We all had big dreams as a child. What was yours? Some of us wanted to be astronauts. Some movie stars. The President of the United States. Some wanted to be a waitress and was told by a loving parent that, that career wasn’t a big enough goal. We all as parents do the best we can with the knowledge we have. We do our best to guide and love and nurture and support our children and their dreams. Possibly, somewhere along the way without realizing it we either squash their dreams, try to tell them about a better dream, or ignore the excitement of their enthusiasm all together.
The more we learn about ourselves, the better parents we can become.
So if your child comes to you brewing with excitement that he wants to build a new White House, because the old one is just way too old, why not say, “How awesome is that! Let’s start building that dream!” You never know, you could be looking at our world's next best architect!
Here are a few tips that may encourage children to dream big:
- Write it down! Encourage a child to write down and even draw out their dreams. Even for adults this process allows us to “see” our dreams and keeps our ideas flowing with new ones, and ideas are the essential groundwork for creativity. “So you want to build a new White House? Great! Let’s write and draw out how you’re going to do this, one step at a time!” Give a child his/her own “Dream Building Journal” and help decorate it!
- Help them learn specificity. Learning how to be specific with what you want, how you want to do it, and when you want to do it by, not only helps us reach our goals faster, but it also encourages us to be fast decision makers. And being a quick decision maker is a quality that is at the top of the list for every successful and highly efficient person. The most successful were not born that way, they became that way. “So, you want to build a new White House? What are you going to do today to help you with that dream? When are you going to do that by? What color is your White House? (His/her color may be purple :) ). What kind of floors does it have?”
- Talk about it. Help them focus. Help them understand that taking daily action toward their dream is a must for success. Fuel their imagination. Encourage those ideas. Let them know that their ideas matter, not only to you, but to the world.
- Hang pictures of their drawing. Help them gather all those pictures of the White House and their sketches and paste on a poster board. Hang it where they see it every day.
We all want our dreams to come true. Some of us may only just now began to realize that we can dream and accomplish whatever we want. Our parents may not have had the resources, research, and knowledge available to them that showed the importance of encouraging a child’s dream – regardless of how big and magnificent it may be – but we do. We have an enormous amount of information at our fingertips on how to focus and accomplish our dreams and help our children dream big.
Who knows, along the way of helping your child, you may spark a few new ideas of your own!