What’s Wrong with Dreaming Big? NOTHING:

If you ask a child what they want to be when they grow up, the answer is usually some sort of career that to us, the parent, seems unrealistic.  For my boys, it’s usually a famous sports player.  I find it so great and refreshing that kids see no limit when it comes to their future, dreams and goals.

Why can’t my nine year old become a famous football player?  Who says my seven year old can’t play professional soccer?  A superhero for my three year old, why not?  Perhaps that one might be a stretch but the world could use a few superheroes.

super-childI want to be honest with my kids  but not to the point where it kills their dreams.  I truly believe that if you work hard enough, are dedicated, not afraid to fail and never give up, you can do anything.

That said, becoming a professional sports player is not by any means an easy task.  It is only a select few that make it to the pros and let’s face it, kids idolize them.  My son loves football and is really good at it, tells me he wants to make a lot of money and be part of a team. Sounds like a good match if  you ask me.

My motto is dream big or go home and I tell my boys that all the time.  I also tell them it’s important to do what you love and love what you do.  It’s not often life ends up that way but I can honestly say I am happy with the path I have taken and am proud of all the hard work I have put into being a mom and an entrepreneur.

When I went to speak to my son’s school a while back for The Great American Teach In, the teacher had mentioned how nice it was to hear a non-traditional job that kids aren’t typically taught to work towards.

My whole life, I know I wanted to write, work with children, help others and be on television.  Between my job as Mom to three boys and my Mommy Masters business, I am doing all of this and more.  There was no job description for what I wanted to do and in fact, I didn’t really know what I wanted to do until I had children….and then it all clicked.

My point is sometimes, a career is not always so black and white.  Sometimes, all of our life experiences morph together to form a career.  Some days I am helping to spread the word about a parenting friendly product while other days I going live on the news to talk about parenting tips.  Some days I am writing until my fingertips hurt from typing and other days I am creating youth programming for a local business.  Some days…I am just Mom, running errands and folding laundry.  The important thing is to be happy and I am happy.

How can you inspire your child:

  • Don’t discount their dreams, as silly, as they might seem to you:
    • If your daughter wants to be a princess, then support her.
      • Her definition of princess may mean more than a sparkly crown.
      • She is telling you she wants to feel special, beautiful and adored, which translates to confidence.
    • If your son wants to play professional basketball, support him and help him make it happen.
      • Don’t mock him and comment with a snide remark, such as, “don’t we all son” just because it is not an easy task.
        • You are actually telling him he can’t do anything he puts his mind to.
      • Be realistic though and let him know it will take a ton of hard work, dedication and not be an easy feat.
  • Talk about your own goals for a career when you were their age:
    • This will make you relatable to them.
    • Are you doing what you thought you would be dong?
    • Did you reach your goals and dreams?
      • If not, why?
      • Do you have any regrets?
    • Looking back into your own path, what advice would you give your children?
  • Lead by example:
    • Do your kids see you working hard to reach your goals?
      • Are you just talking about doing something vs. actually doing it?
    • Are you demonstrating a good work ethic for your children to emulate?
    • Share your journey, which includes both your successes and failures.

We all want our kids to be happy, healthy and successful.  The definition of success has definitely changed quite a bit over the years.  There used to be just a few set categories that defined prosperity in a parent’s mind.  “My son, the doctor…or “why don’t you go to law school?”  (Although, I will say my own parents recognized my creativity and always supported my dreams, which was to be Jane Pauley (television anchor and journalist for those who may not be familiar) on Mondays, a famous actress Tuesdays and Wednesdays and a teacher the rest of the week.  I was a very busy little girl. 🙂

If my kids were to become doctors or lawyers, fabulous; I would be very proud.  BUT, maybe they will create their own business, invent something, or actually become professional sports players.  The message I always want to send them is to work hard, go the extra mile and never be afraid to fail.  Who knows what my kids will end up being or doing but it’s exciting to find out…although I don’t want them growing up just yet. 🙂