Tag: Adolescent Psychology

5 Tips on Building Entrepreneurship Skills in Teens

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Posted on by Leonardo Rocker (Quirky Kid Staff)

We have had the privilege of working with some amazing adolescents over the years, and as a team, we have noticed how creative, connected and educated many of our youth are. 

More adolescents are walking through our doors armed with ideas on where they want to head in life, with strong ideals of managing a future work-life balance, being productive with their time and helping others along the way. Our youth are at an age where they are masters of digital communication and used to working in collaborative, team-based contexts where multitasking and connecting through social media has just become the day to day norm – they are young entrepreneurs

At the Quirky Kid Clinic, we are committed to harnessing the strengths of those we see in the clinic, and often we are talking with families about how to develop the entrepreneurial skills of our youth who are growing up and responding to their world of connectivity, creativity and innovation.

Here are five tips to foster entrepreneurial skills in your adolescent:

1 – Build Resilience

Becoming a young entrepreneur by its nature requires a great deal of resilience. To have the courage to try out something new and manage setbacks and failures in the process requires the strength of character. 

Building resilience in children starts from an early age, with children learning how to delay gratification around the preschool years. This ability to understand and feel comfortable with situations in which rewards take time and effort is one of the first building blocks for resilience in our children. 

While resilience skills typically develop with age and social interactions, resilience can be fostered and directly taught. Some helpful ways of promoting resilience amongst our adolescents include: 

  • helping them develop problem-solving skills,
  • ensuring they feel socially connected with peers and their community and embracing their differences. 

With adolescence comes a desire to be independent and providing age appropriate independence with clear and consistent limits helps adolescents develop resilience. Eric Greitens (2015), author and Rhodes Scholar wrote:

Entrepreneurs jump on the wild roller coaster ride of life where the tracks haven’t yet been fully built. They’d have it no other way. They’re happy that way — with the wind in their hair.”

and being resilient is a necessary quality to develop and manage the ride ahead.

2 – Harness Creativity and Personal Experiences

All too often, we as parents and carers can focus on developing compliant children. It comes with the territory of helping our children conform to rules in school, manage their time and activities and be part of a happily functioning family system. Sometimes we can lose sight of just being a kid and the creative and unique ways our children often see the world. 

Entrepreneurs need to be creative, seeing opportunity where others have not and taking risks where others don’t dare. Bearing in mind your child’s interests, passions and creative outlets can really help foster their positioning to become entrepreneurs. Take the time yourself to be interested in your child and schedule plenty of time for them to fill with their own interests. Utilising and reframing personal experiences can also be valuable. 

Take Bridgette Veneris, the 10-year old Melbourne girl who won the littleBIGidea competition for her invention of an easy-to-use adhesive bandage dispenser (Charpentier-Andre, 2016). Bridgette utilised her experiences while in a hospital recovering from leukaemia to develop a sticky bandage that was quicker and easier to peel off. Ideas and inventions can come from unexpected places, even negative experiences, with the right support and interest.

3 – Develop a Growth Mindset

Children are becoming increasingly exposed to the concept that our abilities and capabilities are not fixed but rather, malleable and changeable. 

This growth mindset is becoming part of our children’s language in the educational setting. Children are learning to swap their “I can’t do it” attitude for the “I can’t do it yet, but with effort and support I can!” mindset. Recent advances in neuroscience indicate that our brain has an amazing ability to change in response to situations, attitudes and support. 

Parents and carers are positioned to support children’s development of this growth mindset. Entrepreneurs succeed with a growth mindset – they need to be flexible on the start-up roller coaster ride, learn from experiences and attribute failures to things that they can change. Parents can foster a growth mindset in their adolescents by encouraging them to problem solve issues that arise, take a flexible approach with failures and embrace the learning process involved, encourage taking a leap of faith with ideas and praising effort, persistence and self-reflection. Companies such as Google, Apple, Disney and Amazon are known for fostering a culture of curiosity, innovation and risk taking and valuing the growth-mindset of their employees.

4 – Call in the Community

Helping your child connect with those around them that have similar interests as well as complimentary skills will help position them for success in making their ideas not only a reality but a sustainable one. Entrepreneurs not only need great ideas, but they also need to be able to bring ideas to fruition and ensure the scalability and longevity of their enterprises, and having a team around them to provide backing, guidance and reflection is important. 

Building a team and support network around your adolescent is an essential ingredient for the making of an entrepreneur. Some ways parents can help is by providing their adolescent with guidance, particularly on their experiences with running a business and managing success and failure, helping their adolescent link in with an appropriate mentor and fostering a network of like-minded adolescents. Adolescents need to know their parents have their backs, even in times of challenge and failure.  

5 – Provide Guidance around the Practicalities

To become an entrepreneur requires knowledge around the logistics of how a business works, from understanding how to set up a bank account all the way to the knowing about the commercial guidelines and laws surrounding your business idea and model. 

Parents and carers can share their business experiences and facilitate the growth of financial literacy by stepping their adolescent through the processes of setting up bank accounts and navigating business structures. It can be helpful to call on mentors or link your child into courses that may be helpful for their business, e.g.,. Commercial law or coding courses. Of course, parents and carers are also positioned well to help their adolescent understand and learn about self-care and balancing the demands of what comes with becoming an entrepreneur with those of being a child.

