Do you try to make your dreams your children’s dreams?
A friend recently shared with me about a time her parents failed to keep their dreams separate from her dreams. Because her father was always athletic, he signed her and her brother up for the school swim team. He assumed that they would love it just as much as he had. However, she and her brother didn’t care for swimming. There were even days when they would hide in the locker room to avoid practice.
When their dad found out what was going on, a turning point was reached. He realized that he had to let go of his dream in order to let his kids pursue their own dreams. Years later, my friend and her brother went on to play several team sports in high school and college, like basketball and soccer. She is so thankful for the way her dad came to understand that parents shouldn’t impose their dreams onto their kids.
If you struggle with pushing your kids to have the same dreams as you, here are 4 ways to not make your dreams their dreams.
1. Don’t Assume. Just because you were captain of the football team doesn’t mean your son will be interested in playing when he’s in school. Don’t just assume that your child will play the same sports or have the same hobbies as you.
2. Do Ask. Now that you’re able to approach your child without assumptions, ask what interests them. Ask, “What sports do you like to play?” Or, “What hobbies or activities do you like to do most?” Let them share what is important to them and what they like to do.
3. Don’t Abandon. Once you find what they enjoy doing, don’t leave them to pursue their dreams alone. If they are interested in an activity you don’t know much about, go learn about it. If you’re an awful artist but your daughter loves to draw, don’t leave her sitting at the table alone. Sit beside her and encourage her in her dreams.
4. Do Act. Finally, it’s most important to not only encourage your child in pursuing their dreams, but to also take steps to help them reach those dreams. Take your daughter to dance lessons, throw the football in the backyard with your son, or help your child bake the best cake you’ve ever tasted. Enjoy the moments as you help them pursue their dream.
What dreams do your kids have and how can you help them achieve those dreams?