BFBN Day: 5 Ways to Encourage Your Kids to Become World-Changers

Today is Babywise Friendly Blog Network Day! We recently added several new members to the group and actually doubled in size. I’m super excited to get to know all of these new friends and think it’ll be wonderful for all of our readers to have a good mix of bloggers guest posting! I’m blogging today over on Giving It Grace and am excited to have Carrie guest posting here today! Be sure to visit all of the Babywise Friendly Bloggers!

It’s Babywise Friendly Blog Network Day and I am so excited
to be one of the new members in the network. I have been reading “The Journey
of Parenthood” for a while now and am so very honored to have the chance to
guest post! 

I’m Carrie and I blog regularly at I am married
to Kyle and we have four kids: Laura Kate (7 years), Shepherd (4 years),
Fischer (almost 3 years) and Archer (5 months). We just moved our family from
Texas to Alabama. I love being a stay at home Mom and Kyle is the Director of
Operations for a new Missions Organization that we are helping launch. I am
really excited about a new chapter and am so curious to see what the coming
days are going to hold.

We have a lot of big personalities in my family. And along
with those big personalities come big ideas and crazy dreams. When my daughter
was only two years old, she declared she was going to take care of all the sick
people in the world because they needed help. My four year old tells me daily
right now that he wants to go to Africa. My two year old wants to build trains
to take him to Disney World. So I guess it shouldn’t have surprised me when my
now 7 year old daughter requested that her birthday party this year be a
Rainforest themed party because she wanted to raise over $2,000 to help save
the Amazon Rainforest.

As crazy as it may be sometimes, we’ve decided to say, “yes”
to our kids’ big dreams. We want to teach our kids to truly make a difference
in this world and actually be “world-changers.” We want them to make much of
their “vapor” (James 4:14). There is so much darkness and sadness right now in
this world that we want to teach our kids to be lights. 

I invite you to join us with your “world-changers” as
well.  Here are five ways to start:

1. Say “yes.”  Before you figure out the “how” or even the
“why,” say “yes” to their crazy ideas and big dreams.  There will be more than enough people in our
kids’ lives that tell them no or that they can’t do something. When it comes to
dreams and ideas, I don’t want to be one of those people. I want my kids to
remember me saying, “Sure! I believe in you.” Is every idea they have going to
pan out?. Of course not.  But I don’t
want it to be because they didn’t try or have encouragement to do it.  So when Shepherd says he wants to go to
Africa, I just say “Ok, I think you should.” We don’t have to figure out the
“when” or the “how” just yet.  Saying yes
doesn’t mean that life will cease to exist until this is accomplished. Quite
the opposite. Saying yes means we figure out how to make world-changing part of
our everyday lives.

      2. Don’t make excuses.  When given the opportunity, we can train
our kids to make excuses or we can train them to make efforts. I hope my kids
learn the latter. In the culture we live in, we can make an excuse for anything
not to work out. If our response to our kids’ goals is an excuse of why it’s a
bad idea, then they are going to quickly learn to make their own excuses of why
something can’t happen for big things and small things. When Fischer told me
about wanting to build a train to Disney World, a thousand excuses ran through
my head…. “That’s not realistic” … “That’s impossible”… “I don’t know how to
build a train”… “He’s two years old”… “I don’t like trains”.  Instead of responding with an excuse I said,
“Ok! What should the train look like? How many cars should it have?” At the
very least, I showed him how to make a plan instead of an excuse.

3. Help articulate the heart of the goal.  When Laura Kate said she wanted to save the
rainforest, I said “ok” and then I asked her questions to help her think
through and hone in on the core of what she was wanting. “Why do you want to
save the rainforest?” “Which rainforest?” “What ideas do you have?” “Where do
you think we should begin?” “What does it mean for you to save the rainforest?”

Sometimes this might involve some research,
both on your part and your kids’ part. For example, I am in the process of
finding the best organization to donate funds to Rainforest Conservation.  LK has already been researching the
Rainforest at School this year so I asked her to compile a list of facts that
would help her answer the question of “why.”

4. Encourage Creativity.  Sometimes it takes some creativity to
support these goals. For a number of reasons I logistically cannot take
Shepherd to Africa right now. But we can read books about what it is like in
Africa. We can find pictures and we can plan what a trip there would be like.
If he doesn’t go to Africa one day, I don’t want it to be because I didn’t help
support him to go.

Raising $2000 is going to take some
creative ideas. I also asked Laura Kate to think of some ideas for how we can
raise the money. She came up with a lemonade stand, YouTube videos, and a
speech at her birthday party. All fabulous ideas that we are working on right

5. Be a Model.  This is the hardest one. I think a lot of us
get stuck in our routines and everyday lives that we forget that we really can
make a difference. We still have a voice in the darkness. As a parent, the most
significant way I know to make a difference in this world is to model world-changing
behavior for our kids. This doesn’t have to mean running for President. It can
look like a lot of different things from investing in relationships to talking
to your kids about decisions you made that you were nervous or afraid of but
did anyway. How great would it be to raise a generation of people who weren’t
afraid of doing things even though they were hard or took a lot of time or
didn’t fit into a societal norm?  Every
day we are a model for our kids. Why not model pursuing after your dreams?

Here’s the thing. Not every idea and dream is going to come
to full fruition. But at the very least, we can encourage imagination and
creativity so when the one big idea DOES come along, we have set our kids up to
run after the things that truly will make a difference. Hopefully these five
steps encourage you as you encourage your little ones! What ideas do you have
about raising world-changers?

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