Make Your Child's Dream a Reality: Here's How

So your child wants to be the next president, entertainer, lawyer, doctor, firefighter or some other professional? What are you doing now to ensure that his or her dream is fulfilled? Oftentimes children will change their dreams, but there are always a few in the bunch that know what they want. How might you keep their dreams alive?

Ask questions and listen.
Children who really want something will nag you about it until they get it. Do you have a child that is annoying you about visiting a certain establishment or meeting someone who works in a specific industry? If so, you may want to follow up with a question like, "Why do you want to see him or her so bad? Do you really want to visit that building?" Keep a journal of the things your child says, so when he or she becomes older, you can remind him or her about his or her dreams. Ask specific questions to find out more about your son or daughter's dream. Find out if your child enjoys working with his or her hands, voice, feet, etc. Once you know what he or she likes to do, it will help you find out more about related professions based on your son or daughter's interests. If your child is old enough, have him or her take a questionnaire to determine exactly what is it that he or she likes to do if there is some uncertainty or if he or she seems to like to do too many things.
Collect information about your child's desired profession.
Purchase videos and instructional materials about topics related to your child's interest. From magazines to videos, take the information and make a game out of it. Question answer games will reinforce learning about the profession. Allow your child to also play a game of Show and Tell with what he or she has learned. Reward your child for his or her presentation.
Plan a trip to meet someone in the industry.
Maybe there is a relative or friend who wouldn't mind taking you and your child on a tour of their workplace. Call him or her and share your child's interest.
Seek classes in your local area.
Oftentimes there are special summer programs for children to help them become professionals one day. From acting classes to softball camps, find out what kind of classes are being offered in your area via the newspaper, Internet, local yellow pages, coffee shop, city office, school, and church bulletins. There are also many classes that are not advertised. So do ask others about children's programs as well.
Save money.
In order to make your child's dream become a reality, it will take money. So be sure you establish a savings plan that will go toward your child's future dream. Encourage other relatives to give to your child's fund; rather than buy them toys.
Mention what your child's desires are to the teacher at your next parent teacher conference or meeting with the school's counselor. Sometimes by getting a teacher or counselor involved in your child's future, you are reinforcing what it is that he or she wants to do. This person may know of some resources that can further help your child.
Share your child's dream only with relatives and friends that can help in some way.
Unfortunately, there are some relatives and friends that are negative and unsupportive about most things including parenting. Despite your child's enthusiasm about the family member who gave them their favorite toy, this person may not be so helpful about investing in your child's future. So be very selective who you talk to about your child's dreams and always address anything negative that they may say to your child.
Once you have started the task of building your child's dream, don't stop, even if he or she is becoming a bit tired of it. Rather, find other ways to keep your child interested. Your son or daughter may be more excited about his or her dream if he or she can see the dream carried out in a variety of ways. For instance, instead of becoming a veterinarian maybe they really want to work with animals in a circus, on a farm or somewhere else. It's still the same dream: to work with animals just in a way that might be less boring.
Sometimes parents can turn children away from dreams simply by becoming too involved. When you notice your child is beginning to act out or quite boldly says, "Mom this isn't about you!" Listen and back off. If your son or daughter needs anything, he or she knows how to find mom and dad.
A child will only give as much energy toward a dream as you allow. So if you choose to approach your child's dream half-heartedly with little or no support, your child may look to something else, then another thing, and still another thing until he or she wins your approval. Children do many things for attention sake, so give them the attention that they seek--be supportive.
By Nicholl McGuire

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