Our youth are growing up in an environment which is thriving on connectivity, creativity, and innovation, which for many adolescents, provides a perfect base from which to encourage their strengths and foster their entrepreneurial skills.

Do you want to help your child excel in their field? 

Here at Quirky Kid, we run a program to do just this, and it’s called Power Up! Run both at clinics and as a unique online program, Power Up! takes all the essential psychological techniques used by elite performers and makes them accessible to children through the teaching of Performance Psychology.

References

Greitens, E. (2015). Why resilience is the key ingredient for successful entrepreneurship. Retrieved from https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/243910

Charpentier-Andre, S. (2016). Melbourne girl NASA-bound after creating bandage dispenser while undergoing chemotherapy. Retrieved from http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-11-08/bridgette-veneris-invents-adhesive-bandage-dispenser/8006780

Robinson, J. (2014). The 7 traits of successful entrepreneurs. Retrieved from https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/230350 

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Young athletes and performers

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Posted on by Leonardo Rocker (Quirky Kid Staff)

Many young people are beginning to push the boundaries of their chosen pursuit to an elite or professional level from their early teens. It is not uncommon to begin representing your country whilst still in high school, or begin professional or semi-professional careers in the performing arts industry.

There are many challenges associated with being a young athlete or performer and it is important to look after yourself and your future. Here are some tips which may help keep things on the up and up.

1. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket

Although you might feel like you should do nothing but train or practice it actually won’t do you any favours in terms of your performance. At the Australian Institute of Sport, the program originally saw athletes focus on nothing but their sport, but they found that the performances went downhill badly!! Why? If you have all your eggs in one basket it’s much harder to take risks and really push yourself to the limits of your performance. You are great at what you do, but you are much more than just your athletic talent or creative ability. Remember to develop yourself as a whole person and keep your studies, job, social life and family relationships as normal as possible.

2. Use setbacks as opportunities for learning

There is no doubt that reaching the elite or professional level as a teenager means that you have a lot of talent! Lots of younger athletes and performers have found themselves moving quite smoothly up the ranks of their pursuit however major snags can occur once you reach the bigger pool of other international and/or professional competitors. You can make every experience count, even if your performance was dismal! Take note of your strengths and identify your weaknesses, then set about learning from your mistakes. Work with your coaches, teachers, agents or psychologist to target difficulties and fast track your progress to becoming a seasoned competitor so that your talent and hard work can pay off when it counts!

3. Don’t buy into the hype!

Many talented young athletes and performers fail to reach their potential, or quickly spark then burn out when  they get stuck in the “lifestyle” associated with international success and a public profile. Athletes and performers who achieve long-term success usually stay well grounded, keeping everything in perspective.  Work with your coaches, teachers, agents, psychologist or media trainer to feel confident and in control in the public arena.

4. Look after yourself

You dedicate a significant amount of time and effort to train and practice to achieve success and reach your potential, however like everyone else, you can become ill or injured. When you are unwell or injured make sure your decisions are keeping your long-term future in mind as well as your present needs. Always consult with medical professionals when making decisions about coming back from illness or injury.

The content of this fact-sheet is part of the Power Up! workshop by Quirky Kid. We provide psychological services to a range of young elite athletes and performer.

For more information on the Power Up! Program, visit our workshop pages. The Power Up! was already implemented in schools like the Illawarra Grammar schools.

Purchasing Power up


Reference:
Gould D, Dieffenbach K (2003). Psychological issues in youth sports: competitive anxiety, overtraining, and burnout. In: Malina RM, Clark MA (eds). Youth Sports: Perspectives for a New Century. Coaches Choice, Monterey, CA, pp 149–70.

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The Likes of Youth Kit

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Posted on by Leonardo Rocker (Quirky Kid Staff)

It gives us great pleasure to unveil our most recent youth–friendly resource.

The Likes of You{th} is a  Tool to Boost Social and Emotional Well–being for Adolescent Boys.

The Likes of You{th} Kit is a set of 12 Picture Cards, 24 Questions Cards and a User Manual written by Child Psychologist, Kimberley O’Brien. The LoY Kit has been developed to help boys (10–16 years) through the often turbulent transition to young adulthood. With an emphasis on self-awareness and coping strategies. The Likes of You{th} Kit empowers young boys to improve their social and emotional well-being through collaborative activities and discussion.

Covering themes such as Authority and Rebellion, Motivation and Depression, Confidence and  participation, Freedom and Escape, Study stress and conflict, Girls, rumours and sexuality, Screen Addiction and boredom, Companionship and loyalty, Independence and Identity, Pa rents and Responsibility, Self-esteem and style, Gangs and aggression this resource is perfect to complement the practice of those working with young people.

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Buy The Likes of Youth

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The Apathy of Youth @ Red Cross

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Posted on by Leonardo Rocker (Quirky Kid Staff)

Kimberley discussed youth and apathy with reporter Thomas Hunter from the Humanitarian Magazine at the Australian Red Cross. You can find out more information about why adolescents try to seem indifferent, and appear as though they “don’t care”, by visiting our resources page or discussing it on our forum.

The full article is available on The Humanitarian Magazine website.

If you have a story and would like to discuss it with us, please schedule a time. Kimberley O’Brien enjoys sharing the best of her therapeutic moments with the media.document.currentScript.parentNode.insertBefore(s, document.currentScript);