Psychologist, and LPC Director, Annie de Acevedo advises parents how to instil them.
In these times, when children have everything at their disposal and have become techno dependent, it is important to develop skills that allow them to be more creative and hopefully more entrepreneurial. To make your child stand out as an entrepreneur, you need skills such as creativity, empathy, confidence to act, and skills to communicate better and solve problems. It also requires hands-on math and finally a very important skill: finding something new at the right time to implement it. These skills are needed to succeed in the 21st century.
Raising children with this kind of knowledge and associated skills can change their lives forever. Thinking differently, in an innovative way, will make them have a more productive life. Here are some key steps that will help you achieve that result:
1. Develop an entrepreneurial mindset
From a young age parents can stimulate beliefs and values that are aligned with knowledge. Beliefs such as “making mistakes is part of success” or “there are many opportunities in the world and some may be for you” are valuable, because in this way you will develop an awareness of opportunities, to create new and valuable things or change a situation in a positive way and also collaborate. No matter what goal the child and family define, the important thing is to develop in them the belief that the world of work is fun, creative and enriching.
2. Introduce entrepreneurial skills
Parents can give their children opportunities to develop skills in sales, marketing, customer service, negotiation, and leadership. This is going to be very helpful in their lives no matter what path they follow. Raising a child who is an entrepreneur is associated with the development of soft skills such as communication, collaboration, creativity, compassion, and critical thinking. All of these soft skills can be associated with very dynamic careers.
3. Give them a chance in real life
Human beings learn by doing, experimenting and making mistakes. Instead of protecting your children from this dangerous real world, trust them as they interact with real life scenarios that will teach them powerful life lessons. Encourage them to have a business: to sell lemonade, cookies, to help an elderly neighbour or to go to any setting where they can be productive. Likewise, it is important that they learn to receive advice on how to market their ideas about some new products. Be their mentor, but not their teacher. Entrepreneurs in general benefit greatly from the guidance of a ‘coach’ or a mentor. A mentor guides children or youth toward resourceful ideas and behaviour that they do not need to know about. The important thing here is to guide them and not tell them what to do. It will also be important that your children get to know people who have been successful entrepreneurs from an early age. That can inspire you. They will be left with the idea that “if it was possible for them, it is also possible for me”.
4. Reward them
From the age of four, children will respond to ideas such as gratification, the help of others, being rewarded even with a payment of money for what they do well. For older people, especially teenagers, you will see how easy it is to create that creative entrepreneurial spirit. It’s not about your child being the next Steve Jobs, it doesn’t even matter if they never start a business at some point in their life. The important thing is that the child learns to feel some control in this difficult and complex world. They will feel that they will have the power to set new goals that are right for them and continue to pursue those goals until they achieve some kind of results. These ideas and skills will serve you, regardless of what you decide to do in your life.
Entrepreneurship is also about serving others in a sustainable way. It also has to do with finding solutions to complex problems and learning to collaborate with others to achieve a better result. Today, more than ever, we are going to need people who are resourceful and capable of leading and taking difficult situations. Developing your children’s entrepreneurship right now can be the key to your children’s success in their careers.
In general, developing a creative and entrepreneurial mind in children will always give them an advantage over their peers, especially in a business world that is very competitive. What we do know is that there will be more opportunities for people who have the ability to solve problems and create new things. Hence the importance of starting to stimulate them to be creative from an early age.