Teaching Kids about Business – The Adventures of Lil’ Vee

As I was sitting in a panel for 4th year college students, I was also thinking about a lot of things, on top of which was thinking of how we, as parents, can we pretty much teach starting or creating a business to the kids of today.

In this country, the employment rate in January 2019  was estimated at 94.8 percent.  In January 2018, the employment rate was 94.7 percent. This data was from https://psa.gov.ph/content/employment-rate-january-2019-estimated-948-percent

Aside from just looking at the employment rate, I also look at the underemployment which was at 15.6%. With a population of 108 Million Filipinos (as of today May 2019), this means that 16.8 Million Filipinos are underemlployed and 5.6 Million are unemployed. This is still a pretty huge number.

Ever since we had Zeeka, my husband and I have been thinking of ways to help the country in this aspect. This is why Taxumo exists — to help business owners focus on growing the business and later on generate more jobs for the people in their community (to promote inclusive growth).

As I observed the kids and parents of today, I was quite happy to see that more and more parents are open to letting their children live the life that they want. Graduates now are more open to choosing a path that they would like to have, be it starting their own business, get into the arts, get into the workforce, grow in a corporate environment, etc. We really need to show our kids that they have a choice and they can be successful at they want to do especially if they love what they are doing.

Since my husband and I are both corporate employees who shifted into becoming entrepreneurs, a lot of parents ask us how do we actually teach our kids about entrepreneurship. How do we raise kids who would want to start their own business later on?

You can teach your kids certain skills, values and train them to adapt certain habits, but you cannot force them to start a business (also) if they don’t want to. Anyway, these are skills, values and habits can be used no matter what their choices are.

For Zeeka, these are the things that we do though. Obviously, I cannot say that we’ve been successful (because she’s just 6 years old! haha!), but I’m sharing our own experiences for the purposes of discussion and to get additional tips and advice from parents who are wiser than me 🙂

Encourage kids to explore and see the world and answer their questions.

We don’t stop her from trying out a lot of different things. She has tried gymnastics, sketching, vlogging, fast food kiddie crews, hiphop, theatre classes, joining in workshops, joining an engineering club, taekwondo, creating a prototype for an app, making pastries and selling them, going out for a walk and touching everything she sees, wall climbing, traveling and seeing different places, etc. And whenever she asks about things, we try as much as possible to answer these questions thoroughly. We believe that this is how she will learn and we, parents, are their best teachers.

We teach her to be observant. We show her the actions have effects. We encourage her to find out what these “effects” are. For example, she learned how to wash the dishes. One time, her hands were slippery and she dropped and broke a plate. She now knows what happens if she’s not careful when she washes.

Guide them with what they can watch and play with online

Zeeka, like any other kid, loves to watch videos on Youtube, Netflix and she love playing games on Roblox. What we do is we limit time for gadgets and we also monitor the things that she watches.

Have you heard of Gary Vaynerchuk? He and his team created a cartoon called Lil’ Vee! Check out the first episode.

I love how they used simple concepts and examples that kids could understand. For this particular episode of Lil’ Vee, there were numerous things that were taught that both kids and adults could understand and use — from where ideas come from, to product development, to customer validation, marketing and selling.

I can’t wait for the next episode. Check out the first episode, moms and dads!

Support them in times of Failure but Expect Quality Work

This is the time in their lives when kids need to learn how to fail and pick themselves up after. They will naturally try a lot of things, and they will possibly fail during the first few attempts, but our role as parents is to help and encourage them to do better. We’re not there to remind them of their failure and their mistakes, because they probably know that they already failed. We’re there to help them pick up from where they left off and support their decisions after.

But we should also expect quality work from the things that they want to do. There are moments when we tell Zeeka that she should try harder. We then focus on what she can do to improve, like “practice more, Zeeka” or “try again”. Our kids are more capable than we think they are.

Be more specific with your words.

This is where my husband is good at. She makes Zeeka understand how she feels and gives her the word for it. He also encourages more specific language at home. Some examples of words that Zeeka uses are frustrated, exhausted, irritating, etc. We noticed that she doesn’t whine as often anymore because we understand her better, and she can communicate clearly.

Teach empathy.

