Are you setting your child up to be poor? Here’s the skills they need.
You work hard to provide a better life for your kids. You tell yourself that if you have to work your life away, at least your kids will have the things they need and want. As admirable as that may sound, are you instead inadvertently setting your child up to be financially poor and to struggle through life?
Work and die. A vicious cycle.
I’ve seen this scenario play out too many times. Parents working their lives away to provide for their family only to have their children grow up and have the same financial struggles as they do.
Do you know what countless children have told me they want from their parents?
Do you want to know what adult children tell me they wish they had from their parents?
Go ahead and say it… “Well, who has time when you have bills to pay?! Kids may say they want time but they sure as heck want the new iPhone! I don’t want them to be the only kid in school that doesn’t have the popular toy.”
I hear that.
You want your children to have the greatest childhood and upbringing possible and you think bringing in those paychecks every month is the solution. I’m here to tell you that it is not.
What if I told you that you could set your child up to be your family’s next millionaire and help develop the skills they need to be financially successful in the future? You could foster this growth while giving your child that thing they crave the most. Time.
First, you need to know what skills are important for your child to have. Hint: it’s not Fortnite strategies.
Valuable life skills children need
Think about your own life. What skills do you wish you had that would make it easier for you to increase your income? I implore you to teach them everything you can while they are still young enough to be under your wing.
The following skills aren’t even close to being a complete list of skills that will help avoid setting your child up to be poor. However, these are the skills that many millionaires have claimed to be essential:
Successful people know how to communicate well. The overuse of the technology in our children’s hands is creating a generation of people with extreme anxiety. I can’t tell you how many teenagers today are afraid to drive a car or even talk to an adult. Learning how to effectively communicate may be the most important skill for someone to master. Communication won’t only increase your child’s chances of financial success but will help them in all aspects of their life.
- Introduce new words into your child’s vocabulary.
- Practice conversation starters they can use. (My favorite conversation starter I’ve ever heard was, “What’s your favorite kind of soup?”)
- Ask for their opinion more often.
The ability to sell is also very important. You will hear it from every self-made millionaire and billionaire you ever meet or read about. In fact, I’ve read and listened to many millionaires who have said that they worked uncomfortable sales jobs just to force themselves to learn how to sell.
- Set up a mock scenario where your child sells you something. Practice a script and be sure your child works to maintain eye contact.
- Show them the McDonald’s arch logo and explain some reasons why the business has been so successful.
- Enroll them into the boy/girl scouts. Cookies and popcorn won’t sell themselves!
Creativity and innovation
Having original ideas, imagination, and being able to do new things are key to stand apart from the crowd.
- Encourage your child to read for pleasure and knowledge instead of only a grade.
- Give them free time without technical stimulation.
- Next time they get a new toy, ask them what would make the toy even better.
Your child has to be encouraged to set and plan out goals. A goal without a plan is only a dream. Teach your child that to make their dream a reality, all they have to do is write down their goal, then work backward to where they are now. They will be left with a roadmap to success.
Start small and let them choose a goal. Write down milestones along the way and applaud the effort your child puts forth. If they complete their goal, celebrate! If they fall short, allow them to discover why, applaud the learning experience, then try again.
How can your child manage $1,000,000 if they can manage $50? Children need to know about saving, earning, investing, and giving BEFORE they become struggling adults.
- Play games. Monopoly is my favorite.
- Download a free workbook like the Ultimate Money Playbook for Kids.
- Have them split their money into two jars, one for saving and one for spending. When they spend, allow your kids to pay for their things separately with cash so they learn how fast money can leave their hands.
Didn’t think you’d see this one on here did you? Networking can be defined as a group of businesspeople coming together to make a business deal happen. My favorite millionaire author has been quoted saying, “When you work together in school it’s called cheating. In the business world, however, business owners are only successful if they cooperate at test time. And every day is test day.”
Depending on the age of your child, these ideas can vary greatly. If you have a teenager, you could set up a LinkedIn profile.
If you have a young child, you could come up with a project that would pique your child’s interest. Maybe your child is really into Minecraft. You could tell your child you need to build a huge house with all their friends. Which friend could design an awesome pool? Which one is good at decorating?
