Parents can be a pain sometimes.
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You want to make money as a kid, but they are not being very supportive.
Maybe they've told you "You're too young to do that," or "We'll see. Let me think about that."
You could go behind their back and just do it, but that's a really bad idea. There's nothing more important than having good relationships with your parents, so you want to always be honest with them.
When they say you can't make money by starting a little business, a better way to handle it is to politely try to convince them to let you do it.
Here are some pointers on how to win this one.
Step 1: Ask For Their Reasons For Saying No
It's hard to argue with somebody if you don't know why they decided something. If your parents just said "No" without any reasons, you need to say: "I understand that you've made a decision, but if you don't mind my asking, what are your reasons for saying No?"
Step 2: Echo Back What Your Parents Say To You
Parents are always impressed by kids who are good listeners. For example, let's say your parents don't want you to go door to door asking grownups if you can get paid for doing chores for them. Your parents think it's too dangerous. In this case, you want to let them know that you understand their concerns. Say something like this: "I appreciate your concern for my safety. You are right. It can be dangerous to go door to door selling things."
By agreeing with them, you throw them off their guard a bit. They're probably not used to that, are they? Now it's time to use your persuasive powers to get your way!
Step 3: Address Their Concerns
Let's keep going on the previous example, in which the parents don't want kids going door to door because it's dangerous. What are some ways to address this issue?
You might, for example:
- Tell them that you will only go door to door with two other friends. You won't do it alone. That way it will be safer.
- Tell them you won't go door to door off your block. You'll only do it on your block.
- Tell them that you'd like them to go with you to ensure that you are safe. It will be a good parent-child bonding experience, you might tell them.
You get the idea. For every reason they have for you not to do something, you need to think through ways to convince them that it's not that important because of the way you are going to approach making money as a kid.
Step 4: Talk About the Value of Kids Making Money In General
Having addressed their specific concerns, take the discussion up a notch and tell them about why it's important for you to learn how to make money as a kid. You might say something like this:
Dad, this isn't just about me going to see the Justin Bieber concert [or buying an iPhone, getting that horse, insert whatever it is you need the money for.]. This is about me starting to take responsibility for myself. One day, I'm going to need to earn a living and I want to get some exposure to that now, rather than waiting till I'm much older. If you let me do this, I'm going to gain some valuable experience. I will learn about business planning, marketing, salesmanship, and all sorts of other really important skills. Getting this kind of experience at a young age is really important. Would you agree that starting a business as a kid is a really good lesson on life?"
Notice the last question. Very few parents are going to say "No" to that one. When talking to parents, it's good to ask questions that have obvious "Yes" answers. The more they say "Yes" during the middle of the conversation, the more likely they are to say "Yes" at the end of the discussion."
Step 5: Ask Them Again
At this point, based on everything above, you are probably in good shape to get them to change their mind.
Say: "I'd like you to reconsider your decision on letting me sell cold water bottles down near the train station exit [note: insert what you want to do here since you are probably doing something else besides selling water.] You had initially mentioned that you were saying No because [list out the reasons they said No here.]. I think I've addressed those issues by [explain how you addressed their concerns]. You've also explained to me that you believe it's truly valuable for a kid to get experience starting and running a business, that it's a great life lesson. Based on all of this, I'm wondering if you might reconsider your decision."
Let Me Know If It Works
If you use the approach above, there's a good chance you'll be able to convince your parents to allow you to make money by doing whatever moneymaking idea for kids it is that you've decided to pursue.
Give it a try and let me know if this approach works. Good luck!