We live in a world where we thrive with other people, and each one has his or her own story. We always remind Zeeka that before reacting to a certain thing or deciding on an action that would affect other people, she has to think whether this will affect the other person in a good way or bad way. Although, we also teach her what her rights are and what are the things and values that she should stand up for.

Value and Money

We are slowly teaching her how money works and how to grow it. Although at this stage, more advanced types of investments may be too hard for them to absorb, we taught her the concept of “interest” already.

We are also slowly teaching her also about “value”. What people may see as invaluable, may be valuable for other people.

Overall, these are some of the things that we feel will make her a successful when she decides to start her own business in the future. I know that we haven’t really cascaded a lot yet, but we’re taking our sweet time and we’re enjoying these moments of passing on learnings and experiences to her. She’s quite an inquisitive little lady! haha!

How about you, moms & dads, what other values and things do you teach your kids? Feel free to share it with us!

Childhood Depression and What You Can Do to Help

Two years ago, I wrote an article about depression and entrepreneurship. Looking back, nothing much has changed. Every now and then, I still get bouts of depression because of the challenges I face. But somehow it’s comforting to know that I’m not alone in this struggle.

Depression is a leading cause of ill health and disability in many countries all over the world. It is the most common mental health problem worldwide, with an estimated 300 million people suffering from it. Without the proper assistance, depression can lead to more complications, and ultimately death by suicide. In fact, suicide was the second leading cause of death among 15 to 29-year-olds around the world in 2015.

We Filipinos rarely talk about mental health and depression. Often, we brush it aside as just a ‘phase’ or a ‘feeling’. But in recent studies, approximately 3.3 Million Filipinos suffer from anxiety and depressive disorders. And only one in three cases usually asks for professional help.

But what’s most alarming is, depression in children seem to be increasing in number too. Children as young ten and twelve years old have been noted to die by suicide.

Unlike depression in adults, it can be difficult to spot in children and teenagers. So here are some telltale signs that your child is suffering from depression according to Psychology Today:

  • Frequent vague, nonspecific physical complaints such as headaches, muscle aches, stomach aches, or tiredness
  • Frequent absence from school or poor performance in school
  • Talk of or efforts to run away from home
  • Outbursts of shouting, complaining, unexplained irritability, or crying
  • Being bored
  • Lack of interest in playing with friends
  • Alcohol or substance abuse
  • Social isolation, poor communication
  • Fear of death
  • Extreme sensitivity to rejection or failure
  • Increased irritability, anger, or hostility
  • Reckless behavior
  • Difficulty with relationships

There are many factors that may cause depression. Research shows that it might likely result from a combination of genetic, biochemical, environmental, and psychological factors.

Some types of depression run in families. Trauma, loss of a loved one, difficult relationships and other stressful situations can also trigger depressive episodes. And other depressive episodes can also happen without any outside factors triggering it.

But the good thing is, depression is a treatable disorder even in the most extreme cases.And getting the right treatment starts with seeing the right doctor. The earlier the treatment can begin, the better and more effective it will be. It can also prevent the episodes from recurring.

Awareness is crucial in providing help and support for both the child and the family. And acknowledging the illness also demystifies and removes the stigma around it.

It’s also vital to surround yourself with the right support groups to help you through the darkest times.

To help alleviate the cases of depression in the country, Globe Telecoms created Hopeline 2919, a 24/7 toll-free suicide prevention hotline in 2012.


The goal is to assist and support callers in crisis due to depression or suicide issues. It also provides support for callers who are not necessarily in immediate crisis but may need help to prevent it from occurring or escalating.

In its first year alone, Hopeline 2919 has received 14,000 calls relating to depression, suicidal thoughts, and relationship problems.

It’s awesome that Globe has Hopeline 2919, a campaign that hopes to remove the stigma that surrounds depression. Through the helpline, Globe Telecom continues to support the Department of Health’s goal in promoting mental health awareness in the Philippines.

As parents, we have a huge responsibility and opportunity to ensure our children’s emotional state. That’s why we need to watch out for telltale signs of depression before it gets worse.

With that said, I’d like to ask for your help in sharing this post on social media to help spread the awareness about mental health and depression. Share it with moms, dads, and anyone who needs help.

Because all lives matter.

#SeeYouTomorrow #HOPELINE2919