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12 Ways To Instill Your Kid With An Entrepreneurial Mindset

12 Ways To Instill Your Kid With An Entrepreneurial Mindset

Misfit, oddball, geek, nerd, outcast, and misunderstood rebel, these are some of the terms used to describe future entrepreneurs. So parents, I wouldn’t be too worried if your child isn’t popular and hanging with the cool kids…yet.

Chances are they’re already in line to be the next Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook founder) or Do Won Chang (Forever 21 founder). Both of these entrepreneurs started from very unpopular beginnings. Zuckerberg still doesn’t let being perceived negatively get in the way of his success:

“This is a perverse thing, personally, but I would rather be in the cycle where people are underestimating us. It gives us latitude to go out and make big bets that excite and amaze people.” – Mark Zuckerberg

You’ll find that it takes only simple tweaks in everyday behavior to cultivate an entrepreneurial mindset in your kids.

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1. Never say: “Do as I say, don’t do as I do”

It is far better to lead by example. As a child, I heard, “Do as I say, don’t do as I do” with my mother’s index finger wagging in my face countless times. In theory, it sounds like it might work and encourage your child to listen to your recommendations and do better. But it’s an illogical approach when the laws of nurture come into play. Children are far more likely to imitate your actions rather than your noble speech. My 3-year-old daughter asked me for her own desk in my home office. It isn’t because desks are cool among 3-year-old’s; you know what is cool? Being like mommy.

2. Create An Environment Of Play

When did life get so serious? When did we stop playing in puddles, laughing at randomness, being silly because the mood struck us? Don’t take that away from your kids. Let them build a fort in the Ikea-chic living room. Let them imagine the pencil has magic powers and can turn you into a parrot. (Be the freakin’ parrot!) Part of being an entrepreneur is about creating, questioning, exploring, and playing. That’s how ideas are born and life becomes a majestic board of possibilities. Never let them stop playing with possibilities. Ever.

3. Manage What They Consume

Create more, consume less. In our savvy technology world, anything you can imagine is available on an iPad. Utilize the parent-protected feature to only provide them with access to content that will teach them, develop their thinking, and inspire them to be their best self. Focus on games that represent leadership and critical thinking, and promote kindness and being responsible. Visuals that encourage positive self-image and self-regard are also important. If your child is anything like my kid, they’re probably on some type of device a lot. Create a bubble and regulate their media consumption. Safeguard what filters in, and you’ll always be proud of what filters out.

4. Interrupt Negative Self-Talk

The thing we usually cannot manage is what our children hear outside of the home and away from our guidance. This is where they can pick up foreign habits that stray from the path we would most prefer them to be on. Not everyone around us will or wants to be an entrepreneur. And the journey of entrepreneurship requires a person who has thick skin, even when faced with their own self-talk.(Don’t we tend to be our own worst enemy?) The “I am dumb”, “I always mess up” and “I suck at this” self-talk will creep into your child’s vocabulary. Don’t let too much time pass before you interrupt their negative self-talk. Interject with “Remember the time you hit that home run?” Or “You did awesome when you got a B+ on your spelling test.” Replace the negative statements with positive wins they recently had. This reminds them of how phenomenal they really are and re-frames their outlook on the current situation. It reminds them that their situation is only temporary. Their awesomeness isn’t.

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5. Actively Remind them to be Grateful

Our mental space often gets crowded with all the things we think that we want. “I want…I want…I want…” How many times you’ve heard your kids say this over and over? Think of when they were asking for the brand new toy that came out last week or asking to watch the movie Frozen another 101 times. Always wanting without being thankful for what they already have sets our children up to expect immediate gratification. You and I both know that there is no such thing as getting instant results when running a business. It takes time, months…even years to see any positive results sometimes. A simple reminder of all we have to be thankful for in this present moment creates a conscious child and one who is open to receiving more in time.

