Training a child is important. Leaving a child without structure or some kind of direction in life will leave them without a future, plan, etc. Even with puppies, you have to start young for them to grow into the dog that everyone adores. If we can do this with animals, it shouldn’t be hard for us to do the same with children. Get your child on the mindset that hard work pays off. Give them an entrepreneurial mind that will give them a backbone for solid work ethic even after you’re not there to keep them on track.
Of course, you don’t want to take away a kid’s childhood. You want them to be a kid while still including direction and learning in there somewhere. One big way to help them learn good work ethic and give them a business-like mind is the age old concept of allowance. They have a certain job to do. If they do it correctly, then they earn a set amount of money. You have to be consistent on their part and your own part. This means, no changing things up on them, let them know their job so they don’t have to question what it is. Then, if they do it, give them the amount promised.
Once they have their allowance, sit down and do a budget with them. For example, a certain percentage will go into their savings account while the rest can go towards what they desire. DO NOT help them out of things. Help them understand, once they spend the money, they have to wait and earn more before they can get anything else. Don’t cave and buy them whatever they want and couldn’t get with their money because they spent it. That teaches them nothing but that mom and dad will get them out of their messes. Let them know that special things such as toys and such that aren’t involved during a birthday or Christmas have to be earned. It’s a privilege to get a toy or gadget and if they don’t do the work to get it, they WON’T get it. I cannot tell you how many kids I have seen cherish something they have earned more than the piles of things they were bought. We as adults know how much different it feels when you have to dish out for your own things, help your kids learn that early on and you will see their respect for things and you, flourish.
Another great step you can take is help your child discover many different things so they have many experiences to draw from when it comes to deciding on what they love in life. If you never give them opportunities to see the world, they will be limited in their knowledge. Experiences always expand our knowledge. I have a friend who was in multiple sports, drama, martial arts, youth group, etc. when she was growing up. Outside of that, she lived on a farm which involved hard work and got to visit many states although her family didn’t have much money. She is now extremely accomplished and WAY ahead of those who are her same age. It doesn’t sound like her parents really did much outside of what most do other than just let her try a lot of stuff. Let your kids find what they’re truly good at and truly love, don’t make them wait until they’re older and should have already figured this out. If a child knows what their passion is, by the time college rolls around, their planning will be much easier instead of haphazard and misguided.
If you have time and your child exhibits a passion for something in particular, help them grow that in any way possible. For example, if you have a daughter who loves to cook, take her to some specialized classes or have a cooking day with her every week where you teach new things. Help her create a bake sale for local charities or just to earn money for something special. If your son is exceptional at soccer, let him go to some camps and never skip a game to cheer him on. Have him do little mini soccer lessons for a cheap price when he gets old enough to be able to. Support your kids in their passions but never stop guiding them in future career plans.
To recap, give your kids an allowance and truly make them work for it without sabotaging it. Help them find what they love to do and give them opportunities to get experience in the field early on. Help them open a savings account and help them create a budget to understand how money works. You will be surprised how easy steps like this can make your kids flourish into little business or career minded individuals.