Do you want to raise your children to grow up to be business-smart and have the qualities of an entrepreneur? While it may not be possible to define their future careers for them, parents can always take certain approaches while upbringing their children which may increase the child’s ability to venture off the beaten track.
Try to incorporate the following from a young age-
Encourage Their Imagination
Parents are preferring to give their children hours of television time or playtime on phones or tablets. Yes, this will make them gadget smart. It will probably also teach them a thing or two from the ‘educational cartoons’. It will simultaneously leave your child’s imagination unexplored. With all the automated toys, dolls with voices and toy train kits with predetermined paths, your child’s creativity is being stifled. Try to engage them with physical toys as well. Coloring books, blocks, cubes, origami, etc can increase creativity.
Encourage Them To Persuade Others To Follow Them
The underlying foundation of leadership is the ability to appeal to another person to accept your thoughts, ideas and actions. I don’t think someone is born naturally persuasive. Persuasion is (kind of) inspired by your determination to accomplish/obtain something. When your child asks for ice cream, ask them why they need it, how bad they need it and their constant nagging will transform into skilled persuasion over years. Definitely a business-smart child in the making.
Encourage Them To Be Proactively Social
Raise your child to be someone who can make friends easily independently. This process begins at a very young age- a three-year olds make friends to play with at the local park by introducing themselves first; and must continue all through their lives. Your child may find many children who are shy or dazed or simply do not want to reciprocate socially. This is surprising to them because as a parent, you have not taught them any other way to be.
As a parent you must remember that –
The Goal Is Not Perfection
‘Best’, ‘Topper’, ‘Winner’- If these are the superlatives you want to throw about while talking about your children, then, you are pressurizing them to attain perfection. There is so much shame associated with failing- failing a test, not winning the race, not being the best speaker at an event, not making the best sketch in the class, not getting responsibilities at school; parents chide them and make them feel little for such things. Change your approach and be a responsible parent by teaching them how to handle the failure, learn the lesson from it, and move beyond it. Hold their hand through mistakes and tell them it’s alright to fail sometimes.
Do Not False Praise
A little praise can always fuel a dip in motivation. While it is important to appreciate their achievements, it is equally important to point out what is wrong or what is not working. Giving false praise, rewards, extra chocolates when they have underperformed is a common method by parents to cheer kids up. But this also encourages them to accept being mediocre rather than motivate them to try harder next time.
Give Them Space
If you keep monitoring your children during study-time and play-time, you are likely to intervene when they make ‘mistakes’ like match the wrong pieces of the puzzle or write 7 after 9. When you’re around, your parental instincts will act up. Unconsciously, this can be a big boulder in the path of building your child’s independence and self confidence. As a parent you must protect them, but do not let yourself become an obstacle in their personality development.
It is convenient to blame the (offensive) media, the (unsatisfactory dedication of) teachers or even the (harsh!) weather when your child falls behind, fails, does not perform as per their potential or even misbehaves socially. Rather, the sooner you take responsibility, the more positive influence you can extend into their lives. Lead by example and witness your child grow and become an entrepreneur!