Getting Started: Dreams for Our Kids Step Two

So how did it go? Did you try making a list or mind map of your wildest dreams for your kids? Was there anything that surprised you?

It’s difficult to create a purposeful plan for parenting if we don’t first know what it is we want to teach our kids. So in this second part of our dreaming, take some time to examine each of the items on your list. Ask yourself, “If I want my child to be fiscally responsible, what do I need to teach her?”

If you looked at the mindmap I posted for my son, you’ll see that I put fiscally responsible as one of my dreams for him. There were several things over the years that I did to help teach him how to deal with money.

  1. When he was little and would ask for something in the store, I would tell him how much time his daddy had to spend away from him at work in order to earn that much money. I’d then ask him if it was important enough to him to had his dad at work that long.
  2. I made chore charts and assigned a monetary value to each thing. Any time he wanted a new matchbox car or dinosaur, he could pick out a chore or two that he could do to earn that much money.
  3. When he was in 8th grade, I opened a checking account for him and got him a debit card. Before he could have the debit card, he had to submit a budget to me listing how he would spend the portion of money I put into his account. He had to include haircuts, body wash, toothpaste, video games

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Getting Started: Dreams for Our Kids

I like to make lists. I love crossing things off those lists. I’ve even been known to write down something I’ve already done just so I can cross it off. I like lists so much that several years ago my cousin told me my tombstone is going to have a to do list carved on it and the last item is going to say ‘die’ with a big checkmark next to it!  For me, lists serve many purposes:

  • Capturing my thoughts so I don’t forget anything
  • Visualizing the priorities for a set timeframe
  • Giving me a sense of accomplishment

See there, just one paragraph in and I already have a list.

So what does my addiction to making a list and crossing things off have to do with parenting with a purpose? Making a list of our hopes and dreams for our kids is the first step in defining our purpose and developing a plan.

So are you ready for it? Here’s your first assignment.

DREAM

Don’t stifle yourself with thoughts of limited resources or fear. Just close your eyes and picture your child all grown up with a family of her own. What do you see? In your wildest dreams, what kind of man is your son? What qualities does your daughter possess? Are they married? Do they have children of their own? What kind of spouses are they? What kind of employee? Parent? Citizen?

Now write it down. The very act of writing stimulates the imagination and keeps the ideas flowing. Make a list… Draw a picture… write a poem… Write out a prayer… Whatever form of expression works for you.

Mind mapping is another way to dream on paper. Write your child’s name in the center of a piece of paper and draw a circle around it. Now draw lines out from the center like a spider web. At the end of each line write dreams for your child, circle each word you write down and spider web off of them (see example below). This is a great way to brainstorm and get the creative juices flowing. You might be surprised by some of the expectations for your child you uncover.

Take the time to visualize and dream for each one of your children. And hey, don’t worry if you don’t have kids yet. If it’s okay to dream about the future, why not dream about future people – the kids you haven’t had yet? And if you’ve already raised your kids and are now a grandparent, you can dream too. Grammas and grampas, aunties and uncles, mommy and daddy’s best friends, etc. are all important people in a child’s life who can also invest in them with purpose.

So, for now, take the time to dream about what kind of person you hope your child will be. In future posts, we’ll talk more about dreams – what kind of parent do you dream to be? What is God’s dream for our kids? What is His dream for us as parents?

In the meantime, I’d love to hear some of the dreams you have for your kids.

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August 5, 2013 · 5:51 am

Welcome to Parenting On Purpose

As I watched my 18-year-old son pack for Army Basic Training, my mind made mental checkmarks on a virtual to do list.  Almost in a panic, I wondered if I’d taught him everything I had hoped. Did he learn at home everything he needed to prepare him for the big bad world? Would he be spiritually, mentally, physically and emotionally strong? Had I equipped him with the proper tools to be a wise and Godly man, or did I just go through the motions of making sure he was kept safe, fed and educated?

I have two more years with my daughter before I watch her pack for basic training or college or whatever she decides to do. I don’t want to feel that same panic when she leaves. So I’ve developed this blog to help myself and others make sure our kids don’t fall through the cracks.

It is so easy to get caught up in the day-to-day demands of work, household chores, and other responsibilities that 18 years disappear in a haze of laundry, book reports, sports physicals and lawn mowing. Journey with me as we explore what it means to Parent on Purpose.

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My son and daughter at the airport the day my son left for basic training

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