreneur.

Playing Disney’s “Hot Shot Business” Game

In this online game, you can help your child learn the basics of entrepreneurship. The premise is that when a comic book company leaves town, the local kids are worried that jobs will be lost. They’re eager to solve the problem, but are unsure what they should do – until you come onto the scene. Your first decision is to either start a comic book business to replace the first company or to start another business that would utilize the same resources and keep the same jobs filled. The game is entertaining for kids and it causes them to ask questions, think about potential solutions, and make decisions based on their own knowledge of the situation and predictions. It’s a great way to teach your child how to think like an entrepreneur at a young age.

Playing the “Just for Clicks” Business Game: Online & Offline

The innovative website TeachingKidsBusiness.com has a variety of resources and games for young entrepreneurs, but its “Just for Clicks” game teaches the most real-world skills. Kids from age 8 to 18 can play it both online and offline, and the “game” is to create a business that stands up to peer scrutiny. Your child can start by developing a business name, creating an information product, and naming that product. The game then progresses into assigning a price to the product, creating an advertisement for the product, and “playing” with others to find out how the new business stacks up. Kids can let each other know what they think of business ideas and products, giving feedback and making suggestions. It’s a very basic formula, but it can spark creativity and inspire your child to learn more about entrepreneurship.

Author: | Filed under: entrepreneurship, guest post, parenting | Tags: , , , , , , | 8 Comments »

8 Comments on “How to Raise Young Entrepreneurs: Teaching Tips for Parents”

  1. 1 Delena Silverfox said at 12:09 AM on March 18th, 2011:

    While I wholeheartedly agree that teaching our kids about money, management, business and finance, and entrepreneurship is especially intelligent today, I’m not sure I agree with teaching them to work for their allowance.

    That would teach them to work for money like any regular employee, and we want to be teaching them how to use money to work for them. I agree we need to teach them money management, but not to trade their time and energy for a set price. It limits their view and trains them to see no further than their own sweat and effort rather than have the creativity to make money from the opportunities that surround them…like a true entrepreneur would.

    For games, we’re planning on purchasing Cashflow for Kids when our daughter is old enough.

    Delena

  2. 2 Aruni said at 6:19 PM on March 20th, 2011:

    @Delena – thanks for the comment! I think you enter tricky terratory when compensating kids for doing what they should be doing to help around the house to help the family. Sometimes you should do things without expecting to get paid. I don’t recall getting much of an allowance growing up, but we did get money for good grades. My mom did a great job teaching us how to manage money.

  3. 3 steven papas said at 2:45 PM on March 21st, 2011:

    Great post Karen. You are bringing a very interesting issue here. Financial education is totally absent in schools when at the same times financially illiterate parents teach kids to get good grades in order to go to college and get a job in a company, which is pathetic to me. So I agree with Delena’s concept to teach children that they should work hard to set up a money making system where money will work for them, but small kids cannot understand this; teens perhaps will do. Therefore small kids, i.e. 5 or 6 year olds will definitely benefit from having to work for their allowance because this way they will understand its mechanism and now to manage it. Teens, though, have to be taken a step further and told the truth. Harv Eker says that the main difference between poor and rich lies in money management.

  4. 4 Russ said at 2:48 AM on March 25th, 2011:

    Great post. I think the education system is ok, but I feel that it negatively effects kids creativity and ability to become entrepreneurs.

  5. 5 Suzanne @ Mind Tree said at 1:12 AM on March 29th, 2011:

    I think, small kids, i.e. 5 or 6 year olds will definitely benefit from having to work for their allowance because this way they will understand its mechanism and now to manage it.

  6. 6 Aruni said at 8:22 PM on March 29th, 2011:

    @steven – I hope my kids get some financial education during their early years of education. I was fortunate that my mom taught me how to budget early in life.

    @Russ – I agree that most schools don’t encourage and actually discourage creativity.

    @Mind Tree – I don’t even give my kids (8 and 6) allowance yet. :-)

  7. 7 security-systems-uk said at 2:42 AM on April 2nd, 2011:

    Great Post, My wife and I wife often discuss methods of helping our kids develop a greater appreciation of money. It is all too often these days that kids become spoilt because they are simply given what they want. I think it is hugely important to develop a mechanism of reward early on. It will ultimately make them realize that nothing is got for free and that you need to work for everything in life and give a greater future security.

  8. 8 Jana said at 1:19 PM on April 12th, 2011:

    Thanks for the great tips Alexis. I’ve been trying to think of ways to pass on my post-college learnings to my son. Sadly school wasn’t very helpful if you plan on being an entrepreneur. But these tips are definitely getting used.