Photo by Katya Wolf

Ambition plays a consequential part in children’s lives. How should parents nurture children’s ambitions no matter how crazy they seem?

“What do you want to be when you grow up?”

This is a question children usually get when it’s career day or when they pass by adults who are on their way to work. An innocent question that commonly gets an even more innocent answer by kids who are unaware of what they wish to be as a grown-up. While they’re a source of unlimited imagination, it’s best to assume that children aren’t at the age of established ambitions.

But this doesn’t mean parents can’t nurture anything from them.

What Ambition Do Children Usually Have?

Ambition is within everyone who wishes to be successful and achieve anything in life. It’s defined as something people imagine for their future, a goal they want to attain in their lifetime. It’s easy to comprehend that adults have ambitions aligned with the identities they’ve set for themselves.

However, for children who are yet to uncover who they are, what they like, do ambitions exist?

Parents must nurture children’s ambitions as these are part of their development. But to what extent should they encourage these dreams? Do they go as far as encouraging them even when they don’t make sense? Children have boundless dreams and curiosity. A source of delight for their creativity, ambition for children can revolve around becoming anything they set their eyes on.

The world is an endless sphere of imagination. Hence, when asked what they wish to become, this world becomes their oyster. One day, they may want to become doctors like those they meet on their way to school. On the other hand, they may want to work in a corporate setting, like in movies.

a photo of a kid dressed as an astronaut | Photo by Amina Filkins

Joanne Radke’s Jessica the Dreamer better captures children’s ever-complex ambitions. The story follows Jessica, who dreams of multiple things when she grows up. From becoming a famous chef to a firefighter, she is brimming with ambitions, just as most children are. Although it may seem like a negative thing not to have a set ambition during childhood, this opens multiple doors for them to explore throughout their development.

With This, How Should Parents Nurture Children’s Ambitions?

It can challenge parents to nurture children’s ambitions when they have no concrete dreams they wish to fulfill. But this sort of wishy-washy aspiration is normal. Every child goes through a phase when they want to do and become everything they take even the slightest interest in. What parents should do in this situation is support them through and through.

There’s nothing wrong in letting children dream a little (or massively).

Hence, if parents wish to nurture children’s ambitions, they can do so completely. It doesn’t matter whether, for them, the dream their kid has is a bit too ambitious. Their role isn’t to judge but to nurture a supportive environment where children can dream, learn, and explore the world.

Allow Children to Explore

Parents can’t motivate their children to dream without allowing them to explore their identities. These go hand in hand. Ambitions start with self-discovery. To nurture children’s ambitions, parents must first encourage them to explore their interests, strengths, and values by opening their days to more experiences outside their routines. By expanding their world more, children are practiced to make more informed decisions about their future and, thus, ambitions.

Listen Actively

When children express their ambitions, it can be easy for parents to brush them aside. “They’re young. They don’t know what they’re talking about.” More often than not, their sentiments are reduced to mere playfulness or imagination – a fantasy they have no conscious intentions of. However, showing interest in their thoughts and dreams is critical in encouraging them to do so.

a photo of a mother talking to her son | Photo by Julia M Cameron

Children will only want to dream when they won’t be judged for doing so. When parents show they care about what their children want, not only will they feel valued, but this will empower them to work on achieving their goals.

Provide Resources

To nurture children’s ambitions, parents don’t only have to shower them with verbal affirmations. Instead, they must provide material resources to help their children explore these ideas. These resources can include books, courses, or enrolling them in classes and workshops related to their ambitions. This way, children begin to develop a concrete outlook of their dreams and identify what they may truly want to do.

What Makes Ambition Important?

Nurturing ambition in children has many benefits. Aside from being an important part of life, it helps them develop determination to move forward. Hence, when parents nurture children’s ambitions, they not only guide them toward their goals but also help them make life more worthwhile.

Ambitions make people excited about the future. These give individuals something to look forward to day by day. By encouraging these in children, parents likewise build a foundation of resilience and determination in serving them in life.

If you’re interested in teaching your child to dream big, grab a copy of Joanne Radke’s book Jessica the Dreamer. Let your children read this material and guide them to achieve their dreams.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This
Skip to content