If it works for successful entrepreneurs, why shouldn’t it work for your children?
Entrepreneurs are willing to engage personal resources in launching a business, even at increased financial risk. Rende (Psychosocial Interventions for Genetically Influenced Problems in Childhood and Adolescence, 2014) and Prosek (Army of Entrepreneurs: Create an Engaged and Empowered Workforce for Exceptional Business Growth, 2011) were in the early stages of collaborating on a book on entrepreneurship, and the conversation turned to the challenges of parenting, which led to an idea: what if some of the key attributes of a successful entrepreneur could be applied to how a parent raises their children? Not in the sense of creating the next Warren Buffett, necessarily, but in providing a skill set that empowers kids to “do for themselves,” regardless of their goals or mitigating circumstances. Given his background in developmental psychology, Rende understands the importance in today’s child development and psychology research of “evidence-based practices.” Concepts, general ideas, and anecdotal stories about parenting successes are all well and good, but like approaches in psychotherapy, the methods must be backed by a preponderance of evidence. Narrowing down a list of the intersections between entrepreneurial traits and child-development research, Rende and Prosek settled on seven traits, across the cognitive, personal, and social domains of development: exploration, innovation, optimism, risk-taking, industriousness, likability, and service to others. The authors strike an excellent balance throughout the book, examining approaches that draw on evidence-based research across multiple disciplines. They also take measures not to throw out the baby with the bath water, at times noting some of the common-sense anecdotal stories—e.g., shouldn’t kindergarteners have time outside every day?—and then providing the evidence that supports it.
The authors’ suggestions and insights cover a wide spectrum of child-raising situations and should, when properly applied, deliver lasting results.