She’s 16 years old and dreams of Broadway and the glaring lights of New York City. He is 14, fast, and strong and just knows he’s the guy that the NFL has been waiting for.
Our kids have big dreams and they certainly should. Life is full of endless possibilities. However, it is also tempered by the reality that the huge dreams of most people are never realized. Whether it is circumstances, lack of talent, waning ambition, or any of the many reasons why most people don’t make it, big dreams are only realized by a tiny few.
Over 1,000,000 boys play high school football each year, but only 215 will ever make an NFL roster according to USAFootball.com. So how do we, as parents, manage these big dreams with a big dose of reality, while at the same time continue encouraging our children to dream big?
Here are 6 ways to manage your kids’ big dreams:
1. Don’t Squash the Dream.
Psychologically speaking, it is never wise to tell anyone, much less a teenager, they aren’t good enough to do something. Even if your child averages C’s in Algebra, and they are telling you they dream of designing rockets for space, never discount the possibility. That said, if you are hearing a child singing that sounds like two cats at war and she wants to be an international pop star, you might sign her up for vocal lessons.
2. Don’t Be the Obstacle.
The odds are already stacked against them, so don’t be the one to keep them from achievement. Your job is to provide proper life skills, education, and encouragement. Put your emphasis on the job of being a parent and leave their dreams alone. We all have/had them, and your children deserve their own.
3. Be Open About Your Own Dreams.
Successful parents always set the correct example. In this case, be open about what you dreamed of becoming as a child, and discuss why it didn’t, or possibly did, happen. This dialogue might even inspire that dream to come back to life.
4. Embrace the Support Role.
This is vital in your child’s future remembrance of you as a parent. Always support their endeavors with your actions and time. At football fields, baseball fields, spring concerts, skateboard parks, and in venues all over the world, there are parents supporting their children’s dreams. That means playing taxi and lugging equipment. Always be there.
5. Provide Education and Organization.
Whatever their choice of activity, give your child every chance by providing whatever educational opportunities there are. A quality piano teacher, a soccer clinic happening on a spring Saturday, or a trip to NASA with the science class are examples of how parents can provide the right education for the dream.
6. Ground Them in Faith.
Most importantly, provide your child the environment and example that we are, first and foremost, grounded in faith and God’s desires and plans for us. Help your child find the talents and gifts God has provided, and help them use them in the proper ways. We were all made to be superstars; the key is to discover what our specialties truly are.
Related Resource: Dreams Conversation Starters
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Huddle Up Question
Huddle up with your kids tonight and ask what they dream of becoming when they grow up.