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Teach Your Child to Dream Big

by Lori Sciame | September 7th, 2011 | Elementary

Every child has a dream. Whether they fantasize about being a football player, a dancer, or an astronaut, they feel as if they can accomplish anything. As a parent of a son or daughter in elementary school, you have the unique opportunity to nourish your child’s dreams. There are many ways to support your child’s vision of his or her life-to-be. Here are some suggestions for helping your child to reach for the stars.

1. Listen
Children at this age love to have your attention. They want to know that you care about them and what they are interested in – including the vision they have for the future. You probably have many obligations, from work to aging parents, but make sure to take the time to listen to your child. Find a quiet moment, even if it’s only for 20 minutes. Listen to your child’s dreams, and let his or her imagination soar.

2. Experience
Try to experience as many things as possible with your child. Sign her up for dance class if she wants to be a ballerina, or let him try out for football. Or – do the reverse – if your daughter wants to be a quarterback, let her try-out for football, and if your son wants to be a tap dancer, let him take tap lessons. Take it from an experienced parent, letting your son or daughter try various activities only strengthens his or her capability to accomplish great things.

3. Be Prepared for Change
When I was nine, I could out run all the boys in the neighborhood. Because of that, I wanted to be an Olympic athlete. Sadly, my dream did not come true; yet another dream, being a writer, did come to fruition. Lesson learned: your son or daughter may change his or her dream many times, but be supportive of each one.

4. It is Not Your Life
In the example above, I discussed my dreams as a child; you need to realize your child has his or her own dream. In essence, it’s not your place to supply the dream. So what if you don’t like to paint or to surf or to trade stocks; your child wants to learn more about that job/activity. Support your child in whatever he or she chooses, and they will be more likely to find success. It bears repeating – it’s not your life, so don’t force any dreams not realized in your own life onto your son or daughter.

5. Assist
One reason children might not accomplish their dreams is that they need to be taught about goal setting. You can assist your child in helping them make a plan for accomplishing a dream. It may seem unbelievable, but many children want to be famous singers, yet they won’t join choir or even sing in the shower! And I know a young man who dreams of being a great basketball player, yet he refuses to join the school team. In essence, provide the tools to plan steps to a dream.

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