Owning a business is hard. And it’s an even more difficult task when you have children and trying to achieve a family work life balance. Workdays can be ongoing, often stretching to 16 hours, 7 days a week. Oftentimes, you’ll be missing out on quality time with your children, one of the biggest disadvantages in the early days of entrepreneurship. But if you stay the course, you can be rewarded with freedom and more time with your family as the end result. In the meantime, here are some great ways to reduce family work friction and teach your children the value of entrepreneurship and all that it has to offer.
Being around the family business can help kids become more successful in life.
Entrepreneurship introduced early into a child’s life can help them develop social emotional skills like drive, mental toughness, communication, and negotiation skills that they may could not have learned elsewhere.
How can you help your children develop these life-long skills?
Try the following 5 ways and watch your children increase their initiative, grit, and business skills, naturally.
1. Teach Them Fiscal Fitness
Teaching your kids financial literacy enables them to develop delayed gratification and can set them up for life.
2. Set Goals Together
Setting goals can help your child develop a hard work ethic and grit. My favorite medium to use to develop goals is a vision board. This can be done as a family event wherein everyone creates one. Following up a vision board with written goals can help cement them into the subconscious. Goals can be broken down into 3 components:
3. Allow Them to Fail
“Every failure carries with it a seed of equal or greater benefit, ” states Napoleon Hill in Think and Grow Rich.
When we allow our children to fail, we encourage them to learn from their past mistakes and to think of different ways in which to accomplish their goals. As a result, they become more mentally tough.
It’s important to have a discussion about what was learned from the mistake so that they can adjust the course of action. Once they’ve realized what they’ve learned from this failure, give them the support that only a parent can provide by listening and encouraging them to not give up even when the odds seem insurmountable.
4. Cultivate Grit and a Hard Work Ethic
“How you do anything is how you do everything” is about having a proactive mindset.
As far as entrepreneurial skills, the phrase says a lot:
The main point to keep in mind is that even the seemingly insignificant stuff counts in business. Consider a few of these:
5. Instill Passion in All That They Choose to Do
Parents can play a huge influence in determining a child’s work ethic and habits. This means that how you talk about your work and job, including your happiness or lack thereof with it, helps to shape the ideas about work that your children will likely adopt. You want them to know that it is possible to love what you do because when you make your passion your work, it really doesn’t feel like work.
To do this, talk about what you’re learning and why it matters to you. Lead by example and demonstrate the importance of continual education by living it. Allow your kids to see you reading books, doing research, listening to podcasts in the car, and taking courses. You can involve them in it by explaining what skills you’re looking to improve and sharing your goals.
Instilling passion also involves allowing them to try things that interest them. Providing them space to follow their hearts opens up opportunities for real passions to develop.
The point isn’t necessarily to encourage your kids to become entrepreneurs themselves. It’s to teach them the values that enable it and help them in any industry they choose to go into. In any career, you have an advantage when you embody hard work, grit, and, above all, passion.
As young children begin their academic careers, parents often wonder are they doing enough to keep up.
“Does Timmy know all his 100 sight words?”
“Should I start Olivia with physics?”
“Does Emma know her multiplication table?”
However, many parents would be surprised to know that social skills predicted outcomes into adulthood much more than early academics.
For instance, a research study published in 2015 showed that social skills observed in kindergarten showed significant correlation with well-being at age 25, even with factoring in for family demographics and early academic ability,
Social skills far outweigh intellectual intelligence!
Kindergarteners who displayed social ability were more likely to graduate from high school, go to college, stay out of trouble, and start a career than those who showed a lower level of social aptitude, regardless of their socio-economic status or what age they began reading.
So while many parents feel pressured to cut back on free and play time, it's actually those “not as important skills" that predict long-term success.
Here are five important social skills you can foster in your child.
1. How to communicate
Free time is a powerful tool for the development of social skills in a child’s early years. By playing with others, children learn to problem solve, negotiate, communicate, share and take turns.
2. How to grow grit
Where does problem-solving come from? And at what point do we, as parents, teach problem-solving and perseverance? We can teach problem-solving by allowing them to fail and try again. When we ask children how a problem should be solved or how their solution is working out, we give them a chance to think about the experience and results. We're teaching them that mistakes help us grow as long as we take the lessons learned from them.
3. How to manage emotions
The development of this crucial skill calls for the naming of emotions. Whether you do this in your own home (“Your sister doesn’t look very happy you took her jumprope without asking.”) or though a storybook (“How do you think this made him feel?”), it’s important that you give each emotion a name. That way, your child can recognize it for what it is.
What drives the plot in most books are conflict and emotion. If you are able to have conversations about observed emotions of the characters, it’s often easier because your child isn't tied up in the emotion roller coaster themselves. From an unemotional vantage point, your child may be more accepting about the emotions in the book and then apply it in real life.
It’s important to make sure that your kids get plenty of time interacting with other children since excessive screen use may prevent the development of your child's social skills to recognize emotions in others.
4. How to be kind to themselves and others
Children who learn empathy and compassion for others adapt in the real world more easily. Being kind to others requires them to understand the needs of others. By complimenting your child when you notice kindness, You can encourage your children’s helpful and kind behavior by praising them for acts of kindness, both big and small.
Children can help with household daily tasks which include bringing in the groceries, grabbing a band-aid when someone is hurt, or holding the door open. It can, also, be as simple as smiling, saying “Thank you”, or giving a compliment.
5. How to develop delayed gratification
If a child doesn’t learn how to control their impulses, the results in adulthood can end up in eating disorders, spending addictions, and even hoarding.
In the infamous marshmallow study, where a child must delay gratification and wait before consuming a treat, most children did not have this skill down yet.
One way to foster delayed gratification in children is though sports. For example, tennis and soccer are sports that require a lot of time and patience to develop. The success is not seen overnight. Instead, children must practice and develop long-term goals which can help delay their gratification to win a trophy.
Books are also a great way to build these skills. By taking a character and an imaginative storyline, children can stand in the character’s shoes, thinking outside of their own perspective.
It may seem as if, with social media’s highlight reel, that your child is academically behind or that you need to ‘catch up’. However, the reality is everyone learns at their own pace and social skills they develop in early childhood may assist them far better and for much longer.