The assertion that children are the leaders of tomorrow can deceive you into thinking that you can put off their grooming for later. Your perception, however, should actually be that it’s important to start conditioning them as early as possible to prep them for that future. The adage ‘you can’t teach an old dog new tricks’ somehow speaks to how important it is to teach someone when they are much younger. It is expertly proven that the formative age for any child born is from birth to age 8. This means any subsequent social behaviour they will exhibit later in life is mainly put together in their first 8 years. Everything a kid observes in that age range they absorb like a sponge. Thus you must take a keen interest in how you raise your kids. Due to the growth of entrepreneurship, it’s wise to raise your kids to be entrepreneurs, let’s discuss how.

Financial Management

Children must be knowledgeable about the importance of managing money wisely from an early stage. You can start off by demonstrating to them that you as parents budget and strategically use whatever money you get or make. I remember growing up I always knew my parents would have a closed-door meeting laying out their budget every time they got their incomes. Children when quite young just imbibe everything they observe so exhibit behaviour you would want them to emulate. When you make financial decisions that involve them or the family as a whole, have the patience to explain to them why you are making some of the decisions. Develop a culture of giving your kids allowances or pocket money. Then use that as a basis for them to make savings – you can get them piggy banks. For instance, when your kid wants you to buy something for them you can desist from buying it directly. Rather you can encourage them to save up for the item from the pocket money you give them. There is so much you can do to creatively teach them financial management – explore the endless possibilities. From at least the age of 5, a child is grown enough for you to start teaching them financial management.

Reading Culture

Successful business owners are known to be great leaders because they are great readers. Entrepreneurship is a fast-paced field of endeavour that demands that one be an avid reader to stay informed and up-to-date. This reading culture must be taught children from the time they are in their formative years. When I was young (still in pre-school) my dad would leave me reading work before he left for work. Upon his return he would expect me to summarize what I would have read about; that’s why I grew up to love reading and now writing. Africa is particularly ridiculed for the lack of a widespread reading culture. Let’s change the narrative by teaching our kids to love reading from very tender ages.

Assignments & Reward Systems

Entrepreneurship is borne out of problem-solving with the promise of returns on investments later. In order for children to understand this early on, always give them practical assignments that entail solving problems and then you reward them afterwards. Reward systems motivate them to tackle subsequent challenges with the aim of getting the returns. You can start by simple assignments like them rearranging their room setup. The idea is to nudge their minds to develop an appreciation for coming up with solutions that are specific and time-bound. This will go a long way in making them appreciate hard work, working towards targets, being disciplined and delaying gratification.

Teach Them To Think Independently & Critically

Children tend to be very inquisitive and that’s actually an indicator of their keenness to learn. If you happen to have a conversation with a very wise person you will realize they throw questions back at you a lot. Spoon-feeding can be a very crippling thing if unchecked. Adopt a policy of counter-asking with ‘what do you think?’ when kids ask questions. This causes them to think independently and critically – which are crucial attributes in entrepreneurship.

Micro-Business Ventures

Virtually every parent is an entrepreneur in some shape or form; they are running a business which their kids might be in close proximity to. Involve them from the point they now have the intelligence to appreciate things structurally. If there are manageable aspects of your business they can do, involve them. Growing up I always saw parents doing small businesses involving their kids in the processes or the actual sales initiatives. By giving children micro-business ventures they begin to have an elementary understanding of what entrepreneurship is all about.

Philanthropy and Volunteering

Philanthropy is a huge aspect of the business which at times is exhibited through corporate social responsibilities. Culture your children to be loving and considerate towards those that are underprivileged. Let them see the importance of helping the needy by lending a helping hand or volunteering in various initiatives. There are a lot of other benefits that’ll stem from all this namely, the ability to work in social circles and the development of excellent work ethic. If a child grows up having an inner uncoerced persuasion of helping people and offering free service, it means they will do things passionately.

In Zimbabwe, in fact in Africa as a whole, there is a serious mindset issue that needs to be addressed. The Zimbabwean narrative can be redefined by intentional efforts to raise a new breed of people in our children. It is said that a wise parent leaves an inheritance for their children and their children’s children. That isn’t just the tangible but also the intangible in the form of knowledge. So let’s raise our children well; we owe it to future generations to lay the proper foundation early on, now.