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Sunday, January 15, 2012

5 Ways to Inspire Your Children's Dreams

As we celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., one of the most influential and respected leaders in history, I often think about his parents. How strong, wise and loving they must have been to raise such a dynamic individual. People like MLK Jr. didn't just turn out great by happenstance. Clearly there must have been family members, mentors, teachers and peers that saw his potential and nurtured it. I humbly offer my thoughts on how to encourage the special boys and girls in our lives to create a vision for themselves, achieve their dreams and make an impact on the world at large.

5. Look & Listen

"It (destiny) is what you have always wanted to accomplish. Everyone, when they are young, knows what their destiny is. At that point in their lives, everything is clear and everything is possible. They are not afraid to dream, and to yearn for everything they would like to see happen to them in their lives." Paulo Coelho, "The Alchemist"

Practice close observation and active listening skills when interacting with your children. Talk to them. What are they into? What can't they stop jabbering about? You can help them identify and explore their healthy interests. Dig a little and educate them about the possibilities. A kid obsessed with transforming robots today, could be tomorrow's science and technology innovator. 

4. Homemade History Lessons

"The history of the world is but the biography of great men." Thomas Carlyle 

All things tangible and real in our world  were once someones dream. Teach your children to appreciate the men and women throughout history who turned nothing into something, and they will realize that they too can bring their visions into fruition. Retrace the steps taken one by one to turn dreams into reality. 

3. Encourage Literacy
“The more you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.  Dr. Seuss, "I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!"
Little readers are little dreamers. Books transport us to worlds unknown and plant ideas in a way that no other media can. Your budding bookworm will develop a better vocabulary, ability to focus and critical thinking skills by shelf surfing at the local library .

2. Expose them to the unfamiliar
"If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder, he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement and mystery of the world we live in." Rachel Carson

Make sure children know that the world is a huge, varied place. There is more to life than their block, city, state, country and continent. While their minds are sponges help them understand that no dream is too big. Their imaginations may lead them to ponder the implausible, but teach them that nothing is impossible. Visit museums, parks, art galleries. Travel by train, plane and automobile. Answer their questions. When you don't how to respond fess up and research the topic together. Encourage exploration that titillates their senses. See the sights; smell the scents - stinky and sweet; touch the soft and prickly; hear the noise and quiet; develop their taste for life! 

1. Keep Living Your Own Dreams

"When our memories outweigh our dreams, we have grown old." Bill Clinton 

When we become parents, guardians or teachers we agree to put our needs second to what is best for our kids. Sometimes through great sacrifice we put what we want on hold to provide what they need, as it should be. But remember, the way we live provides a road map for how our children approach their lives. Talk to your children about your personal story, your failures and successes. Are you thriving or surviving? Even if you are excelling professionally, personally and spiritually think back to when you were a child. Rediscover some of that joy and curiosity. Set new goals, embark on new adventures, make new memories and you will inspire your children to do the same.


skip.davis said...

your insite and perspectives are truely beautiful.
Inspirering and nourishing your child's dreams is one of the most rewarding things a parent will ever do.
Help them to expand their horizons and reach for the stars.
Watch them as they spread their wings and fly.
I am watching you now as you soar.
Love Always Dad

Lady MGA said...

Love the new whimsical look of the page! Much more lively.

As always you are profound, enlightening and inspiring. Keep sending the great tweets too!

Thanks for doing something meaningful not just for Dr. King's legacy but for your community through your Mommy-Morphosis posts!

mom2b2k11 said...

Everything you post is very inspirational as well as supportive to Mothers and their children and I appreciate the information and you for creating the blog !!!!

ShoMommy said...

Thanks for reading everyone! MLK Jr. Day is shaping up to be my favorite holiday. No matter your culture or background the day inspires us to reflect on where we've been, and how far we have to go, while encouraging us to keep living our dreams. I can't wait until the kids are a little older to start observing the day by volunteering as a family.

Thank you for the continued support!