A Fun Simple Way to Help Kids Dream Big

My dad has this friend… Possibly his only one? Maybe it’s a colleague? Let’s go with that. Sigh. Memory loss at 30…Β 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.

How to help your kids dream big

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.

How to help kids dream big

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).

My dad’s 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?

30 thoughts on “A Fun Simple Way to Help Kids Dream Big”

    1. Thanks so much Tania πŸ™‚ I am blessed indeed- my dad is the best (unbiased opinion obviously…)!

    1. I’m so glad you picked up on that! YES! Hard work is one of the key values i’m hoping to instil in our littles πŸ™‚

  1. I really like this. I don’t have kids yet, but I look forward to encouraging them, motivating them and showing them that great things come from hard work and not giving up on your dreams.

    1. Thanks so much Christl! I’m sure you’ll be an amazing mom if you’re already thinking about this πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks Ana! I definitely think so – it’s too easy to become “entitled” in today’s climate. I want him to know the value of hard work!

  2. This is so incredible! I’m glad there’s people like you in the world helping our next generation learn to reach for the stars. I can’t wait to see what happens next!

    1. Thank you for your very kind words Sharon πŸ™‚ Just passing along what I think and hope will be helpful! Time will tell πŸ™‚

  3. It’s important to motivate our kids to keep dreaming and to make those dreams come true. I like the idea of telling them what they can achieve because it also empowers them and encourages them to set big goals for their future!

    1. YES! I’m a compulsive goal setter… haha.. just passing it on πŸ™‚ But it’s a fun way to bond too!

  4. Oh Vanessa!! I loved reading this!! Such a simple yet effective way to instill the ‘dream big’ insight into the minds of little kids! I’m definitely going to try this I’ve been trying the deep breathing technique but Neiva doesn’t want to lay still and breathe deeply with me – I think I need to give her more time and practice! Me on the other hand – well after a few deep breaths I’m ready to fall into deep slumber haha!

    1. Thanks so much Neethle πŸ™‚ I’m so glad you’re going to try it! I found with the deep breathing that it took about a week for Jer to settle into it… and I told him that if he refused to sit still he would go straight into bed by himself… instant noodle!

  5. This is a really good tip! I’m not great at story-telling, but the other night I honestly told Monkey Boy a story about a little boy who visited a fire station with his Mama, but it was a surprise and the little boy had so much fun. Monkey Boy said he liked that story and went right to sleep after. And I had some fun telling that story, too!

    Maybe I’ll work on doing that a little more! πŸ™‚

    1. YES! I hope they know that life is limitless, and they should go beyond what people think is “possible” every day!

    1. That’s so sweet of you to say Anna-Maria πŸ™‚ I do think he is pretty wise… and associates with wise people as well – huge blessing for us! Thanks for saying hi!

  6. What a fabulous tradition and a perfect time to help your child dream big. I love it! I think making up your own stories together with your child is so much more fun than reading the old rote stories that we tend to get into a rut with.

    Thanks so much for sharing your ideas and posts at the Happy Now link Up!

    1. Aww, thanks so much Jen! I agree – it’s so much more fun, and we get to use our imaginations πŸ™‚

  7. Pingback: Don't Play Small -

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