3 ways to encourage your kids to blaze their own trail:
- Let them be weird:
I can remember some pretty weird ways all three of my kids liked to dress. Kayla, my oldest, found her artistic path by using her face as her canvas. She began very young putting on make-up, taking off her make-up, then re-applying her make-up over and over again. We went through lots of make-up. Was it how I applied make-up? No definitely not… but it was her artistic expression of all this creativity that was bundled inside of her. It was her “weird way”. My son, Evan, went through the “beanie” stage….forever he wore that beanie. And my youngest, Tori, wore the same necklace for years. Yes, my kids were those weird kids but we celebrated all their “weirdness”.
- Tap into their strengths:
I can remember Kayla loved posing for pictures from a very young age. She loved being in pictures and not only posed but created sets to be photographed. I began seeing something in her….so for a photography competition back when she was in 5th grade, we drove through the country looking for something to photograph. We drove and drove until at last….an old barn and some cows were just waiting for her camera to appear. It was the end of the day so it was here or nowhere so she quickly pushed the button on the camera a few times and we were off…she won first place. What a untapped strength that appeared from just an observation I as a parent had made. She is now an amazing photographer.
- Challenge them to follow their passion:
So my son was in college finishing his general education courses before entering his classes for his psychology major, I remember thinking, wow, he’s going into a fairly normal, non-creative major….until he took a screenwriting class as an elective and loved it. He came to me and asked what I thought about him changing his major to film. As crazy as it sounded, I told him to go for it. He followed his passion and he just graduated a few months ago with his undergrad degree in film.
Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
We, as parents, have a huge responsibility. It’s up to us to believe in our kids and trust God for the plans He has for them. They are fearfully and wonderfully made and it’s up to us to celebrate them just the way they are. It comes through letting them be weird, tapping into their strengths and challenging them to follow their passion.
My oldest is now a photographer/videographer/consultant, my middle has completed his undergrad degree and pursuing film opportunities and my youngest is exploring creative opportunities as she continues to seek out her dreams. They are all exceptionally creative and I’m extremely proud of all of their many talents but most of all I’m so proud that they are bold enough to step out and blaze trails that are specific to who they are uninhibited and unashamed.
As parents, that’s what it’s all about…be that parent that when your children look back, you were their biggest prayer, cheerleader and believer of their dreams and all that God has for them.
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