If what we surround ourselves with helps us to dream bigger and be a better version of ourselves, then what is your child’s room doing for them?
What if you could help inspire them on a daily basis? What if every day they woke up and saw examples all around them of the person they want to be when they grow up?
With school being back in session, kids all over the place are hitting the books and dreaming of things they might be one day.
While a lot of these suggestions are academic-oriented, don’t discount other passions. After all, they say that if you love what you do, you’ll never have to “work” for a living. Look at Steven Spielberg. He’d written and directed four movies by the time he was 18.
Celebrate and encourage your kid’s passions. Surround them in it. Remind them anything they love is worth working for.
Here are some ideas to stoke their knowledge and passion at any age:
Portraits and photography
Einstein looking wacky with his hair all poofy, Nicholas Tesla standing by his infamous Tesla coil, a space shuttle, a man scaling a cliff wall, a scuba diver swimming past a shark — when you turn to photography, there’s no end to the inspiration available.
If you watch “extreme sport” documentaries like Dogtown and Z-Boys, you’ll hear them telling you about the power of proof. None of them ever imagined some wild trick could be done. Heck, even thinking of the trick was mind-blowing. Then some guy comes along and does an insane vertical, and now they all just know: It can be done. So they do it. When the mind knows it’s possible, it ceases being impossible.
If you surround your children with pictures of people who’ve accomplished their dreams and live doing things they love on a daily basis, you’re surrounding your kid with a daily reminder that dreams do come true.
Words, words, words
No matter how old we get, we remain inspired by words. Instead of just using stencils or decals as images, consider putting inspirational quotes and powerful words around your child’s room.
If the messages we hear and see daily help shape us, for good or for ill, imagine what growing up with inspiring words around you might be like. Such as:
Only as high as I reach can I grow
Only as far as I seek can I go
Only as deep as I look can I see
Only as much as I dream can I be
That’s some wisdom from a lesser-known author named Karen Ravn. If you want to encourage imagination, turn to the ever-popular grand wizard Albus Dumbledore, who said, “In dreams, we enter a world entirely our own.”
More somber quotes can encourage perseverance and determination, like the anonymous quote, “Some people dream of success while others work hard for it.” If minimalism is your thing, words like “Believe” and “Work” and “Dream” always have impact on their own. Scour the interwebs and you’ll find something that might really resonate with your child.
Murals and decals
Whether it’s a scene from a book they love or simply images of places meant to inspire them — from the peaks of the Kilimanjaro to the depths of the ocean blue — there’s an image suited to every child.
With a great coat of fresh paint to add color and crispness to a space, finishing off with some well-placed inspiring decals might launch big dreams and ambitions.
Instead of choosing “popular” decals associated with characters, such as Winnie The Pooh through to Harry Potter, try choosing places, things, and activities, so there’s more abstract ideas they can dream up as opposed to a single character’s story to remember.
All that and a place to read
A dreamer needs a place to dream, a worker needs a place to work. When your child’s room is a place they love to be in, they’ll be more likely to enjoy being there as they work towards the next “A” in a class or practice a dance or a flute recital, or work on a drawing they’re in love with.
One of the gifts of parenthood is not knowing what’s down the road for your kid. All you can do is put them in a place that inspires them, give them support while they go for it, and watch as that unfolds.
Why not involve them in setting the stage for this dream-inspiring room? Talk to them about where they’d go if they could go anywhere, tell them about famous people who’ve done amazing things, and see what kind of space they help you conceive for them.
After all, that’s part of what this is all about. Have fun! Think big. Watching your child enjoy the space for the next year or three will be its own reward, let alone seeing where the inspiration takes them.