Four Ways to Teach Your Kids About Business

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Set them up for professional—and personal—success.

Whether your children will grow up to be entrepreneurs or to work for someone else, teaching kids early about business helps them establish valuable skills that can serve them in both their professional and personal lives.

Among other things, learning about business can teach kids problem-solving, time management and the importance of planning. It can also help them understand the value of money and hard work, perseverance and risk-taking.

Raising problem-solvers: When teaching your kids about business, emphasize the planning process. Encourage your child to think ahead, troubleshoot and establish preventive systems.

Here are four ways to help set up your child for success—both in the workplace and in life.

1. Teach them financial literacy.
The sooner you educate your kids about money, the sooner they'll understand the importance of managing and investing their earnings. Talk to them about income and expenses, budgeting and taxes, and show them how you handle your household finances, pointing out the difference between "wants" and "needs." Let them experience the consequences of their choices—for example, that buying a new video game today means it will take them longer to save up for a skateboard.

2. Let them learn from their mistakes.
It can be tempting to step in to help your children solve their problems, but eventually they'll need to be able to manage on their own. Allow them to make mistakes while they're still in the safety of your home and the stakes are low. Help them explore the factors that contributed to the problem—this builds confidence and resiliency and teaches them not to give up when things become difficult.

3. Take them to work with you.
During summer or spring break, bring your child to work with you to experience a normal day at your business. Talk about the jobs they see being done and how these fit into the broader business picture. Let them shadow you and your employees as you explain what you do each day and why. You could even give them tasks to complete—like filing, shredding or making copies—if you feel they're ready.

4. Have them run their own business.
Experience is the best teacher, so let your children be CEO of their own business, whether it's a short-term project or a years-long endeavor. Help them identify their marketable skills and create a business plan, determining how much they'll need to spend and what they can charge for their products or services. Whether it's mowing lawns, walking dogs, babysitting, or selling lemonade, running their own business helps kids learn the importance of punctuality and professionalism, as well as marketing and customer service.

Nurturing these skills in your kids today can help them become successful adults tomorrow.

Sources: Gohenry.com, Rampton, John. How to Teach Your Kids Entrepreneurship Early in Life, LinkedIn, Nationwide.com

Article provided by Melissa Stewart, CFP®, AIF®, Senior Financial Advisor at ClearVista Advisors. Originally published by Raymond James & Associates here.


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