There’s something truly beautiful about the pure, undiluted ambition of our children and teens. They see the world in a fashion untainted by waning confidences, self-doubt and self-imposed limits. And when we acknowledge this, we arrive at the fundamental truth that we, as fully matured adults, can learn something from our budding boys and girls – as sobering as this reality may be. When most adults prod their children with that inevitable yet life-altering question, “What do you want to be when you grow up,” they are bestowed with something that a serious, perpetually anxious adult could only hope for – exquisite, boundless dreams and ambitions unhindered by the whims and limits of the world. When children dream, they dream big. Majestically and unabashedly, from their innocent voices, they echo, “I wanna be a doctor, an astronaut, an actor, and the president when I grow up, mommy and daddy.” Now, that is confidence!
As parents, we find ourselves fixed indefinitely in the role of mentor, teacher, and ethical guide. But in the context of a parent-child relationship, sometimes it is necessary to listen to our kids, and be receptive to all that they have to teach us.
As adults, we sometimes exercise brute control over our lives to prepare for the unknown, or to avoid bad luck. Unlike our kids, our perceptions are somewhat tarnished by the qualms of life. So, what can a seasoned, experienced adult possibly learn from their child?
In essence, kids and teens can teach us to reassemble a fractured sense of hope and expectancy. They can habitually ingrain a consciousness of the “present,” allowing us to revel in the moment.
In children, we learn that past struggles do not dictate what is on the radar of future possibilities. Our future is only as bright and wonderful as we imagine it to be! This is a definitive, liberating truth that we all must embrace.
Our children show us what we could accomplish if we shed the burdensome toll of fear. Momentous growth is evident when we take daring leaps on the precarious path to success and greatness.
Just as we must learn from our children, we also have a responsibility to guide them gently and to cherish their dreams. We can all do this by helping to cultivate their natural abilities and encourage creative thought.
We have all told our young ones, “It’s just your imagination,” when in fact, a more apt response would be, “Wow, your imagination!” Kids are uniquely endowed with what only the greatest minds have been able to sustain throughout life – a vivid imagination, filled with adventure, and the seamless ability to transform into whatever they aspire to be.
As Branson soon embarks on a new chapter in his life, I find myself filled with that familiar pride I’ve experienced with each of his brothers, wondering what mysterious bends in his path will help him realize the dreams he has housed in his imagination since childhood. We are so blessed as parents to watch as our children blossom into the amazing beings they were born to be! Dream big!