You know that saying by Les Brown, “Shoot for the moon and if you miss you’ll be among the stars”?Well, it is a very inspirational saying and it reminds me to dream big. It is so easy to become limited by own our small goals and low expectations and sometimes I think we all need to be reminded to dream bigger and then start a solid plan to get there. Well, Leon Scott Baxter reminded me that the same is true often for our children and remembering that as parents we need to dream big for them too. Today, I am happy to have Leon Scott Baxter, the author of the newly released parenting book, (affiliate link) Secrets of Safety-Net Parenting: Raising Happy and Successful Children – The Common Denominator, and the founder of the website SafetyNetters.com share with us a little about having big dreams for your child. I will also share some more of my favorite dream big quotes at the end.
It’s Still Not Too Late To Have Big Dreams For Your Child
Can you remember when you first took your baby home from the hospital? Do you recall looking at those perfect little toes and those chubby cheeks and thinking that your baby has the whole world in front of him? All doors were open. You had big dreams for your child. He could become a doctor, a professional soccer player, an actor or even the President of the United States.
And, as your little one got older you saw he was really good at staying between the lines of his Barney The Dinosaur coloring book, or you were surprised at how well he sang in tune with those U2 songs on the throw-back station you always played in the car as you drove him to his play groups. He could be the next Van Gogh or maybe Bruno Mars.
Now it’s eight, ten, fourteen years later and you wonder, “What happened? Where did my future doctor/actor/singer/President go?”
Reality sets in, right? And, you discovered in preschool he didn’t like to share with the other kids. And, in kindergarten he cried…every…single…morning before school. And, today you’re getting notes from his teacher that he rarely completes his homework, and he’s never gotten a base hit although he’s been playing little league for three seasons. He doesn’t clean his room. He fights with his sister, and he tries to get away with not brushing his teeth every night. What kind of President doesn’t brush his teeth?
Maybe he’s not destined to become a doctor, professional soccer player or artist. You’re even thinking twice about him passing seventh grade and making next year’s little league roster.
So, you lower your expectations: Working at the DMV isn’t so bad. Being a dental hygienist is respectable.
Here’s the deal. There’s nothing wrong with these jobs (I was a mailman in my twenties and I’ve been a grade school teacher for nineteen years), and if your kid ends up making a career in one of those areas, it’s all good. The thing is, you are still allowed to have high expectations for your not-so-little man.
Reality hits us all at some point. I never reached six feet, haven’t sold any of my screenplays, and was never cast in any film, low-budget or otherwise. But, that doesn’t mean I stop dreaming.
As parents, we see our babies as having the world at their disposals, so we dream big for them. But as their personalities and character traits develop, the world of choices begins to narrow, and many of us start to dream smaller.
The truth is, you still need to have big dreams for your child. Just because the entire buffet is no longer at their fingertips doesn’t mean they can’t chose a few entrees and pile up their plates.
This is actually a good thing. When we start to learn what areas our children are passionate about, where their strengths lie, as well as the areas they struggle with and aren’t interested in, we parents can better help focus their efforts in the right directions.
We still need to believe that our children can hit it out of the park (it just may be a different park than we imagined when they were babies), because when we do, they believe in themselves as well. And, as long as they are passionate about something that they believe in, the possibilities are still there. The doors are still open. As long as the doors are open, they have a reason to reach for the stars.
Our job: find and give them opportunities to explore these passions. If you realize your kid is all about dogs, see if you can find her a chance to volunteer at a local shelter, or even better, brainstorm with her ways to create a fundraiser to help the organization. Your son seems to have the entrepreneurship bug? Have help set up a yard sale, lemonade stand or bake sale. Then, talk to him about opening a savings account, a mutual fund or buying a few shares of stock. And, if they still end up being dental hygienists, DMV employees, or school teachers, don’t sweat it. We just need to be sure they don’t look back and have regrets because they didn’t take the opportunities as kids. We can never use “no base hits” or “not turning in homework” as excuses for why we don’t have big dreams for our kids or why we don’t believe our children can be successes. Because they can…they just need to be sure to brush those teeth every night.
I hope this post has reminded you to have big dreams for your child, to help give them opportunities for success and to not hold their failures against them. Do you feel charged up again? What big dreams do you have for your kids?
Here are a few of my favorite dream big quotes.
“Shoot for the moon and if you miss you’ll be among the stars.” -Les Brown
“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” -Eleanor Roosevelt
“You have to dream before your dreams can come true.” -APJ Abdul Kalam
“To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe.” -Anatole France
“Dream On, Dream On, Dream until your dream comes true.” -Aerosmith Lyrics
“The dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible.” -TE Lawrence
“Without leaps of imagination, or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities. Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning.” -Gloria Steinem
“Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.” -Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Do you have big dreams for your child and yourself? Which one of these dream big quotes did you find most inspiring? Or do you have a dream big quote you would like to share with us? I’d love to hear it!