Summer is just around the corner. What to do … What to do….

Instead of a guest blog, the rest of the posts this week will focus on ways to fill free summer time with productivity. Productivity and creativity. Creativity and problem solving. Problem solving and independence … and fun. Because what can be more fun than bringing home some hard earned cash, no matter the age (and amount. I’m just sayin’. Listen a quarter is a big deal to Jack. Holding them is all he needs. Hmmmm…. might have more to do with his hoarding tendencies. But that’s another story.)

Today’s terrific information comes from Focus on the Family’s Thriving Family Magazine. In the Summer 2012 issue is a terrific article on helping kids become entrepreneurs. In Lessons from the Lemonade Stand, Lee A Dean reveals a few secrets.

Parents and kids are collaborating to choose projects that go beyond the traditional lemonade stand.

When the Seithers helped their children — then 11, 10 and 8 — begin a business melting and pouring fragrant soaps, they did some prep work first. The kids researched the best prices for materials and selected fragrances. They also developed their own recipes. Their experiences offered opportunities to talk about marketing and profit margins while they mixed, measured, stamped and wrapped each bar.

At age 10, Emily Voth, daughter of Chuck and Sharon Voth, wanted to sponsor a Compassion International child. She and her sisters, ages 8, 6 and 4, made bracelets and sold them to a nearby gift shop. They eventually sponsored three children with the revenue.

Matthew Flaig, 14, put his technical abilities to work designing apps for smartphones as well as offering his services in video, sound, lighting and other technical areas.

A winning idea is one that best fits each child’s age, skill and temperament. Assess how God has gifted each child, Knasel advises.

“Do they need to get things done and love tasks?” she says. “Are they more interested in social interactions? Do they like to get attention and entertain? Do they love to analyze things and get things right? Each of these traits calls for different applications of skills with potential work activities.”

Finding the right match is not a “one and done” procedure because kids keep growing and changing. Parents need to be discerning about when to ask their kids to see a project through to completion and when to acknowledge that a change of interests dictates a change in projects.

Only consider projects that genuinely interest your child. If you find that match, your child will start the entrepreneurial journey with more enthusiasm. Without your child’s “want to,” the project has little chance of success.

Check out the rest of the article… It will inspire you to inspire your kids and bank on the mantra, “because they can.” Do you not love the age of the kids in this story? 4, 6, 8, 10, 14…. Grab them early before the push-back gets almost unbearable. If you, like me, are navigating the teen apathy world, stay the course and weather the whine. I’m already getting it from a couple of mine who keep telling me that summer is for sleeping.

Thanks Focus on the Family for providing such helpful material and insight…. and thanks for walking the road with me.



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