If you’re like me, you want your kids to grow up to be successful while holding true to a moral compass. As a businessman, I’ve seen the cutthroat attitude that working in business can bring, but I’ve also seen the friendships and comradeship that may flourish under it. I think regardless of whether you are a man or woman in business, teaching business to your kids can be difficult but a necessity to those who desire it. I want to teach my children to experience this latter side of business and life and I’ve been doing that by instilling good business practices into everyday life lessons. I’ve highlighted some of the main things I do below which can hopefully help you instill moral business sense into your children starting at a young age, and growing with them into their teen years.
Teamwork, Competition, and Co-opetition
I love sports and I’m lucky to have children who share my passion. They’ve been involved with soccer, volleyball, basketball, football, and almost anything else with a ball since they were playing swarm soccer all the way up to varsity teams in high school. I’ve even had the pleasure of coaching some of their younger teams and have seen what sports can teach. Obviously sports teach teamwork and competition, which is vitally important in today’s business world. But it also teaches co-opetition, meaning the cooperation with your competitors. The importance of being a good winner, and a loser, are two of the most important lesson’s I’ve learned. If you’ve ever been to a store looking for a specific item only to hear from a clerk, “We don’t carry that here, but Lou’s down the road does,” then you’ll know what I’m talking about. Sports teach children that competition is good for us, and without it things become stagnant and boring.
Unfortunately love doesn’t seem to make the world go round, especially in a declining economy. Teaching your kids about good money practices early can pay off tremendously as they grow and get their own responsibilities. I started savings accounts for my children when they were young, around 4-6, and tried to show them that banks and saving was fun. When they got money from the tooth fairy, birthdays, chores, or anywhere, I would give them the option to keep the cash so that they could spend it, or to put it in the bank. To make the bank more enticing, I offered to match anything they put into their savings account, effectively doubling their money. They weren’t allowed to take any money out of their savings account. As they started to make their own money I helped them make a checking account where they could safely keep the money they wanted to be able to spend. After 18 years of saving money there comes out to be quite a helpful college fund for each child.
There is no perfect way to raise a child, and you might disagree about trying to instill business ethics as they grow. If so, I hope you can see I’ve attempted to teach my children in an indirect manner rather than sitting them down and lecturing them. I believe in learning through experiences in the real world and I hope my suggestions can help you.
Of course parenting is idiosyncratic, meaning each parent, no matter mother or father, is much different in terms of parenting styles and disciplinary choices. Teaching business to your kids is no different. I’ve found my way, if you have other tips leave other suggestions in the comments below.
About Author: Miles Hall loves writing about the business world. He contributes to businessbroker.net, and is primarily interested in businesses for sale.