As a mom of ten kids I hear a lot of dreams.
“I want to be a firefighter.”
“I’m going to be a fashion designer.”
“I’m going to write kids’ books!”
When kids are little dreaming big comes naturally. Yet as they get older they are discouraged. They realize dreaming means doing … and doing means hard work!
So how do we encourage our kids to keep dreaming? By following our own dreams! It’s then we become a first hand example that hard work pays off!
But how do you start? Here’s how:
1. State your dreams … and keep asking your child about hers.
I was 22-year-old when I dared to tell a friend that someday I wanted to be an author. She encouraged me and we walked the journey together. Now we’re both authors of multiple books. The first thing to do is tell someone who you trust about your dream. Then ask that friend to keep you accountable toward following it.
Likewise, take time to ask your child about her dreams. When my daughter Leslie was just 9 or 10-years-old she told me she wanted to be a missionary. I listened, bought her books about missionaries, and we went on our first missionary trip as a family together when she was a teen. She’s now serving full-time in Europe. While I miss her being close, I love to see what God is doing with her life!
2. Take time to be delighted … and encourage your kids to delight in who God made them.
I find delight in creating stories, in talking about characters, and in reading books. I don’t hide these loves from my kids, instead I model enjoying these things.
God gave me unique gifts and talents, and as I delight in Him, He makes these desires come to life. As Psalm 37:4 says, “Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”
What brings delight to your child’s heart? Make sure you point those things out, “I see that you love singing. I believe God put that love in you. Let’s pray together and ask Him how He wants you to use this delight.” We delight ourselves in God when we see Him as purposeful in our lives, and also when we help our children discover their purpose.
3. Take baby steps toward your dreams… and watch your kids follow.
What’s the best way to teach? Lead by example. Maybe you haven’t taken the time to take steps toward your dream. Today is a great day to start!
Likewise, ask your child, “What is one dream you could start working on today?” You might be surprised by the answer. Once your child states a dream help her figure out small steps. Then, you can even ask your child to help you be accountable to your dreams, too.
Growing your dreams starts with intention. And while it may seem selfish to put time into something beyond from your family or work, it’s important to follow through. When you do you’ll be giving your child an example of what dream-following looks like. And a few years from now, when you look around, you might just discover that your children has dreams that are sprouting up, too!
What I didn’t realize when I first dared to plant my dreams is that my kids would benefit from the harvest. I’m seeing that more and more each day. My writing is something my whole family is thankful for!
Looking for a relaxing read? Check out my book Planted With Hope! It’s the second book in the Pinecraft Pie Shop series. Here’s a short description:
When Hope Miller is offered the plot of land behind the Me, Myself, and Pie shop to start a garden, she jumps at the chance. Finally—some space away from her four sisters! But everyone in town seems to have an opinion about what she should grow and how she should grow it. When the widower schoolteacher, Jonas Sutter, asks if his students at the Amish school can help turn the plot into a community garden, Hope only halfheartedly agrees, wondering if she will ever get the peace and quiet she craves. And will she get anything to grow?
The stories of friendship, community, and unexpected love within these pages will plant real seeds of hope within your heart.