this is post #3 in a series
Should your kids be involved in the family business?
Many parents are concerned about whether or not their kids should have a part in the family business. In conversations I’ve overheard, there are two main concerns:
- I don’t want my children to grow up resenting the business, or the family.
- I don’t want to squeeze them into a mold, I want them to find what is right for them.
These are both valid concerns. Either one could happen.
But when they do happen there are typically some underlying things that cause it. And they don’t necessarily have to do with whether or not your kids are involved in the family business.
First reason: poor relationships
Whether or not your kids wind up resenting the business will have more to do with the type of relationship you have with them, not with whether or not they fill a role in the family business.
They WILL feel resentment about their involvement in the business if they get the impression that you care more about the business than you do about them.
What? Of course I care more about them. They know that!
Do they? Have you talked to them about it?
Maybe you have… but don’t just assume that they “know” that you care about them first.
Too often “what’s going with saying” needs to be said (see the video at the bottom of this post).
To do a quick “self check” on your relationship with your kids, see how you answer this question:
Q: Do you have regular, healthy, open communication with your kids?
I’m not talking about whether you talk about the business with them. I’m talking about everyday-life conversations. Do you know what’s going on in their world? Do you take the time to show interest in them and what they are interested in? Do you know what they are struggling with, and what they are hopeful about? Do you know how their walk with the LORD is going?
If you can’t answer positively about these types of questions, you might want to think a second time before you make a big deal about their involvement in the business stuff your family has going on.
Second reason: you don’t know them
If you’re not spending the relational time with your kids that you need in order to have a healthy relationship, you won’t know what mold your kids actually DO fit. Neither will they.
Part of your job as a parent is to lead them to know themselves, as God has made them.
That takes a lot of communication, which takes a lot of time.
But they are worth the investment.
Find out their interests and gifts. Find out who the LORD has made them to be.
It may come out in their personality, their gifts, their interests, their skills, their way of thinking… there are lots of aspects to who your kids are. You have both the responsibility and the privilege of exploring all that with them.
One last step:
Once you find out what they interests and talents are, go a step further.
Start a conversation about why they think the LORD has given them that interest or talent.
- What dreams do they have about it?
- What success have they seen in that area?
- Do they sense the LORD telling them anything about it?
They may not have answers right away. It may take time to discover. But patiently walk through the process, caring for them as you go.
God’s mold for how our kids’ lives are going to look is what really matters… and we need to help our children discover what it is.
ONLY THEN should you begin talking about how their unique make-up fits into the family income streams.
It may not fit neatly. It may not fit at all.
But that’s O.K. God has His own plan for that child… and you can bet it will be good (Romans 8:28).