I think that having a dream for what they want to become is great for any child. I think it builds confidence when we support that dream. With struggling kids, the goal is having parents partnering with them and collaborating together to start something that the child can gradually take over.
I help them experiment with business ideas on a small scale between ages 5-14. It’s been about age 13-15 that my biological kids have developed a vision for their futures and we can help them begin to build towards those.
Isaac was 13 – we invested in tools and training to be a personal chef, about $1000, at 16 he switched to being a media producer, and we invested another $1000 for internship and basic tools. The next year he put his own $6000 into his media business.
Anna wanted to be a baker at 13, we invested about $200 in her muffin business on an island off Croatia. At 15 she decided to be a singer/songwriter- I paid Isaac and Anna each $100 to produce and publish her first song. The rest is History “His Story” – we later collaborated with dozens of professionals to create a stage musical. At age 22, $7.5 million was invested to launch her project. The first series of shows happened in Texas, probably to tour next. Still figuring that out.
At 13 Esther wanted to be a photographer, she continued with that vision, she saved up money for her first nice camera, and we invested over the years, but by the time she was 17 she was financially independent and now makes thousands per week doing what she loves.
Rachel didn’t know what she wanted to do, she focused on helping Anna. At 16 she sparked an interest in oil painting. We funded a trip to Indiana to get lessons from my mom. We bought her the supplies. She’s been building her portfolio and selling her art ever since. Doing commissions, media art, and online sales.
Naomi is 18, we spent $1000 on her first business when she was 14 to launch a dog accessories business. She used that income to grow the business, buy horses, and start breeding high quality golden retrievers.
My adopted kids need more time, Christina started her first business at 17, making crocheted toys. I spent about $500 on supplies and sent her to visit our dear friends in Texas who have a business in crocheting so she could learn all the foundational skills. She has about 32 toys made and is ready to launch a shop soon.
The goal is for each one to be an expert in their field by age 18, and to have an income source to support themselves.
If they need college to further their goals, they can show a great portfolio, and pay for it themselves.
I don’t really want them to go deep in debt over a degree though. Most kids don’t have a chance to develop their skills and become specialized in anything at a young age, because so much time is taken up on irrelevant things.
Ask God for wisdom for each child, and He will guide you. That could mean teaching toward tests, college, careers, missions, homemaking or anything.