6. Make Rigid Routine Days Mandatory

You may be thinking how does this create an entrepreneurial mindset? Don’t entrepreneurs purposefully avoid routine? That’s why entrepreneurs don’t have jobs, right? Not true. Part of being an entrepreneur is learning to do the boring stuff…repeatedly. That’s how great minds are built, like Mark Cuban, Steve Jobs, and Oprah. Nobody ever talks about all the times they had to re-write their business plan, set up mundane systems and master a skill before they began to see success. There’s one simple reason for is: there’s nothing sexy about routine. But a routine must be mastered. This creates discipline and yield results. As time passes, due to our purposefully scheduled days focused on mastering a craft, we are eventually able to live free from such a rigid routine.

7. Encouraging Curiosity and Asking Questions

In this case, lack of curiosity…killed dreams. To ask why and question the status quo is what entrepreneurship is built on. The greatest entrepreneurs have asked “Why not?” when facing risks or unconventional choices. Have your children explore places, sights and sounds. Encourage them to try new foods, and to meet different and interesting people. When dancing with the idea of doing something out of their comfort zone, allow them the freedom to ask “how”, “what”, “who”, “where”, “when”- and most importantly…”why not?”

“Others have seen what is and asked why. I have seen what could be and asked why not.” – Pablo Picasso

8. Encourage Independence From Diaper Years

If you’re reading this and you’re one of those parents who love to coddle their child. You’re not going to like this one…not one bit. Here goes: coddling sets them up for dependency and there is nothing entrepreneurial about that. Allow them to get their own utensils before dinner, set the table even. It teaches them responsibility. Let them correct their misbehavior before you tell them that they’re wrong. It teaches them accountability. Don’t rush to kiss their boo-boos after a fall. It teaches them how to get back up…on their own. We as parents won’t always be there and they will have to learn how to conquer the jungle of life independently eventually. Be there to support them, the whole way- just from a distance.

9. Never Teach Them Ugly Ideas About Money

The rich are evil”, “The rich do whatever it takes to get what they want”, “The rich profit off of the poor”. These ugly lessons are false and will block your child from making money from any future business ventures. They’ll get as far as that belief will take them- just enough to satisfy their basic needs. Entrepreneurship is about being in a position to help others. If you’re not in a happy financial situation, chances are you cannot help anyone else but yourself. Sure, there are a few bad apples that reach financial success but it doesn’t outweigh the countless others who don’t fit that description.They continue to support communities and the creation of positive technological advances because they are in a financial position to do so.

10. Let Them Have A J.O.B.

This goes against everything an entrepreneur stands for. A job! Yuck. But we all start somewhere. How will our children learn how to do things differently, without first knowing how it’s done? Then they have the chance to realize they can do it better…much better. Give them small tasks to do each day around the house. Let them pick up a paper route. Have them learn the fundamentals of hard work! This only prepares them for the incredible work involved when running your own business.

11. Answer Their Questions With A Question

Don’t give up answers so easily.

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Why do I have to go to school?” Your response: “You tell me, why?

How do stars stay up in the sky? Your response: “You tell me, how?”

What makes the TV work?” Your response: “I’m not sure…you tell me, what makes it work?

This allows them to THINK about their question and allow critical thoughts to flow. When we easily hand over the answers, what opportunity do they have to be resourceful? This doesn’t encourage them to formulate their own reasoning around why things happen, how things work, and what things are. It also doesn’t offer them the chance to come up with their own conclusions. Having a discussion around their findings is one of the best gifts you can give them.

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12. Pour On The Hugs and Kisses

This is probably the most important tool in your arsenal. An emotionally stable child is going to take failure a lot better, get back up a lot faster, and have higher self-confidence. They will know without a shadow of a doubt, they can be and do whatever they’ve set their mind to. It just takes one person to believe in them…just one. After that, not even the sky’s the limit.

Soar my little eagle, soar.

