Every parent will want to see their child[ren] live a fulfilled and independent life when they grow up. Our educational system in Cameroon and majority of the third world countries teach children to grow up and be good employees. Many of these kids grow into adulthood clueless on what to do to earn a living. Examples can be the number of graduates you find around our communities today who don’t even know what to do to earn a living.
Most successful entrepreneurs got their entrepreneurial skills from home. Most of the time they will tell you they got inspired from activity at home or out of school, or their parents introduced them into business, etc. So it’s time parents in Africa start teaching child entrepreneur skills at home.
This is why it is necessary for you to home-school them on how to start and manage a business of their own. What you should note is that most of these kids, as young adults, will always come back home before trying to figure out what they can do to earn a living. So it will be a good idea for you to start teaching them at home.
See below some practices that can instill in kids the spirit of becoming an entrepreneur:
You can organize daily goal setting activities with your child. Ask your child what they would want to do for the day; how they plan to do it (steps needed)? Let it be a fun activity. If they are two or more, engage them into some sort of competition. At the end of the day, make sure you control to see if the goals were achieved or not. Ask them the difficulties they faced and what they plan to do to overcome those difficulties the next time.
NB: When making plans for a family project, make sure you involve your children. Ask their opinion and discuss the project together.
Salesmen and marketing professionals are supposed to have confidence in themselves as well as the products or services they are selling. Let your child’s opinion count. Let them share their idea. Encourage them to explain their opinions and why they think it will be good. You can open a table shop in front of your house where they can sell things (it can be their old toys, dresses, or things they have made by themselves). The price doesn’t matter, but the experience of bargaining with customers would be felt. This in turn builds their confidence especially if they come at the upper hand in a bargain. It’s fun for them and shows a sign of responsibility.
NB: Don’t send kids on the streets to sell without any grown-up to guide them.
If they can sell, then they need to manage the money they earn Teach them how to manage the money they earn. Business is not only about earning money. It’s also about how to manage what you earn. Tell them about income and expense in simple terms. Let them know they can save their profits or reinvest it to make more money or donate it to charity. Let them learn to spend their profit on what they ‘need’ and not what they ‘want’. Help them differentiate their needs from their wants.
Entrepreneurs communicate and they do it confidently. During holidays, enroll them for drama and singing classes. Encourage them to speak in front of family and friends. Let them lead prayer sessions in the family or family gatherings. Organize evening story telling sessions. This will encourage them to be confident and clear when speaking in public.
Let your child know how to look for a solution to a problem or to use a problem or failure as an opportunity to start another project. In school, children learn that if your answer is not right, then you have failed. Also, that there is just one right answer. That is what the school teaches them. Now at home, make sure they live the reality and think out-of-the-box. Let them know that there are other methods that can be used to get solutions to problems. A very important characteristic of an entrepreneur is having varied solutions to a problem and choosing the best. When your child faces a problem, leave them to find a solution by themselves.
Human beings always want things done their way. If your child is carrying out a task in a different way, don’t discourage them. Instead, ask why they do it differently. Follow their ideas and guide them even if you have some doubts.
Teach your children to use their failures as an opportunity. Failures are not an end to itself, but can be seen as an opportunity to look for another method of doing something or even starting another project. When things don’t work out for the child, tell them to try again or to persevere. This will let them know how to understand and manage disappointments in their life.
Holidays are meant for rest after about 9 months of classroom work. Why then will parents send for ‘holiday’ classes during a period that they are supposed to be relaxing and trying new things?
Learning is not only done in the classroom. The school of life is taught more in real life than in the classroom. I encourage parents to help their children develop skills through normal play and day-to-day activities at home.
Why not send them to even learn professional or artisan skills. Send them to a carpentry workshop, car maintenance garage, etc. These skills are very valuable in their upbringing and will have a positive impact in their lives as they grow up.