“Children are the world’s most valuable resource and its best hope for the future.” – John F. Kennedy.
As parents, we must do our best to educate our children to prepare them for a successful future. To do so effectively, requires parents to teach their children a wide-range of skills pertaining to a variety of topics at an early age. Unfortunately, many parents wait till their kids are teenagers before relaying these critical lessons that’ll help them become successful in the real world. To me, it’s never too early to teach your children these vital skills and I would recommend beginning as early as possible – preferably in preschool.
So how do you raise a golden egg and what lessons should be taught to your children?
At minimum, I would recommend parents covering these 5 topics with their kids as early as possible:
First, it’s crucial that your kid(s) are aware of how money is made in the family. Unless you were born rich with a silver spoon, children must recognize that their parents work hard for their money to support the family. Give them a quick history lesson highlighting what steps you took to make your money and what lessons you learned along the way that you could share to help them become more efficient at being successful.
Please note that since children typically share stories with other classmates, it’s vital that you also teach your kids about discretion and privacy and that personal family situations should not be shared with outsiders unless permission is given.
Next, parents should teach their children about money, including money management. This includes educating them on a variety of financial topics like savings; investing; the power of compound-interest and passive income; banking systems; economics and the flow of money; risk vs. reward; budgeting; charitable work and giving. In addition, children must also learn the importance of patience and how investing in “delayed gratification” could be quite rewarding in the distant future. Of course, your kid(s) should also be able to reward themselves with “instant gratification” periodically by purchasing something that they truly enjoy in an effort to keep them motivated and inspired for continual success.
Honestly, I believe that every child should have some type of business at an early age. It doesn’t have to be extravagant, the main goal is to teach them about the power of entrepreneurship. To illustrate, let me give you a personal example. As a kid, my parents gave me $5 a week for allowance. Instead of squandering the funds away, I saved $2, invested $2, and gave the remaining $1 to charity. With the $2 reserved for investing, I used it to buy a large bag of candy from Costco at a discounted bulk price and sold each candy separately at school for retail price. When all was said and done, I turned my $2 investment into $10 and kept repeating this process until I saved enough money to make larger investments and eventually went on to sell school supplies. At the time, I didn’t realize how important these entrepreneurial lessons were but I have to admit that it’s been the foundation for my success today.
As we’re aware, focus and consistency are also important characteristics for success. To remain focused and consistent requires constant motivation, especially when you’re starting at an early age bombarded with a multitude of distractions. Not only is it important to teach your children that anyone can become successful regardless of their background and geographic location but also that the American Dream is alive if they’re willing to plan and work hard for what they want out of life. As parents, you must also motivate them by recognizing their accomplishments and encouraging them to achieve more. Rather than providing them with financial rewards for their efforts, I’ve found that one of the best ways to motivate children is through verbal praises that compliments them for their hard work. In essence, you are their hero and role model, so what you say will deeply impact them whether you like it or not. Therefore, it’s imperative that you do your best to motivate them instead of discouraging them from their goals. Teach them the value of self-motivation, focus, and consistency and how these factors will help them become successful later on in life.
Last, but not least, is continual learning. Regardless if you started at an early age, if you don’t learn from your mistakes or failures in an effort to improve, you’ll just deplete your resources and end back up where you started. Therefore, I recommend having your child write down all the valuable lessons they learned not only from their past failures but also jot down a minimum of 5 other things that they learn daily. This will get them accustomed to constant learning, reflecting, and applying lessons-learned for continual improvement.
In the end, time is our most valuable asset and the earlier your children are prepared for the real-world, the better it is for them. John F. Kennedy also wisely that “a child miseducated is a child lost.” So do your best to educate your children and they’ll never be lost a day in their life because they have all the necessary tools to succeed.