What’s so great about entrepreneurship?
As parents we are all concerned with our kids education, and if you are anything like us we are sometimes less than inspired by the UK education system. Without being political, there may just be other ways of learning how to be successful in life than reciting times tables. It’s no secret that some of the most successful entrepreneurs: Branson, Zuck etc. have been school drop-outs (not that we would want that!). But what ARE the skills that we can teach our kids to help them be more entrepreneurial in whatever they do?
We are often told about how our generation brings up kids to be snowflakes. So how do we teach resilience when our natural instincts are to smooth out the path for our kids, rather than make life more difficult:
- Don’t compensate! It’s common to want to help our kids avoid negative feelings of loss, anger etc. But helping kids feel their feelings and work through them in a loving way is one of the best ways to foster resilience
- Sometimes it can be hard coming from parents, Use apps such as Positive Penguins and Calm Counter (in App Store) to help with negative feelings.
- Go to experts e.g. Role Models who run resilience courses for kids.
Such a buzzword these days, but essentially this means enabling kids to make mistakes and to know that it’s OK. There is a reason that entrepreneurs often talk of the importance of “failing fast”.
- Praise the process, efforts or strategies rather than the outcome
- Explain the context of learning, and why it will be important for them in the future, rather than focusing on getting the “correct” answer. Hopefully that will help with motivation too!
Do the work! We all know that nothing comes without hard work, but how do we pass that on to our kids?
- Treat school work as a way to teach work ethic. It’s not just homework but learning to work.
- Model a consistent work ethic. Banish “I can’t be bothered” from your vocab!
Leadership is an essential ingredient of a good entrepreneur, and can be encouraged from a very young age. Some competences to start building are:
- Empathy. Talk about feelings with your kids. Read stories about feelings eg. My Many Coloured Days by Dr Seuss
- Self-Awareness. Have your child evaluate their own chore or activity at home. Practice estimating and predicting: eg. how long will it take to get home.
Being able to see the glass half full is not only a great skill in entrepreneurship but in life as a whole, it underpins resilience, work ethic, and many other competences. Some ways we can start to instill a positive attitude in our kids is:
- Encourage positive self-talk: “I can handle this”, “I can keep trying”
- Focus on strengths rather than weaknesses
- And as always model a positive attitude for our kids. Of course that’s totally impossible as a parent, especially when kid 1 has thrown your phone on the floor, kid 2 has run off down the road without you and kid 3 won’t stop screaming. But hey if you can find coping strategies for those hard times, you can teach those to your kids too..
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Mum of Leah (5), Reuben (3) and Abigael