We all had big dreams as a child. What was yours? Some of us wanted to be astronauts. Some movie stars. The President of the United States. Some wanted to be a waitress and was told by a loving parent that, that career wasn’t a big enough goal. We all as parents do the best we can with the knowledge we have. We do our best to guide and love and nurture and support our children and their dreams. Possibly, somewhere along the way without realizing it we either squash their dreams, try to tell them about a better dream, or ignore the excitement of their enthusiasm all together.
The more we learn about ourselves, the better parents we can become.
So if your child comes to you brewing with excitement that he wants to build a new White House, because the old one is just way too old, why not say, “How awesome is that! Let’s start building that dream!” You never know, you could be looking at our world’s next best architect!
Here are a few tips that may encourage children to dream big:
- Write it down! Encourage a child to write down and even draw out their dreams. Even for adults this process allows us to “see” our dreams and keeps our ideas flowing with new ones, and ideas are the essential groundwork for creativity. “So you want to build a new White House? Great! Let’s write and draw out how you’re going to do this, one step at a time!” Give a child his/her own “Dream Building Journal” and help decorate it!
- Help them learn specificity. Learning how to be specific with what you want, how you want to do it, and when you want to do it by, not only helps us reach our goals faster, but it also encourages us to be fast decision makers. And being a quick decision maker is a quality that is at the top of the list for every successful and highly efficient person. The most successful were not born that way, they became that way. “So, you want to build a new White House? What are you going to do today to help you with that dream? When are you going to do that by? What color is your White House? (His/her color may be purple 🙂 ). What kind of floors does it have?”
- Talk about it. Help them focus. Help them understand that taking daily action toward their dream is a must for success. Fuel their imagination. Encourage those ideas. Let them know that their ideas matter, not only to you, but to the world.
- Hang pictures of their drawing. Help them gather all those pictures of the White House and their sketches and paste on a poster board. Hang it where they see it every day.
We all want our dreams to come true. Some of us may only just now began to realize that we can dream and accomplish whatever we want. Our parents may not have had the resources, research, and knowledge available to them that showed the importance of encouraging a child’s dream – regardless of how big and magnificent it may be – but we do. We have an enormous amount of information at our fingertips on how to focus and accomplish our dreams and help our children dream big.
Who knows, along the way of helping your child, you may spark a few new ideas of your own!
How do you help your child understand jealousy and its consequences? That could be the question of the year!
All children want to be liked and accepted, and they usually want what the other child has, from toys to clothes to backpacks to cool pencils. But how do we guide our children to support others instead of feeling jealous?
Here are a few suggestions:
- Are you a jealous adult? We are our children’s first role models, and that may even take a long time to sink-in, but it is true. And yes, as they grow from grade school to middle school to high school, they will pick up many behavioral habits from friends that you will not like, jealousy could be one of them, but first and foremost, and answer honestly, are you a jealous adult? Jealousy, I believe, is a behavior, not an emotion, and since awareness is the first step to peace and balance in one’s life, push ego aside and ask, “Am I a jealous person?”
- They weren’t invited to a party. If their best friend was invited to a birthday party that your child was not invited to, but wanted to go to, and she/he is jealous that their friend is going, maybe guide her/him by suggesting, “I know you’re sad about not going to this party, but you like your friend a lot, yes? If you like them, then you want him/her to be happy, yes? Going to this party will make them happy? So how exciting for him/her! That leaves a day open for you to do something new, too, and I’m sure all will be well when you see how happy your friend will be when he/she tells you all about it, and then you can them her/him about your fantastic day!” Helping children understand that being happy for the ones we care for, even in moments of jealousy or envy, can make them appreciate the friendship even more, and at the end of the day, they will like themselves a little more, too.
- Compliment others. Do your best to genuinely compliment others in front of your child, with sincerity and kindness, for a job well done, how they handled a situation, how positive they are. Look for the traits that make a person beautiful from the inside out. These acts of kindness and respect go a long way!
- Help your child see how great they are, and share with her/him all of his/her accomplishments, and that supporting and encouraging a friend, appreciating their successes, and even their new backpacks and shoes, can mean the world to them.
Let’s work together to help children keep an open mind, see both sides of a situation, and enjoy feeling the peace and balance that doing so will give them. We’ll help them understand the importance of character, and more importantly, make them feel like the worthy little beautiful beings they are, and how that joy is going to bring happiness and success to their lives.
Ever wonder what to do with all those wonderful and well-received holiday cards?
The beautiful Birthday cards and lovely Thank You cards?
Ever look at the front of one that’s sparkling and shimmering, and you’re oohing and ahhing, and you just can’t seem to toss it in the trash?
Can you not throw it away AND help others? Yes!
According to St. Jude’s Ranch for Children website, “They recycle your new and used greeting cards and create new holiday and all-occasion greeting cards. Operated by Kids’ Corp., a program designed to teach entrepreneurship skills, the children at the Ranch participate in making the new “green” cards by removing the front and attaching a new back. The result is a beautiful new card made by children and volunteers… they receive payment for their work and learn basic job skills and the importance of recycling.”
The following are their requests:
- Only the card front can be used (please check to be sure the backside of the front of the card is clear of any writing, etc.)
- We cannot accept Hallmark, Disney or American Greeting cards
- 5″ x 7″ size or smaller is preferred
- To mail large quantities in the least expensive way, use a USPS (United States Post Office) Flat Rate Box (available at your local Post Office), which holds up to 70 pounds
- Mail donations to:
St. Jude’s Ranch for Children
Recycled Card Program
100 St. Jude’s Street
Boulder City, NV 89005
Enjoy your cards, and then help St. Jude’s Ranch for Children, their programs and services for abused, neglected and homeless children, young adults and families. Sounds like a win-win situation!
More information at https://stjudesranch.org/about-us/recycled-card-program/
Thank you! If the ones that they help could say “Thank you!” too, I’m sure they would.