5 Ways to Support Your Kids’ Dreams

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Children start dreaming at an early age; and as parents, it’s important to provide them a path towards success by empowering them to reach for the stars—no dream is too big! Whether it’s being a starter on the soccer team, nabbing the lead in the musical or getting published in the school newspaper, here are five ways to show your support:

1. Make an action plan. The dream itself is what keeps your kid excited, but remind them that achieving it means following a path that has several smaller steps. Since you have to walk before you can run—or score a goal, or dance or publish a story—help your little one prepare for the work ahead by having a conversation about the steps, and the persistence it’ll take to get there, reminding them you’ll be behind them on every step.

2. Create (or find) a space for them to grow. You want to give your kid the world. Start by giving them access to a space where they can expand their skills. This could mean creating a quiet study space at home, or designating a specific night each week that the living room furniture gets pushed to the walls to allow for open practice space. Don’t have the right conditions at home? Check out local parks, libraries, athletic facilities or shared artistic spaces—any dedicated spot your kid can practice and hone their skills.

3. Help them get totally immersed. Got a hobby? There’s a camp for that. From language camps to coding camps to sports camps (dancers of all levels learn original Rockettes choreography at our Rockettes Experience dance class!), what better way to keep their dream alive than by surrounding them with others who are passionate about the same thing—especially when the journey gets tiring. In addition to the skills they’ll learn from the experts and professionals who staff the camp, don’t be surprised if they also take home a lifelong friendship or two.

4. Focus on the right kind of motivation. When it comes to motivation, look out for two types: a) where your kid works toward their dream to earn a reward, like a trophy or title; and b) where your kid works toward their dream because doing so brings them personal satisfaction. If you sense your kid is working just as a means to an end, it might be time to re-evaluate. It’s normal to discover a related passion while pursing another, and part of being supportive is being ready and willing to change the action plan.

5. Be their #1 fan, always. Show the pride you feel when they succeed, but don’t forget to be equally as supportive when there’s a misstep or stumble. Being an empathetic listener or offering a shoulder to cry on is just as important as being front-and-center in the crowd or audience during the big moments. After all, knowing they have you to lean on during the tough times and celebrate with during the great times is the strongest support you can offer as they achieve their dreams.