What’s your dream? if you ask young children, more often than not, they will tell you exactly what they want in life. Unfortunately, as people grow older, our dreams and goals become less clear. We get caught up trying to make a living. We are also heavily influenced by society that we ended up losing ourselves in the process. A lot of people nowadays don’t even know what they want. If adults are lost, how do you expect your children, especially the teenagers, to know what they want? Thus as parents, it is important to know how to help your children achieve their dreams.
While young, have you noticed that children have big dreams? Their dreams have no limitations and restrictions. For them, anything is possible, But as they grow older, their dreams tend to become more conservative and realistic. Gone were the the grand dreams. Some even forget their dreams totally. So, what happened? Where did all the big dreams go?
Role of Parents
As parents, you have great control and influence of your children’s dreams, more than you think you have. What they will believe to be attainable or not are all dependent on what you believe as parents to be possible and impossible. Parents are the children’s inspiration and motivation in life. We are their role models. If you think that your child’s dreams are unrealistic, your child will grow up believing that his/her dreams are simply unattainable. Your negative thinking will greatly influence your child’s thinking. Your mindset affects the direction of both your life and your child’s life.
Your role as parents is to support them with their dreams. Believe in them. Everyone has a purpose in life. Everyone is a genius. Your role is to find your child’s genius.
- When is your child happy?
- What’s his/her talents?
- What is he good at?
- What activities does he/she like the most?
Observe your children’s interests. Pay attention to the skills that they are good at. Then do your homework. Research about their dreams. Maybe you can afford to enroll them in specialize classes about their interests. You can also help document their dreams. For example, it is so common for teachers in kindergarten to ask children to draw what they want to be when they grow up. Why not keep that paper and file it so that you can show it to your child when he/she grows up? There are so many little things that you can do that can help your child achieve their dreams.
Many parents keep on forgetting that it is not about them. So, they ended up forcing their children to fulfill their unfulfilled dreams. When in fact, parents do not own their children. Parents are just stewards. Parents are entrusted with the responsibility of looking after their children until they are ready to stand on their own. Thus, parents are managers not owners. Children should have the right to choose their own future.
When you become a parent, it’s not all about you anymore.– Carre Otis
Since very young, children look for someone to imitate. Most of the time, the parents are the closest people that they grow up with. Subconsciously, children grow up imitating their parents. Thus, it is not enough for parents to give guidelines verbally. How a parent acts and behaves are more important than the verbal teachings. A positive role model is a powerful way to influence children in achieving their goals.
Parents must lead by example. Don’t use the cliche; do as I say and not as I do. We are our children’s first and most important role models.– Lee Haney
No More Dream
What if the children grew up to be unmotivated, or worse, have no more dream despite the parent’s support? This can cause a lot of stress for parents. Of course, parents want their children to have big goals and dreams. Unfortunately, because of the dictates of society or several other factors such as hanging out with the wrong sets of friends; a child can grow up with no dream. If this happens, know that It’s okay. You don’t have to force it right away. it will come in time. But it doesn’t mean that you cannot do anything about it.
Have you heard of the gap year? Others call it the sabbatical year. It is basically a year or semester break before or after college. The purpose is for the student to learn a different perspective in life. The student can go traveling, learn something new, volunteer, get a job or do anything that is different from his/her regular routine.
If a gap year is not feasible, you can opt to make them attend a seminar, watch an inspiring video, read a book or find them a mentor. The key is to help them get a new perspective in life, a different way of looking at things. It is difficult to know what you want if you are subjected to the same routine and environment over and over again.
In a nutshell, the only way to help your children to achieve their dreams is to let them create and allow them to follow their own dreams. Respect their individuality. Refrain from enforcing your own dreams and don’t let them fall prey to society’s expectations. Trust that they can do it. Your belief in them can take them places.
Feature Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay Images