Can your child effectively solve problems without coming to you to resolve the issue for them? If not, this is something that can easily be improved and developed in their youth.
- Let them attempt to solve a problem. When they tell you a solution, ask them for two additional solutions that might also work.
- When a problem arises, ask them what the exact problem is. The problem probably won’t be what they think it is.
There are followers and there are leaders. Both are needed for a functioning society. However, leaders make up most millionaires. Good leadership qualities include being able to direct and motivate others, display confidence, and take responsibility.
- Practice negotiation.
- Play team games.
- Let your child take the lead sometimes. For example, you could let your child order the meals for the whole table the next time you go to a restaurant.
Time is one thing on this planet that you cannot buy more of. Prioritizing the most important things in your day first is a great practice to start when you’re young.
- Have your child create a schedule for their day.
- Stay on task in your daily activities. Letting your kids have 5 more minutes after you say it’s time to leave could foster a bad future habit.
- Have them write down all their goals for the day and do the most important and dreaded ones first so they get those out of the way first.
The absolute BEST ways to develop life skills in kids
There have been many teaching and learning ideas throughout this post, however, I saved the best for last.
We all know that no parent is perfect and there is no exact method for raising happy and financially successful children. Fortunately, there are two things you can do to massively increase their chances of reaching such a life.
#1 Model these skills in your own life
You don’t have to already be rich to teach your child these skills. You need to ask yourself though if you are applying these goals to your own life. Have you ever heard the saying, “Do what I say, not as I do?” Well, your child is much more likely to do what you say, if you live by your own words.
#2 Make your child an entrepreneur (Stick with me on this, it’s important.)
I took the above photo of my kids today. We were on our way to pass out 122 flyers that advertise my children’s new pet sitting business. I’ll admit that I don’t get tremendous joy out of going door-to-door with flyers but I do it with a smile anyway.
You see… each summer for the past three years, I’ve encouraged my kids to start a business of their own.
The first year, they weren’t too excited about the idea. They would have much rather just collect money from their family members and call it a day. Fortunately for them, they didn’t have a choice. Successful or not, I wanted them to try.
My son decided that he was going to attempt to grow and sell herbs and my daughter decided she wanted to sell catnip bags.
When my daughter said catnip bags, I immediately wanted to say, “that’s probably not a great idea.”
But I didn’t.
Why didn’t I?
Because it was her first-ever business idea and she was excited about it. Also, the best way to learn is through failure. If she couldn’t sell the catnip bags, she would learn the valuable lesson as to how important it is to think through your ideas and plan for success.
For the next couple of months, we grew lots of catnip and herbs. My daughter and I sewn together catnip bags and my son and I filled spice jars. This turned into valuable TIME with their mother. The same will apply to you when you do the same.
We went door-to-door around our neighborhood to sell their products. Not to my surprise, the herbs had more sales than the catnip. My daughter was crushed and jealous of her brother’s sales.
I attempted to point out the business lesson when we finished the neighborhood sale by encouraging her to go back to the drawing board. She felt like she had wasted her time on the bags. But then she came up with a solution.
We took the leftover bags to our local animal shelter and spoiled the cats with lots of catnip. She was Miss Popular!
The following year, she came up with a new product to sell. She ended up doubling the sales of her brother, which then prompted my son to come up with a new idea for this year.
The point of entrepreneurship for children
Understand that it’s not about the sales or the sibling competition. Instead, it’s about trying new ideas, being creative, being able to sell, setting goals, not quitting at the first feeling of failure, communication, etc.
There are so many skills that are naturally developed during entrepreneurship. Don’t feel like you have to have all the answers. You just have to try! It will take some time and work on your end, but it is extremely worth it!
If you’re not interested in setting your kids up to become financially poor, these are the skills your kids need. Now that they are listed out in front of you, I’m sure you can easily see the value in each one. The world is allowing an entire generation of people to develop extreme anxiety and poor life skills. As parents, we need to give our children the best possible chance in the world. These life skills aren’t going to come through social media. They need to be developed through practice and repetition.
What incredible thing have you seen your child do? Let me know in the comments below.
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