Children have active imaginations and they aren’t afraid of dreaming big. When you ask them what they want to be when they grow up, they’ll likely say they hope to become astronauts, superheroes, and princess warriors. However, somewhere along the way, we seem to lose this zest for dreaming and settle for more realistic ambitions.
If you’d like your children to hold onto their dreams and carry them over into adulthood, you can do it by inspiring them to nurture their aspirations. Here are some tips you can use to give your children wings to fly.
Let them explore
It takes courage to follow your dreams. Children will grow brave and strong if they’re allowed a degree of freedom and autonomy when they’re young. It’s natural to be afraid for your children’s safety but be careful not to clip their wings by over-protecting them. Keep a watchful eye on them, but allow them to explore the world and satisfy their curiosity. First-hand learning makes the biggest difference.
Fantasize about the future
Talk to them about the future and encourage them to make plans. You can teach them how to set short-term goals and then help them decide how they’ll make them happen. For example, if they want to get better at playing a sport, make a plan of how they’ll achieve it. Maybe you could sign them up for practices or teach them a few tricks yourself. You can also help them set long-term goals by making bucket lists.
Expose them to different activities
Children can only develop their ambitions if they have exposure to the different options out there. Some ways to do this are by reading books, trying out different hobbies, watching educational videos, and taking them on trips. The more they know of the world, the easier it will be for them to find their thing.
Uncover their talents
Watch for signs of talents and interests so you can offer activities that would appeal to them. For example, if you notice that they love jumping on the trampoline and can’t wait to visit their favorite trampoline park, it may be time to also sign them up for organized sports. Whatever they’re interested in, reward them for it and look for ways to help them explore this interest.
Introduce them to positive role models
Role models can have a huge influence on a child, so make sure they have inspirational individuals to look up to. Talk to them about famous athletes, musicians, scientists, and other admirable people who’ve achieved great feats. A relatable role model will show them that great achievements are within their reach and they may be inspired to be as successful as them.
You yourself should be a healthy role model. If you don’t shy away from challenges and work to accomplish your goals, the chances are they will too.
Teach them perseverance
Even though failure hurts, it’s important for children to get a taste of it and realize that it’s an integral part of life. At such times, they will be tempted to give up, but you can help them see it as an invaluable lesson they can learn from. If you encourage them to aim for the stars, they may fail, but they may also succeed in ways you never would have imagined.
Many parents have the urge to solve their children’s problems and protect them from any type of difficulty they may come across. However, this may be a disservice to the child because overcoming challenges on their own is the best way for them to learn. You can point them in the right direction, but let them have agency. This way, they will be better equipped to make their dreams come true.