A good education is a solid foundation for any child’s future success. Some of tomorrow’s most successful entrepreneurs are in elementary school now. Here are a few strategies parents and educator must adopt to provide opportunities for children to learn entrepreneurial skills.
1. Raise Confident Decision Makers.
Leaders and entrepreneurs regularly have to make tough decisions. Start by giving young children limited choices so as not to overwhelm them. Let them choose their school outfit or allow them to order from the children’s menu themselves. You can ask them about their decision-making process and help them learn to evaluate different options. However, do not criticize their decisions and allow them to feel good about their decisions and not second guess themselves.
2. Turn Failure into a Learning Opportunity.
Experienced entrepreneurs know that success often follow one or more failures. But even small failures can be very hard on a child. Help your child understand that sometimes decisions are not the best and that resulting failure is a necessary milestone on the path to success. Greatest lessons of inventors, entrepreneurs and problem solvers are painstakingly acquired.
3. Foster Curiosity and Creativity.
Entrepreneurs are a curious bunch. Encourage your kids to ask questions about how something works. Show them that most problems can be solved with enough perseverance. Teaching science and coding help kids get comfortable with problem-solving and gain confidence in their ability to find solutions. Ask them if they can make some product or solution better? How? Be careful not to shoot down their idea and encourage them to brainstorm.
4. Teach Independent Critical Thinking.
Kids are taught at school and at home to follow rules. While boundaries are necessary, children must also feel safe to question status quote. And they should be encouraged to think of and suggest alternatives.
5. Demonstrate Good Communication Skills.
Communication skill is one of the most critical skills for anyone at any time. Since children model adult’s behavior, parents can and must lead by example and model empathy, diplomacy, good listening, and communicating skills.
In summary, it is never too soon to start teaching children to practice their entrepreneurial and problem-solving skills. Remember to provide positive reinforcement, constructive and loving feedback.