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.

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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.

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