So you want to be an awesome parent? What better way to set your child up for success in life than to equip them with the gift of entrepreneurship and a love for personal advancement! Heaven knows, it’s not easy, so equip yourself with some effective parenting lifehacks before pouring advice onto your child.
Many of the world’s leading figures and successful leaders are men and women who have struck out on their own, pushed themselves beyond conventional limitations and dedicated themselves to innovation and improvement as entrepreneurs. Chances are, you were an entrepreneurship-minded child at one point or another – we’ve all had a childhood lemonade stand or cupcake bake sale – and learning experiences like those are a foundation for building the confidence and mindset necessary to cut it as a future leader.
Without further ado, The 3 Ultimate Parenting Lifehacks to Raise a Future Entrepreneur.
1. Readers are Leaders
Forbes has an excellent article detailing why some of the most successful people are those who love to read – and for good reason. Taking the time to inspire your child with a self-originating love of reading is by far the greatest gift that you can give them. Instead of needing to be taught new things, a reader can seek out the information they want, absorb it quickly, and synthesize it in innovative ways that can vastly expand their horizons.
Children who pick up a love of reading early often go on to become polyglots, inventors, and market-disrupting entrepreneurs. Encourage your child to read – whatever they might enjoy. While the ‘Lean Startup’ may not be exciting to your child now, letting them read Nancy Drew books, Twilight or even comic books will lay the groundwork necessary for them to live a life full of learning.
‘Next-Level’ Parenting Lifehack #1
Read with your child! Lead by example, encourage them with your presence, and build a stronger relationship at the same time.
Are parents always more ambitious for their children than they are for themselves?
– Jeffrey Archer
2. Help Develop Their Passions
In line with the ‘Next-Level’ Parenting Hack #1, encourage your child to pursue their dreams – whatever desires, niches and ideas might excite and inspire them. This does not mean give them free reign over all decisions and ideas – that would almost certainly harm them – but as long as they continue to grow and mature in the important things, afford them the liberty to find and express their individuality.
While cliched, the saying ‘children these days…’ stands true. Kids develop and thrive in different ways – many of which can be frightening to parents at first glance. Instead of discounting alternative learning styles, empower your child to grow at their own pace! With the rise of crowdsourced education (ala Udemy, Coursera, Skillshare, Khan Academy, etc.) your child will undoubtedly find something they are passionate about and learn to excel.
Learning is not always as simple as it used to be – gamification and the rise of the digital space have brought around a revolution in education. Organizations like MinecraftEdu aim to make games like Minecraft a part of alternative learning programs by providing systems and structure to schools across the United States – to great effect. Be the cool parent and play Minecraft with your kid.
‘Next-Level’ Parenting Lifehack #2
Check out tip #4 of this Lifehack article about ideas for incorporating fun activities into your time with your child to explore their unique passions.
Affirming words from moms and dads are like light switches. Speak a word of affirmation at the right moment in a child’s life and it’s like lighting up a whole roomful of possibilities.
– Gary Smalley
3. Never Say ‘No’
If you take only one point away from this guide, let it be this one. There is nothing more discouraging for a child than to have the product of your imagination squashed by a ‘no’. It doesn’t matter if their idea is absurd, silly, or a waste of time – help them to realize that on their own – never dictate the scope of their potential.
Once you put your child’s imagination or excitement within a box (that to them will almost certainly seem arbitrary and unfair) you cannot take it back. They want to start a lemonade stand? Set it up with them! Do they want to trade baseball cards? Research tips and tricks with them! Are they wanting to branch out and learn something new? Don’t second-guess them! Employ the Socratic method of learning – proven techniques that date back to the birth of modern civilization, and use their own mental reasoning to redirect their (potentially less-than-ideal) passions to something productive and innovative that will benefit them for years to come.
‘Next-Level’ Parenting Lifehack #3
Safeguard your child’s passions and desires like the treasures that they are. Help draw learning experiences out of their ideas and projects, and never quench their creativity.
At the end of the day, the most overwhelming key to a child’s success is the positive involvement of parents.
– Jane D. Hull
The Unifying Principle
If you’ve been paying attention thus far, you’ll notice one uniting principle behind each of these parenting lifehacks, and that is spending time with your child. Nothing can help your child develop the self-determination, confidence and ingenuity a future entrepreneur needs better than quality time with you. Whether you understand it or not, in your child’s mind, you may as well have superpowers. With a single word of encouragement or moment spent, you can completely alter the course of their life – which is simultaneously petrifying and electrifying. If one action can lead to the rise of a future world leader, just imagine what results you’ll see if you dedicate your efforts to consistently building them up?
The best inheritance a parent can give to his children is a few minutes of their time each day.
Featured photo credit: Mark Sutherland via flickr.com