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Published on December 14, 2018

14 Helpful Tips for Single Parents: How to Stay Sane While Doing it All

14 Helpful Tips for Single Parents: How to Stay Sane While Doing it All

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, over 27% of children under the age of 18 are living with a single parent.[1] That’s over 1/4th of the U.S. population.There is a common misconception that children who grow up in single parent homes are not as successful as children living in two-parent homes.

One crucial detail that was often left out of studies when comparing single and two-parent homes was the stability of the household. There is a correlation between family structure and family stability, but this study shows that children who grow up in stable single-parent homes do as well as those in married households in terms of academic abilities and behavior.

But providing stability is easier said than done. With only one adult to act as a parent, some tasks are inherently more challenging. However, there are a few helpful things you can do to make the parenting journey a little easier for yourself and stay sane while doing it.

1. Don’t Neglect Self-Care

Before anything else can be done, you must be caring for your own needs adequately. Only when you are feeling well-rested and healthy can you be at your best for your children.

Many parents tend to put their kids’ needs first and their owns last, but that will result in a never-ending cycle of exhaustion and feelings of inadequacy. Make time to eat regularly and healthfully, get plenty of rest, and squeeze in exercise whenever you can. Even a short walk around the neighborhood will help your body get much-needed movement and fresh air.

Your children depend on you, and it’s up to you to make sure that you are well-equipped and ready to take on that responsibility.

2. Join Forces with Other Single Parents

At times, it may seem like you’re the only person who knows what it’s like to be a single parent. However, the statistics say that there are many others who know exactly what you’re going through.

Find single parents locally, through your kid’s school, extracurricular activities, or even an app. There are also numerous online communities that can offer support and advice, through Facebook or sites like Single Mom Nation.

Although single moms make up the majority of single parents, there are more than 2.6 million single dads in the U.S. A great way to connect is through Meetup. Other single parents will more than happy to arrange babysitting swaps, playdates, and carpools.

Join forces in order to form mutually beneficial relationships.

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3. Build a Community

In addition to finding support with other single parents, also build a community comprised of families of all different types. Rather than focus solely on the single parent aspect of your identity, look for parents and kids who share other things in common.

Join a playgroup, get plugged in at a church, or get to know the parents of the kids involved in the same extracurricular activities. Having a community of a variety of people and families will bring diversity and excitement into your and your kids’ lives.

4. Accept Help

Don’t try to be a superhero and do it all yourself. There are probably people in your life who care about you and your kids and want to help you. Let them know what types of things would be most appreciated, whether it’s bringing meals once a week, helping with rides to school, or giving you time to yourself.

There is no shame in asking for help and accepting assistance from loved ones. You will not be perceived as weak or incompetent. You are being a good parent by being resourceful and allowing others to give you a much-needed break.

5. Get Creative with Childcare

Raising a child on a single income is a challenge, with the high cost of daycares, nannies, and other conventional childcare services. More affordable options are possible if you go a less traditional route.

If you have space and live in a college town, offer a college student housing in exchange for regular childcare. Or swap kids with other single parents so that your kids have friends to play with while the parents get time to themselves.

When I was younger, my parents had a group of five family friends, and all of the children would rotate to a different house each day of the week, during the summer months. The kids would have a great time playing with each other, and the parents’ job becomes a lot easier. That’s what you would call a win-win situation.

6. Plan Ahead for Emergencies

As a single parent, a backup plan or two is a must in emergency situations. Make a list of people you know you can call in a moment’s notice. There will be times in which you need help, and it’s important to know ahead of time who you can rely on.

Look into whether or not your area offers emergency babysitting services or a drop-in daycare. Knowing who will be able to care for your child in the event of an emergency can relieve one potential source of anxiety in stressful situations.

7. Create a Routine

Routines are crucial for young children because knowing what to expect gives them a semblance of control. This is even more important when in a single parent home.

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If the child travels between homes or has multiple caretakers, life can seem extremely chaotic and unpredictable. Establish a routine and schedule for your child as much as possible. This can include bedtime, before/after school, chores, meal times, and even a weekend routine.

