Here are 5 ways to activate and nurture their entrepreneurial spirit in teens and preteens

1.Create Awareness. Not every child is an entrepreneur, but then again how can they be when they don’t even know what the word means. Why would they want to make money when they don't know what money can do.

Children need to be exposed an a early stage to the world of commence. Help them to understand the value of money and that people are rewarded with money for solving problems. Daddy goes to work to solve problems everyday, and he gets paid at the end of the month. Mommy goes to her store every day to solve problems for people and they reward her by paying. Mommy and daddy can then buy lots of wonderful things and services with the money they have made. Please adapt to your child’s age.

You would be surprised at how many 10 year olds do not know the meaning of words like profit, salary, pension or recession. You will be even more surprised how little many teenagers know of the world of commerce.

2. Don't Rain on their Parade. Encourage them with their ideas, don’t tell them their ideas are impossible. How do you know, you haven’t tried it, have you?

Kids come up with crazy ideas all the time and we keep telling them it’s impossible, you can’t do that! If we are not careful, they will eventually become 'normal' like us and stop dreaming.

The next time your child; teen or toddler comes up with an idea, don’t run it down, rather help them develop it into a business they can start at their level, offer capital, offer time, offer marketing (tell all your friends, relatives and co-workers) and help them get on their feet with the idea. If you can't offer any of the above, offer encouragement.

3. Praise Praise Praise! When your kids take steps in the entrepreneurial direction, praise them. Complement their effort, tell them how proud you are. Take pictures, tell grandma and grandpa. Celebrate!

4. Encourage Independence. Don't try to micro-manage or push kids into interests you feel they should be pursuing. You should rather accept they are individuals and have their own strengths, weakness interests and talents.

As parents, our job is to make the tools available; resources, education,encouragement. These provide exposure, however, the eventual choice will be up to them. Do not get frustrated if they move on to new interests. That's what this period of their life is for - Self discovery.

5. Show them the future. If you don’t have a dream, How can you have a dream come true. There is nothing as enlightening as knowing others have walked the path you walk and succeeded. Tell your child about the Wright brothers (people thought they were crazy to even dream about flying back then). Tell her about Oprah, about Facebook’s Zuckerberg. Also, buy them books that encourage the possibilities Recommended books - Can Do , Can Do Journal.

Posted on March 26, 2013 .