By Ayiga Patrick Obita. ..
These days most of us parents and guardians are having a difficult time of upbringing our children. The difficulties are a resultant of our being swamped with the tasks of our survival. It is therefore a competing situation of how to bring up our children in the best possible way. Some of us work so hard that we don’t want our children to suffer like how we did while growing up. In so doing, we have made the children even worse off than we were.
Most of the children spend a lot of time studying, watching TV, going out and less of doing house chores or other things that can make them become independent individuals. Independence is necessary and it needs to be started right away from their childhood.
As parents, most of us have and still continue to take their education as the most important thing in their life. I know education is vital in the lives of our children though it should open up their thinking horizons for a brighter future.
As I grew up my father would tell me just like most of us have been told, I guess, my son read heard and get a job. I actually read very hard as per the advice. My father, however, didn’t tell me about how to be an entrepreneur and never had such talks with any of my siblings as well. With the changing trend of the economic situation, it is now than never before to start instilling in our children to grow up with an entrepreneurship minds. For those that introduced their children, they have set up a future that is bright.
This is reinforced by the fact that whatever we expose the children to from the time there are in the womb of their mother that is what will shape how they will be in their old age. We all have witnessed that most children whom their parents were entrepreneurship and engaged in business, imparted those into them and they live that kind of life till in their old years.
We all have heard of businesses that have gone on from one generation to the next to the next and are controlled by the great grandchildren of those that started them.
I might not be the most authoritative person on this subject though I have children that am grooming to have an entrepreneurship mind-set from their young age. So, let me share with you some of the practices that can be used.
1.Expose them to what you are doing right from their early years. Take them to your workplaces and ensure that they know why you do what you are doing. The children right from their infancy develop a liking for what their parents do as you are their immediate role models. Their world rotates around you so ensure to keep it that way.
2.In addition, as they grow older, continue to give them tasks to do in the business. This is better than them sitting at home to do nothing during the holidays or Saturdays. In doing so, they learn the vital insights of the business.
3.Let them do chores at home especially those which are paid for when done. Some of the chores include, polishing shoes, washing cars for those that own one, slashing the compound, etc.This will instill in them that one has to work hard to get paid.
4. Inculcate in them a saving culture through use of piggy banks especially for the very young ones. After they have saved enough more encourage them to buy something that will multiply the value of their monies. We often time let children save and after which they end up buying toys for playing with. They could actually buy the toys to sell to others at a price. Now that would be entrepreneurship thinking.
5.Advance to the children monies for them to start up something that will bring back the monies you have invested in them. This will involve discussing with the child what they are going to do and how they expect to reap back the investments. Whatever happens, it will instill in them creativity that it is possible for next time.
6.Instilling independence in the children is a factor for enhancing entrepreneurship in them. Letting them to explore some of the hard life decisions will awaken them to get thinking about how they can make it in life.
7.In addition, let the children when they have attained the age of university start fending for themselves with gradual reduction of support to them.
8.Not allowing children to have all that they need. Let them know that there are more important priorities in life.
9.Books and TV programs on entrepreneurship.
10.Take them to trade exhibitions from which they can learn as much as possible.
11.Expose them to children either younger, their age or older than them who are already into entrepreneurship. This might also ignite in them the need to get onto the journey.
12.In addition, seminars or workshops that will ignite their entrepreneurship spirits.
13.Listen to the “crazy” ideas that they come up with and help them to come to pass. Some of us parents shut down our children yet they would have become great entrepreneurs if we just listened to them.
14.Teach them financial literacy like spending according to a budget. This they should be involved in its making. They will learn the most important aspects of entrepreneurship in that way.
15.In addition, teach the children to always have a solution for the problems around them. This mind-set of being a problem solver is what entrepreneurs are all about.
Developing the entrepreneurship mind-set of our children is something that we need to take it on. This coupled with life skills will lead to an empowered and independent generation of individuals. As parents and guardians as our time on this early world comes to an end, we will rest in peace that our children have what it takes to make it in life. Let us give our children the fishing hooks so that they can be able to catch the fishes on their own.
Ayiga Patrick Obita is a Development and Management Consultant, Speaker and Author / Writer with The Manager Resource Centre.