Brows have been raised. Lips have turned up. Someone just asked me if I’m crazy.
Now that I have you attention allow me to break this down.
As parents, we want to give our children the world and more. We want to set them up for a life that we, for whatever reason, have not been able to experience. We want them to truly believe that they can be whomever they want, have whatever they want, and do whatever they want (pending that it’s legal, moral and ethical). We do this in a myriad of ways. We put them in the best schools. We have them in all sorts of activities. We take them to places like libraries, zoos and museums. Anything and everything that we think will help mold and shape them for a better future is done…
…at the sacrifice of our SELF!
I’m currently in the process of doing the same thing. My daughter wants to be an actor/singer. She’s really talented (the girl can be dramatic in a snap) and she’s been BEGGING me to do it for at least four years. That was sign #1 that she is serious. She’s been studying other actors on TV, reading books about their lives, and doing her own “practicing” whenever she can. She likes activities that allow her to get out of character – become someone else – and she loves singing just about everything and will sing anywhere. That’s signs #2-#5…I think! At any rate, I’ve decided that if she’s still talking about this then there must be something to it. So what I’ve started doing is seeking out an acting and vocal coach and finding a performance arts high school for her to attend. This will correspond with my desire to move.
NOW HERE’S WHERE MOST PARENTS MESS UP!!!!
Instead of sacrificing my desire to move to the south to follow my own dream of being a full-time publisher and writer, I’m INCORPORATING her dream into mine. I’m SHOWING her HOW to ACT on her DESIRE instead of suppressing what I want to do so she can do what she wants to do. There’s a reason for this. Kids emulate EVERYTHING they see their parents do on either a 180 or 360 degree level. It’s a 180 if they know it’s absolutely NOT for them; then they do the total opposite. It’s a 360 if they feel it’s how they’re SUPPOSED to respond or act and they’ll follow your lead completely. Instead of suppressing my dream for my daughter, I’m showing her how to FOLLOW her dream by FOLLOWING MINE. I’m living and teaching by example. She’s been watching me like a hawk and I honestly believe that’s part of the reason why she still wants to act. She knows how much I love writing and no matter what came my way I always either found time to do it or came back to it. She’s the same way…and so is my son who wants to be a director (you should see the movies he makes with his toys!). So I’m showing them both the PROPER way to follow your dreams.
Parents, I know you want the best for your children. And the best way to give them the best is to go for your own dreams. Show them how to overcome the challenges, adversities and obstacles that inevitably will come up. Give them proof that nothing and no one can stand between them and their dreams. Help them see what DEDICATION, PERSISTENCE, and ACTION can reap them. There is no need to sacrifice your all so your child can have it all – because truth be told when you sacrifice everything you have you are teaching them to do the SAME THING! Be the example for your child. After all, you are their first – and most important – role model.
What goals have you let go of? What dreams did you let die? What actions can you take today to rekindle that desire…that spark…that excitement within you? Find it. Relight it. Live it out loud! That is the BEST way to teach your child and it only requires you to sacrifice your ego…but trust me, it’s worth it.