Having a routine does not mean things cannot change. It is merely a default schedule to fall back on when no additional events or activities are going on. When your children know what to expect, they will be less resistant because they know what to expect, and days will run much more smoothly.

8. Be Consistent with Rules and Discipline

If your child has multiple caretakers, such as another parent, grandparent, or babysitter, communicate clearly on how discipline will be handled. Talk to your ex, if you are sharing custody, as well as any other caretakers about the rules and the agreed-upon approach to discipline.

When a child realizes that certain rules can be bent with certain people, he/she will use it to their advantage, causing additional issues with limits, behavior, and discipline down the road.

This article may help you to discipline your child better:

How to Discipline a Child (The Complete Guide for Different Ages)

9. Stay Positive

Everyone has heard the saying, “Mind over matter.” But there really is so much power behind your mentality. It can change your perspective and make a difficult situation so much better.

Your kids will be able to detect even the smallest shift in your attitude. When the responsibilities of motherhood are overwhelming, stay focused on the positive things in your life, such as your friends and family. This will produce a much more stable home environment.

Maintain your sense of humor and don’t be afraid to be silly. Look towards the future and the great things that are still to come for you and your family. Rediscover and redefine your family values.

10. Move Past the Guilt

In a single parent home, it is impossible to act as both parents, regardless of how hard you try. Let go of the things that you cannot do as a single parent, and instead, think of the great things you ARE able to provide for your children.

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Leave behind the notion that life would be easier or better with two parents. This is simply not true. There is a multitude of pros and cons to all family dynamics, and the one you are providing for your kids now is the one that they need.

Don’t get bogged down by guilt or regret. Take control of your life and be the best parent you can by being present and engaged with them on a daily basis.

11. Answer Questions Honestly

Your kids may have questions about why their home situation is different from many of their friends. When asked, don’t sugarcoat the situation or give them an answer that is not accurate.

Depending on their age, take this opportunity to explain the truth of what happened and how the current circumstances came about. Not all families have two parents, whether that is due to divorce, death, or whatever else life brings.

Don’t give more detail than necessary or talk badly about the other parent. But strive to be truthful and honest. Your children will benefit more from your candor than a made-up story.

12. Treat Kids Like Kids

In the absence of a partner, it can be tempting to rely on your children for comfort, companionship, or sympathy. But your kids are not equipped to play this role for you.

There are many details within an adult relationship that children are not able to understand or process, and it will only cause confusion and resentment.

Do not take out your anger on your kids. Separate your emotional needs from your role as a mother. If you find yourself depending on your kids too much, look for adult friends or family members that you can talk to about your issues.

13. Find Role Models

Find positive role models of the opposite sex for your child. It’s crucial that your child does not form negative associations with an entire gender of people.

Find close friends or family members that would be willing to spend one-on-one time with your kids. Encourage them to form meaningful relationships with people that you trust and that they can look up to.

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Role models can make a huge difference in the path that a child decides to take, so be intentional about the ones that you put in your kids’ lives.

14. Be Affectionate and Give Praise

Your children need your affection and praise on a daily basis. Engage with your kids as often as possible by playing with them, going on outings, and encouraging open dialogue.

Affirm them in the things that they are doing well, no matter how small. Praise their efforts, rather than their achievements. This will inspire them to continue to put forth hard work and not give up when success is not achieved.

Rather than spending money on gifts, spend time and effort in making lasting memories.

Final Thoughts

Being a single parent is a challenging responsibility to take on. Without the help of a partner to fall back on, single parents have a lot more to take on.

However, studies show that growing up in a single parent home does not have a negative effect on achievement in school. As long as the family is a stable and safe environment, kids are able to excel and do well in life.

Use these tips in order to be a reliable and capable parent for your kids, while maintaining your own well-being and sanity.

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Featured photo credit: Bruno Nascimento via unsplash.com

Reference

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