11-Year-Old Entrepreneur Makes It to Kickstarter

Here’s a great story about an 11-year-old who solved a problem: she invented a spill-proof cup for her grandfather, who has Parkinson’s disease. Now she’s selling her invention on Kickstarter. WTG Lily!

BTW, did you note her dad’s comment? He said, “…one of the reasons I have so much passion for this project is that Lily wasn’t really recognized by her school. If it wasn’t for crowdfunding, she’d still be asking me, ‘What am I good at?'” As I’ve said so many times, schools do not encourage creativity. Sometimes they even discourage it. Kudos to Lily’s dad for helping her with her idea.


Dad Leaves a Practical Legacy to His Daughter

Completing the tiny house she and her dad had started to build became part of a teen’s grieving process after her dad was killed in an accident, so its sentimental value to her is clear. But there are longtime benefits, too. Just think of all the skills she learned as she built her tiny house! Plus she learned just how capable she is, which is great preparation for adulthood.

A tiny house would be a great project for any teen who can’t find a job this summer; they’d gain skills, and end up with a tiny house to either hang out in or sell at a profit. Seems like their parents or grandparents ought to be willing to finance such a worthwhile project.

The Decline of Practical Skills

Over at the “Of Two Minds” blog, correspondent Kevin describes the practical skills he picked up while working at a variety of jobs when he was a teen. Today, such opportunities aren’t so easy to get. It’s hard for teens to find jobs, and as I posted the other day, even the labor participation rate for people in their 20s is at an all-time low.

The solution? Give the young people in your life an opportunity to learn practical skills. Have them help you on your projects; if you don’t have any projects or practical skills, find someone who does and ask them to teach your young family members and friends. Having practical skills enhances employment opportunities, but also makes a person more self-reliant.

Stories like this break my heart. To be young, hard-working and unwanted in this world is just plain tragic. When you have a variety of practical skills, it’s easier to find someone who needs you to help them and will pay you to do so.

Weekly Update: May 2, 2012

News and Info for 21st Century Parents

Thanks to public outrage, the U.S. Dept. of Labor is forced to shelve an edict that would keep kids from doing farm chores.

Kids with practical skills will have an edge if the grid goes down.

A famous bubble-predictor said we’re in a “Late Great Depression,” but backed off the next day. What do you think?

Income can quickly plummet, which is why it’s so important to raise money-smart kids.

College waitlists are longer than ever due to economic uncertainties.

What Homeschooled Kids are Missing Out On

Far fewer required credits (170 vs. 230) and making electives optional is apparently meant to balance out tougher standards for Los Angeles high school graduates.

You Can Say That Again!

All of my friends who have younger siblings who are going to college or high school – my number one piece of advice is: You should learn how to program.
(Mark Zuckerberg)


So, how are you preparing your children to thrive in the 21st century? Check out the links to the left for articles and information that will help you.

See you next Wednesday,
Barbara Frank

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