Supporting an entrepreneurial teen

Those of us who have teenagers know just how much they love to dream. If they aren’t diving head-first into some new fad or craze, then they are rebelling against it! Sometimes teenage antics can test the patience of any parent, but if your teenage son or daughter has an entrepreneurial streak he or she will certainly benefit from being taken seriously.

Drawing the line.
There is always a trade-off between encouraging teenage dreams and letting them be blown out of proportion. Fortunately, your life experience as a parent will provide an excellent measure of how realistic and attainable your son or daughter’s ideas may be. The last thing any of us wants is to crush the dreams of a young, aspirant person while encouraging an idea that is likely not to succeed and which may lead to unnecessary upset later on.

How to support your teen entrepreneur.
Once you’ve listened to his or her idea, try to be open-minded about its prospects of success. A lot of successful business ideas were initially written off, only to prove highly successful. If you have your doubts about an idea, the best action to take is constructive criticism. Explain to your budding entrepreneur that the idea has potential, but it needs to be shaped in order to work. You can make suggestions, giving reasons at every step, and you may find your son or daughter more open to listening when his or her idea is being supported and not dismissed.

The spectre of financing.
A major cause of concern to parents of entrepreneurial teens is the basic fact that they are financially responsible for them. With current economic conditions not yet perfect by any means, the last thing some parents want is to finance a venture that could flop. Fortunately, you can always say no or agree to provide some financing on your own terms. The less money is required to start a small business, the better. For that reason, if your son or daughter isn’t expecting a large amount of financial assistance he or she will probably make better business decisions.

Whatever you parenting approach and attitude to finances, the most valuable contribution you can make as a parent is love and support. Financing and ideas can come from many sources, but your teen’s confidence will be boosted dramatically through your encouragement and advice.