Jun 232011

If you’re lucky enough to be the parent of young entrepreneurs you may notice that the end of the school year brings a different kind of energy and excitement than what you see in other families. All families living with an in-school calendar change pace in the summer. But in the families of business-minded kids, the tone and pace may get faster rather than more relaxed. It’s not that they dislike going to school: it just takes a lot of time away from their business ventures.

What types of opportunities are “out there” for your kids to explore this summer?

For the traditionalists, there’s pet walking, car washing and their own unique variation on weeding and yard care services. Other kids would do well to offer their superior tech skills to “slightly older” neighbors and family friends. Honestly, who hasn’t occasionally wished for the loan of a 15-year-old to set up or edit playlists, synch our handhelds, update a simple website or schedule some network updates?

Still not convinced that a summer job is a good idea? Check out a few of these kid-owned businesses before you make up your mind!

Jason O’Neill started PencilBugs when he was just nine years old.

Whether you’re looking for ideas or actually seeking services take a look at this web design company owned and run by teens. or tech support from a student?

If those don’t get the wheels turning in your home, click here to learn about a family of entrepreneurs who say they’ve all started in business by the age of six!

I don’t know about you, but I’m starting to think that most parents have this allowance thing a bit backward!

Jun 112010

Some summer vacations stretch endlessly with kids sleeping late and wandering around finding interesting things to do.  Others seem to be more strictly scheduled than the school year.  What is the goal?

Goal?  For summer vacation?  Am I nuts?  Maybe.  But why wait until they are long grown to help our kids use blocks of unstructured time to explore new ideas and activities.

There’s the “phew!  I can be lazy” approach to vacation and that certainly has some value.  But teaching our kids to be life-long learners begins with letting them know that they can choose to learn about things that aren’t in anybody’s lesson plan.

Why not help them by asking what they’d like to learn about in the next few weeks; often people want to accomplish something, but they don’t know how to start or  what to do next.

Start by helping them get a good, clear picture of what it is they want to accomplish.  Are they going to build or read or write something?  Plan a trip?  Improve a skill?

They can develop that picture by making a picture or vision board or writing about it.  Different methods work for different people.  Next of course, is starting to look at the steps that they would need to take to achieve their goal and to figure out what comes first — another great discussion!

Then comes the hard part for most parents — ask about and support the effort without taking over and ‘taking it away’ from them.  If you can do that, you will have given your kids a wonderful gift — the ability to decide about and create something on their own.  How’s that for confidence and self-esteem???