Helpful Ways to Encourage Kids to Chase Their Dreams

Whether a child has a goal that you think is attainable or not, there are helpful ways we can encourage them to chase their dreams.

A group of kids dressed as the profession they want to go into

What did you want to be when you grew up? I wanted to be a singer, dancer, AND an actress! (Oh, the beautiful era of musicals!) I remember singing along with Bye, Bye, Birdie, while I made up my own dance moves. In my young mind, the only career path for me was one where I was center stage.

My goal was a lofty one. I did not understand how competitive and cutthroat that industry is. My parents and teachers could have squashed my hopes by letting me know how unlikely it was for me to achieve my dreams. Or they could have given me false expectations of how easy it would be to break into show business. Thankfully, they did neither.

It is important for parents and educators to have the right response when young express their dreams. Below are some tips that educator and author, Jenn Larson shares in her book Songbird, about how adults can encourage kids to believe in their dreams.

  • Introduce children to successful dreamers who can serve as role models. You can use stories of people in the community or famous people such as the Wright Brothers, Maya Angelou, Susan B. Anthony, and Cesar Chavez to inspire children to follow their dreams.
  • Talk to children about their dreams and listen to what they have to say. Be supportive and show them respect, whether you think the dreams are realistic or not. Know that some dreams change and grow over time.
  • Build children’s confidence in themselves. Allow them to succeed and fail in a safe environment.
  • Be genuine and specific in your praise of children’s efforts and achievements.
  • Help children understand what it means to work towards a goal. Share a dream of yours (past or present) and explain what you did (or are doing) to pursue that dream.


In case you didn’t guess it, I didn’t become a singer, or a dancer, or an actress. But I did have roles both large and small in many plays and musicals growing up. I was in a variety of choirs and ensembles, and even got to tour Europe with my singing group. And as I sit here at my desk where I work for a publishing company that I LOVE, I am thankful for the experiences I got to have while I chased my dreams. And I am thankful for adults who believed in me.

The words we say to one another have a lasting effect on how we view ourselves. Download this FREE Positive Affirmations Poster to hang in your classroom, office, or home. We hope that these encouraging words will build self-acceptance and determination.

Written by Moriah Hargiss.

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