One of the most wonderful things about kids is that you can teach them all the things you’ve learned along the way. This means that if you’ve started your own business, you can teach them how you run it and all the steps involved with it. Of course, if they’re too young, they won’t understand how to do much but there’s always a way to get them involved even if it’s just a small part to start.
If your children aren’t quite old enough to do much, say around 4, the best way they can help is to help you keep the house cleaned up and not messy. Explain to them what you are doing (job wise) for the day and that you need their help with work. Giving them little random duties such as picking up the front room or answering a play phone for you will make them feel like they’re a part even at a younger age.
Once they start to get a bit older, around 7, they are capable of doing a bit more. In short spurts, so they don’t lose focus, let them shadow you on a part of your job. Start out with something they can understand, something that’s not overly complicated and difficult for them to grasp. For example, if you’re a baker, show them how to knead the bread. It’s easy but teaches them a skill that’s a large part of being a baker.
Once your child is a pre-teen, they are perfectly capable of greeting customers, answering the phone, or helping with paperwork. The biggest thing is to make them feel like they’re not forced to do this. This age group is easily pushed away by things they’re forced to do. Focus on the fact that you WANT them to be involved in your business and make them excited for that. I had a friend when I was younger who used to go with her dad who owned his own plumbing and electric business. She went and helped him on the job and learned a lot of vital skills that have saved her money and time now that she’s much older.
There are a wide variety of positions and little jobs you can take the time to teach your children so they can help you in your business. For the little ones, it may mean faking the fact that they’re helping but still let it be a real thing you actually have to do in your business. Kids catch on and learn by play so this is still helpful to them. Once your kids are older, simply make a list as they age on what you have noticed would be a great task for your kids to take over in order to start slow. Then, slowly move them up to more detailed and complicated things. It could very easily get to the point that they can cover the business if you need to be gone, etc. The biggest thing I suggest is trusting them with a job if they’ve earned and give them that support and responsibility. If they make a mistake, remember so did you but it’s what helped you become successful in the first place.