Wednesday, March 14, 2012

3 Ways to Breath Life into Your Child's Dreams

This weekend my oldest daughter and I spent about twenty hours helping out at a gymnastics meet. Yes, you're reading that right. Twenty hours.

The competing girls were all levels 3 & 4s. For many of them it was their first state competition. And their dreams were coming true.

Kids are like that. The kids on the left are my two oldest several years ago looking through binoculars on Mackinac Island. Kids have the biggest dreams. And as a parent I want to know how to focus in on the one that will lead to success and fulfillment. So what's a parent to do?



1) I think the first thing we need to do is pray with our child about their dreams. Help them turn those dreams over to the one who created them and their dreams. Then I think we need to pray for wisdom to work with God to support those dreams to the best of our ability. For example, my oldest son want to be a Lego engineer. I don't know how many of those there are in the world, but he loves Legos. Why not encourage him until he grows up more and decides on something else. I wouldn't be surprised at all to find him working as an engineer of some sort.

2) Evaluate the practical ways to encourage the dream. Is there a class they need to take? A sport they should try? Do they need to stick with something they decide isn't them through their commitment? My eleven and eight year old are in a children's choir right now. It's hitting that point of the school year that the fun has worn off. The songs are boring. They aren't learning anything (from their perspective) etc. Doesn't matter. To me, learning you have to finish what you start is as important as the singing.

3)  Ask God to show you what He's working out in them through the dream and the experiences that dream generates. There are days I want to beg our oldest to give-up on her dream. It's painful to watch her struggle. But the days she lights up because she's learned a new skill or conquered a skill that eluded her are wonderful. I've asked God to show me if we reach a point where she needs to be redirected. Instead, He keeps showing me all the character she is developing.

I know He'll do the same for you.

What tips would you add to these?

4 comments:

Rachel said...

Could not agree with you more! I was one of those kids whose dream was to become a gold medal gymnast. I know the struggles and the intense perserverence those goals can demand. Support your kids the best you can and always in God's will. Thanks for sharing!

Cara Putman said...

Rachel, your dream mirrors my daughter's. It's great to know God has her in His hands!

Barb said...

A wonderful post! Like you, I always believed in expecting my kids to finish what they started. That's pretty tough sometimes. Our son insisted he'd be a "dinosaur scientist" from Kdg on through elementary school. He isn't, but he's an engineer. Worked hard and loves doing what he does.
Our daughter played basketball in H.S. and sat the bench a lot. Today, she's a basketball coach for a Christian High School and loves it. Says she learned so much from sitting on that bench. It made her more effective than had she spent all her time playing.
God is amazing.

Cara Putman said...

Thanks, Barb! And how wonderful to see how your kids' experiences lead to where they are today and helped them!

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