Could your child be the next War­ren Buffett or Oprah Win­frey? Ex­perts tell how to fos­ter that en­tre­pre­neur­ial spirit in your lit­tle one.

Simply Her (Singapore) - - Kids - BY SASHA GON­ZA­LES

By teach­ing your kids to be en­ter­pris­ing, you’re not just pre­par­ing them to cre­ate their own in­come stream in the fu­ture – you’re also help­ing them de­velop val­ues like hard work and re­spon­si­bil­ity.

Suc­cess­ful en­trepreneurs all have the abil­ity to look at sit­u­a­tions dif­fer­ently, the con­fi­dence and de­sire to do things dif­fer­ently, and the abil­ity to find op­por­tu­ni­ties in prob­lems. En­trepreneurs are also pre­pared to take risks and are more likely to do things un­con­ven­tion­ally.

To raise en­ter­pris­ing chil­dren, en­cour­age them to dream and seek to make a dif­fer­ence in other people’s lives. Here are some ideas to get you started:

En­cour­age Them to Read

Look for sto­ries that teach the right money val­ues and that of­fer sim­ple lessons in en­trepreneur­ship. Go through a story with your kids af­ter they fin­ish read­ing it, to make sure they un­der­stand what is be­ing taught.

De­velop Their Skills Through Daily Ac­tiv­i­ties

Fo­cus on life skills such as cre­ativ­ity and in­no­va­tion, de­ci­sion-mak­ing, prob­lem­solv­ing, time-man­age­ment, re­search and com­mu­ni­ca­tion. Just about any ac­tiv­ity works to help your kids hone these skills. If they are older (about nine or 10), send them to the su­per­mar­ket to shop for the evening meal. Get them to pre­pare the shop­ping list and han­dle the money. If they are younger, as­sign a task (such as putting away their toys) and give them a time limit to com­plete it. This helps de­velop their prob­lem-solv­ing and time-man­age­ment skills.

In­cul­cate Fi­nan­cial Knowl­edge

Go­ing for end­less num­bers of en­trepreneur­ship classes won’t help if your chil­dren don’t un­der­stand the value of money and how to man­age it. Teach them about bud­get­ing, in­vest­ing and sav­ing, start­ing with their al­lowance.

Pro­mote In­de­pen­dence

Ex­perts have ob­served that latchkey kids turn out to be very en­ter­pris­ing when they grow up, pos­si­bly be­cause they are more in­de­pen­dent than non-latchkey chil­dren. While you don’t have to ditch the do­mes­tic helper, your chil­dren could cer­tainly ben­e­fit from learn­ing to do things for them­selves. Think sim­ple tasks, like get­ting them to help with the house­hold chores.

Help Them Come Up With a Busi­ness Idea

Brain­storm­ing with them can be fun. En­cour­age them to plan a busi­ness and help them iden­tify the risks and fail­ures that may be in­volved in start­ing such a busi­ness. Help them see that fail­ure is not some­thing to be feared.

Spend some time ex­am­in­ing dif­fer­ent businesses with your lit­tle ones. Help them un­der­stand what these businesses do and what can be done dif­fer­ently and bet­ter.

Find Them a Good Men­tor

If your kids are older (aged eight-plus), help them find busi­ness men­tors, people they are likely to re­spect and whom they as­pire to em­u­late. Look within your busi­ness and so­cial net­works – try to iden­tify some­one who owns a busi­ness and who wouldn’t mind act­ing as a men­tor to your chil­dren. Your kids can “work” or help this per­son out for the day, learn­ing the ropes and see­ing first-hand what it takes to run a com­pany. The men­tor can check in on your kids from time to time, and make him­self avail­able on cer­tain days to guide your chil­dren or share im­por­tant busi­ness lessons with them.

Get Them to Con­trib­ute at Home

Be up­front with your kids about the fam­ily’s fi­nan­cial sit­u­a­tion. Get them in­volved in fi­nan­cial de­ci­sions and even in your fam­ily’s in­vest­ment choices. Bet­ter yet, en­cour­age them to con­trib­ute to the fam­ily fi­nances – they can help out with the home/fam­ily busi­ness, for ex­am­ple. This will help them de­velop the right en­tre­pre­neur­ial val­ues.

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