Big Ideas

Raising independent and accountable (entrepreneurial) kids

Wouldn’t you love to have independent and successful children? Of course! The entrepreneurial mind-set causes kids to depend on themselves for their own success, which leads to well-rounded adults and future leaders. Make an effort to cultivate self-reliance. When a kid say “I don’t know how to do this”, say “Well, figure it out!” Obviously, you need to provide guidance and a bit of help appropriate to their age, but we want them to arrive at an answer rather than being handed one. Independence creates confidence.

How to teach:

  • Stop hovering. We do everything for our kids – even their homework. The problem with hovering parents, however, is that with no space, children never learn to embrace and appreciate independence, a vital variable in building and developing confidence at an early age. So, give your children some space. Allow them to fall and scrape their knees once in a while. Just remember that they will inevitably fall and get “scraped up” (figuratively speaking) someday, so it is far better to be around when they do than when they venture out and experience failure for the first time alone.
  • Stop blaming everyone else for your children’s shortcomings. We should stop looking at our children as perfect little bundles of DNA. Children are by default illiterate, uncoordinated and generally ignorant; and while that may sometimes make them insufferable, it is our responsibility as parents to deal with it. Instead of blaming society, culture, media, teachers, doctors or the weather for when our children misbehave or underperform, stop for a second and consider the level of responsibility you have as a parent. Remember, parents are the number one influence on a child’s development, so before you blame someone else for an imperfect child, consider making changes at home.
  • Foster a sense of mastery. Entrepreneurs take huge risks, but being comfortable with uncertainty doesn’t happen overnight. Kids need the freedom to test their boundaries and master fears while they’re young. When your child faces a risky situation, help at first, then transition them toward independence. Tasks should be progressively more difficult as this gives the child a sense of mastery. By setting them up to succeed, you empower them to feel confident taking risks.