(ROCKWALL, TX – July 16, 2016) Back to School brings back great memories of when my children were in school. Though the thought of the hustle and bustle of early mornings, homework, projects, sports, extracurricular activities still wear me out, they were years full of joy and dreams.
I’m not certain when a child truly discovers what their dream is for his or her life. Yet every child will have a dream of where they want to go or what they want to become as an adult. As parents or guardians of our children, we are responsible of leading them through their journey. When they reach adulthood, then we become their coaches and supporters.
Growing up, my daughter, Alexandria, had an itch for adventure. It was very clear that she was going to fly away from home as soon as she was able. In her early and middle school years, she dreamed of having an orphanage, with 50 kids, in Africa. She scared many boys away when she told them that they would have to move to Africa if they wanted to marry her! Something in her wanted to do something “big” that would make a difference in this world.
Then, High School came along and its challenges. Though she stayed focused on academics, she began to feel the effects of a broken family. Her worldview began to change. Her rigorous International Baccalaureate program challenged her to see the world with new eyes and critical thinking. It was then that she captured her dream of wanting to work at The Hague (United Nations) in The Netherlands.
All her college plans were made in light of her dream. But life has its way of continuing to bring more challenges, disappointments and obstacles. Her journey has been full of happy moments, tears and bruises. Money has been scarce for her. Nevertheless, her resilience and determination would not let her stop chasing after her dream. As a parent, I prayed and gave her wisdom. At times, I myself doubted that she would ever get there. Yet, I encouraged her to take one step at a time and to trust God for the outcome.
July came and so did her dream. She will be a paid intern at The Hague with the United Nations’ Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons in The Netherlands.
Martin Luther King’s famous words, ‘I have a dream’ made a profound impact from the moment they were uttered on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on Aug. 28, 1963. Till this day, we commemorate him and his work.
Here are 5 tips on how to encourage your child in the pursuit of his/her dreams:
- Give your kid time to talk about their dream—keep an open mind
- Develop a vision—make a roadmap
- Help them understand their strengths and weaknesses—be practical; not pessimistic
- Help them develop skills
- Pray for wisdom as you make decisions on their behalf
“A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work.” ~ Colin Powell
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