My dad has this friend… Possibly his only one? Maybe it’s a colleague? Let’s go with that. Sigh. Memory loss at 30… There is a person in my dad’s life… And this person once told my dad of one of the most brilliant, simple strategies he employed every evening at home with his tribe which he found to help kids dream big. My father, for his part, rushed home to tell us (grazie pops!)
I think you’re going to like this.
Can I tell you a story?
Once upon a time there was a little boy whose name was Mini Moose (what my son answers to most reliably… Obviously). MM was tall and strong and he loved God very much. Every morning he would jump out of bed with excitement ready to squeeze every drop of life out of the new day he had been given. He liked to wake up early to have some quiet time with the LORD before eating a healthy breakfast and going for a run. He always felt so good after a good night’s sleep, a workout, and a hot shower.
Mini had a whole day of meetings lined up with people who inspired him. He would ask them questions about how they got to where they were, and what he could help them achieve. He had learned 5 different languages because he liked a challenge, it extended his reach and helped him make people feel loved when he made the effort to speak in ways they would understand.
The Little Moose made sure to listen to good books while he drove from place to place so that his mind would be filled with new and interesting information. He loved to learn and to try new things, and was almost finished writing his second book.
On weekends he loved to play with his band at retreats and spend some time watering and weeding his vegetable garden because nature refreshed him. He travelled the world and loved to explore with his family and global network of friends.
MM was in great physical, spiritual and financial health. He had great relationships and endless energy. He worked hard and loved life.
How to Help Kids Dream Big
Does that sound like the type of adult you would love for your child/ren to grow into? If not, change the story – make it the best life you can possibly imagine. And, here’s the key – tell it to them. Tell them often about the amazing things they can accomplish.
I find bedtime to be one of the best times for this… He is relaxed, and loves to hear me talk as he lies in bed… So rather than reading him a story most nights, I tell him a “once upon a time” about himself instead (read about our bedtime routine and sanity-saving-sleep-strategy). It changes a little everyday (but he would be just as happy if it didn’t).
friend, colleague …person, told him of how his children have chosen to follow through on so many of the adventures he shared with them in story form as they grew (traveling, learning languages, taking on ambitious careers) – and that makes sense to me. They are after all living out stories of things they have “already accomplished”!
I’ve always believed that we need to set the bar high – but this is a fun, subtle, and potentially wildly effective way to get the word out. It doesn’t take the place of them dreaming for themselves, but they get the benefit of wisdom that comes with age to help them zero in on things that will merit their time.
What are some of the ways you are encouraging your children to live intentional and inspiring lives? How do you help kids dream big?