4 Ways to Not Make Your Dreams Your Kids’ Dreams

4 ways to not make your dreams your kids' dreams_thumb

 

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?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Tony Robinson

    Great post. I believe in and follow these myself. In my opinion the most important one of all of these is number4. Of course it is extremely important to do all of these in this order, however when you take action to help to develop your child’s dream it tell them that their dream is just as important you as it is to them. Proof being you are spending you most valuable asset, your time, to help to them develope their dream and achieve their goal.

  • http://www.MarkMerrill.com/ Mark Merrill

    Tony, good thought. Time is one of our most valuable assets and it’s important to share it with our kids.

  • Tony Robinson

    Mark,
    This is one that I happen to know from first hand experince. My father was never around for me when I was growing up. I was one who clung to the notion that the better I did in my school work and my sports that he would eventually take an interest in me. I ended up being and honor graduate from highschool and earned a full athletic scholarship to play football. He still didn’t come around. I was extended an opportunity to be a free agent in the NFL which didn’t pan out and I truly feel it was that way for a reason. A week after I was released I had just lined up a job and his mother passed away both on the same day. After the funeral I spoke to him and explained to him that I forgave him for not being there for me. I also forgave him for the horrific act that he committed againgst my mother, (the raping at knife point of which I am a product of) because if she forgave him I had no right to continue to hold it against him. Finally I explained to him that I had become a man and with no help from him, and that I didn’t need his help as it regards my further developement as a man, but I would like for my children to know who their grandfather is. when the time comes. Fast forward 3.5 years and the first time that I bring my first born back to my home town he is the first person to visit. I didn’t call him or anything, and for everything he was not as a father he has more than made up for as a grandfather. When I bring my Kids home he takes us all fishing or out to lunch. So I said all that so say that our time, once spent it is something that we cannot get back. Additionally for me when my time on this earth has expired and loved ones look upon my date of sunrise and date of sunset I want the most impactful part of that sight to be that little dash that separates the two dates. That is the impact that I am making on my family and on this world. I am determined to make my dash time well spent.

  • http://www.MarkMerrill.com/ Mark Merrill

    Tony, thanks for sharing your story…so true that time, once spent, can’t be gotten back.