Do you know where kids live in time? They live in the here and now. They want to have fun. They want to do what they want to do and they want to do it now. Not tomorrow. Not in 5 minutes. Now. (Unless of course we are asking them to do something they don’t want to do, then they will do it “later,” but that is another post.)
Our kids aren’t thinking about how persevering through a tough time in life now will benefit them when they hit a rough spot later.
They aren’t thinking about how developing responsibility now will be helpful to them in the home and workplace as adults.
And they aren’t thinking about how doing well in school now will affect what they choose to do with their life.
That means that as parents, one of our jobs has to be helping them see that now affects the future.
It also means that we have to start now to help them dream about what they want their future to look like.
Some kids may be born with a natural drive, but it still needs to be focused.
Some kids may be born with a natural talent, but it still needs to be nurtured.
Think back to when you were a kid. Did you have parents that helped you think about the future and what you would like to become?
Did you have parents who helped you focus your dreams and talents so you knew the direction you were headed?
How did that affect you?
My parents consistently talked about going to college and talked with us about what we wanted to do.
I wanted to be a wife, mother, Dallas Cowboys cheerleader, singer, and lawyer.
They encouraged my musical talent. They encouraged me in school. I may not have ended up in law, but that was because God pointed me in a different direction (and who knows, law school may come at some point yet).
Kids don’t magically know what they want to be when they grow up. They have to be directed. They have to be focused. And as parents, we have to be the ones to dream with them and help them find that direction and focus.
Now, we have to be careful with this. We need to dream our children’s dreams with them, not our own dreams for what we want them to become. Too often, parents impose their own desires on their children. We see this in sports, and eventually in career choices. Children forced into their parents’ ideals are not happy children and they are not fulfilled adults.
So, before you start dreaming with your children, talk to them, watch them, let them show you what their strengths and dreams are. Then give your support, encouragement, and start showing them what it means to dream, plan, set goals, and look at how the present affects the future.
Let’s give our kids the gift of dreams.