5 Tips for Encouraging Your Kids to Pursue Their Dreams
Right now one of my main parenting jobs is to help my children find their path in life. They are all out of diapers and in middle school, high school or early adult years and the world is at their feet. They’re ready to go out and change the world! Sounds good, right? But oh my goodness, it so hard to figure out how to pursue your dreams and change the world… and which dreams to choose! As a homeschool mom, it’s a double challenge, but I’m up to the task. How?
I have a very big God and He is not limited by my lack of knowledge or ability. He is my guide.
Somehow, as impossible as it seems, my husband and I have produced offspring that are gifted in ways I can’t even imagine. My children have ideas and talents that I don’t have and I don’t know how to direct. In drive and skill, they are so very different from us and from each other. One of my kids is writing books, another is in law school, two of my younger kids have their own businesses and are developing skills in areas that are a mystery to me. They are following their dreams and with God’s help, they will excel!
Even though your kids’ dreams may not be your dreams for them, that doesn’t mean you cannot encourage them in your pursuit.
Here are some practical ways in which you can do just that.
5 tips for encouraging your kids to pursue their dreams and change the world:
1. Pray, pray, and then pray some more. Nothing is impossible for God. Where you are weak, He is ready to fill in the gaps. He knows your child and loves them even more than you do.
2. Give your kids time to just talk. Even though it seems like you are talking with your kids a lot, how much do you stop to be quiet and just listen? The older they are, the more they need to know that you can hear them.
3. Keep an open mind. If what they are wanting to learn isn’t sin, consider letting them explore their dreams. Help them brainstorm ways to take a class or meet with someone who is successful in that area. It may not be your dream for them, but they have their own life to live.
4. Encourage them to fund their own dreams. Our family has limited funds, so when one of the kids wants to take lessons or go to a workshop or buy a book, I help them find ways to earn the money to pay for it themselves. We pay for some jobs, help them sell things on eBay, or brainstorm services they can offer, etc. We also teach them to save their money, which is half of the battle. It’s not just getting money, it’s holding onto it that pays for what we want. Here’s what I shared about helping teens earn money.
5. Develop a vision.
We encourage our children to build a vision for their life, even if they don’t know exactly what they want to do.
You still know if you want to be strong, musical or have a generous savings. Work toward character goals just like you work toward physical goals. Then use that vision to make decisions about what dreams they should pursue. It’s much easier to say no to an idea if it doesn’t fit with your vision. Don’t be too hard on yourself when you make mistakes and change course many times. It’s all part of the job of leading your kids in the right direction.
To further inspire your children to dream big and change the world, check out the book, The Kid Who Changed the World by New York Times best-selling author Andy Andrews! Based on his book The Butterfly Effect: How Your Life Matters, this beautifully illustrated children’s picture book tells the story of Norman Borlaug, who developed special corn, wheat, and rice seeds that were disease resistant, high yield seeds that fed millions. But more than just the story of Norman, Andrews takes you through the lives of four boys who changed the world through a ripple effect. Children will learn about Norman, Henry Wallace, George Washington Carver, and Moses Carver, and how each one’s actions affected the actions of the next, and in the end, the world was changed. The point of Andy Andrews’ book: “every little thing YOU do matters.” Whether big or small, our actions and choices have eternal and lasting effects.