When raising a child, you want to give them all of the tools they need to be successful in life. Some of the most important tools they will ever have at their disposal will be their creativity and passion. But it can be a daunting task to balance and encourage these important aspects of character while still keeping some sense of discipline.
How to Encourage the Entrepreneur in Your Teen
To help with this challenge, let’s look at some ways you can encourage that all-important teen entrepreneurial spirit.
A great way to inspire your Teen is to challenge them to succeed. Through this, they may learn exactly what they are capable of doing, and they might even surprise themselves in the process.
A great way of doing this for a teen is to challenge them to do well in school. When they start high school, take the time to introduce them to the head guidance counselor and principal. This will make them feel like they are somebody to these people, not just a face in the crowd. This inspires them to do better.
While you are at it, scope out the current valedictorian and salutatorian (with help from the guidance officer) and introduce your teen to them. While your teen may not see them as role models, just the knowledge that they are al equal students may invoke that important “I can do it too” feeling. This is important regardless of their gender.
Don’t Use Fear as a Motivator
A good entrepreneur believes that they can do anything, that the sky is the limit. But when we use fear as a discipline factor this also serves to encourage fear in other areas. You want your teen to be nice and respectful, but you also want them to be fearless.
Instead, use a system of rewards as a means of motivating the right behavior and discouring the wrong one. This will serve to change the mindset from, “I better not, I will get into trouble” into “I will find an advantage if I behave this way.” This is an important lesson if you want your child to eventually think for themselves about looking for the advantages in life.
Let Them Discover Their Own Passion
It is hard to truly commit and be successful with anything without having a passion for it. But having a passion for something is as widely varied as the individual itself. For this reason, sometimes you just have to let them take responsibility and make their own choices, no matter how much you would like the alternative.
For example, you may discover that your teen no longer wants to play a particular sport, despite being a participant for many years. They may even be the captain of the team or some other form of leader. But if their passion is leading them elsewhere, it is important to nurture this new direction as they discover a new aspect of their life.
It might be that they leave sports for writing. Encourage it, they may be the next Dorothy Parker or Isaac Asimov. It could be that writing is only a stepping stone to the next adventure in life, such as screenwriting or movie making. You can never know where a passion is going to take them.
The important thing here is not the new activity they are embracing, but rather the action of becoming passionate about a new direction. An entrepreneur may find that this is a valuable skill as they pursue their hopefully eventually successful endeavors.
Raising a teen is not always an easy job. And raising them to be future entrepreneurs like Matt Redhawk can be even more challenging. But with a little forethought and patience, you may discover that your teen has headed that direction thanks to your efforts. And that, as they say so many times in parenting, is rewarding enough.
When he is not writing on his wife’s blog or has his head buried in software code, Greg Chaffins can be found celebrating nerdy things on his own website, NerdBeach.