How do you train your child to be the next millionaire app maker like 17 year old Nick d’Aloisio?: By following the simple but smart habits of D’Aloisio’s parents. Mrs. Diana D’Aloisio divulged her secrets to fueling her son’s success in an ABC News interview. They boil down to three practical tips that any parent can and should follow. (And who knows, once you do, your kid may grow up to be the next wunderkind millionaire.)
1.) Take notice of your child’s interests and nurture them early. Nick’s parents noticed he had an interest in technology at a very early age. His mother said he was asking for a Macbook Pro laptop at age 11. His parents cultivated Nick’s interests in technology by buying him as much of it as they felt he should have and exposing him to it. While they didn’t understand the subject matter, because they supported what he was interested in, it allowed him to thrive and grow.
2.) Encourage self-learning. Nick’s parents bought him a book on C+ programming. Using that book, he taught himself how to build apps and eventually built the smartphone app he sold to the Internet company Yahoo for millions. A simple gesture like giving your child a how to book on a topic he or she is interested in or showing him or her a video tutorial may send children in directions you may never have imagined. Children receive much learning in school, but don’t underestimate or ignore what they can learn on their own if you give them a nudge.
3.) Set boundaries. Nick’s parents were happy to support his interest in technology and buy him the hardware he asked for. But they made sure they set boundaries on how he used them. For example when he received his first Mac Book Pro, they made him sign a contract outlining what he would use it for. Make sure you do the same with your children. A formal contract may re-enforce the rules and show that you're serious about boundaries you are setting.
When it comes to technology, make sure they know why, when and how they are expected to use it to cultivate their interests.
If they have more than one interest - that is fine too. But it may lead to them to flitting from one subject to the other without gaining an expertise. (Remember the kids who take ballet one month, quit and then take piano lessons the next?) Make sure they commit to the subject they are interested in for an assigned period of time to determine whether they want to continue with it or not. If and when they don’t, simply support their next interest until they find something they are passionate about.
What's next for Nick? Yahoo has offered him a job which he will be starting after he finishes his final exams to graduate high school.
Watch the ABC Interview with Diana D'Aloisio below.
Do you have any more tips to add to the list? Jot them down in the comments below. For more information on how to cultivate entrepreneur kids, I recommend you check out the site Raising CEO Kids by Dr. Jerry L and Sarah L. Cook. It has blogs, interviews and books on ways to get your kids adopting a creative and business mindset.