Today’s post is from Carletta.
As the only daughter of a single working mom, I did not grow up learning to be a good homemaker. I began working in my early teens, and worked right up until the week before my oldest child was born.
Although I wish I’d spent more time preparing to be a wife and mother, I am thankful for the skills I learned while working. The Proverbs 31 woman was also a resourceful and industrious woman who worked with her hands (v13), made profitable investments (v16), and sold handmade goods (v24).
One of my main goals as a mother is to equip my daughter to become a keeper at home. However, I also want her to be prepared to contribute to her family’s income from home, should the need arise.
Here are some ways we can teach our daughters to be industrious.
Encourage an Industrious Spirit
During the early years, we can begin laying a foundation of diligence and resourcefulness that will prepare our daughters to live lives of service. As our daughters help us cook, clean and care for younger siblings, they are learning how to see and meet the needs of others.
While we can and should use the younger years to help our daughters develop marketable skills, we need to remember to place character first. Even if our daughters never become adept at baking or sewing, godly character traits like honesty and respect for others can go a long way towards helping our daughters garner favor in the marketplace and in society at large.
Encourage Your Daughter to See Opportunity
As our daughters mature, we can begin helping them look for opportunities to use their gifts and talents to produce income. Begin by answering the following:
What can my daughter do that others can’t do?
What can my daughter do that others don’t have time to do for themselves?
Where does my daughter excel?
What can she do better than others?
What does my daughter enjoy?
Teenagers who love serving others, may choose to earn money by doing housework, caring for animals, or babysitting. Older teens that are especially responsible can tutor younger children or spend one or two mornings per week serving as mothers’ helpers.
Although service jobs are popular with teenagers, they also have their hidden dangers.
Teens who care for younger children should be well versed in first aid and CPR. In addition, we must be very mindful of our daughters’ safety any time they go into another family’s home. Provide your daughter with a cell phone and code words she can use if she ever feels uncomfortable. Set strict parameters about who she will be with when she is not in your home, and always make sure she has safe transportation to and from the place where she will be working. Also consider using the buddy system or having your daughter care for children in your home so that she’s never left in a vulnerable position.
Teenagers who are creative and crafty may enjoy selling handmade goods. Encourage your daughter to sell handmade soap, jewelry, clothing or decorative items at local craft fairs or online. If your daughter loves cooking, help her package homemade bread and desserts, or start a cake decorating service.
Teens that have artistic or musical talent can give music, art or dance lessons. These skills can also be used to provide services, such as face painting at birthday parties and community festivals, entertainment for weddings and worship services, or photography at parties and sporting events.
Before your daughter pursues any business venture, carefully consider the following:
How much time can you devote to helping your daughter?
Will your daughter need transportation, help making products, or assistance building an online store or website? Will you be available to coach your daughter through challenging situations, and quickly intervene on her behalf, when necessary?
How will your daughter let others know about her product or service?
Teens often feel most comfortable approaching people who love and support them. Encourage your daughter to begin promoting her goods and services to friends and family, before expanding to church members, neighbors and the broader community.
How much will your daughter charge for her product or service?
Ask friends and family members what they pay for similar offerings, or have your daughter conduct a survey to see what her competitors charge. Set the stage for wise business practices by helping your daughter clearly communicate with clients about their expectations. For example, will she be expected to cook and fold laundry while babysitting?
If your daughter has plans to tutor or teach lessons, help her create a simple document outlining policies and payment arrangements.
What can your daughter do with her earnings?
Will your daughter keep her earnings or contribute them to the family? Are there any limits on how she can spend money she earned? Will she be required to pay for specific items, such as clothing or a cell phone bill?
This is a great time to coach your daughter in the area of money management. Discuss tithing, giving, saving and budgeting. Remember, mistakes made in this area can serve as terrific lifelong lessons.
As mothers, we can teach our daughters to be homemakers, while also preparing them to use their God-given gifts and talents to bless their families financially.
How are you teaching your daughter to be industrious, while also encouraging her to keep her heart turned towards home?
Carletta Sanders is a loving wife and mom of 4. Her mission is to share information, ideas and inspiration through her website, Successful Homeschooling. To learn more about Carletta’s adventures in homeschooling, visit her homeschool blog or follow her on Twitter @homeschool101.