Teaching Self Expression and Helping Your Child Find Their Vision

Last Updated on August 31, 2021 by Thinkster

Try your best to put yourself in the mindset of when you were a child in school. Whether that be elementary, middle, or high school, do you remember what it was like? When nothing about your future was certain and the endless possibilities of “Who am I?” occupied your mind every night before falling asleep?

Every child goes through this phase, and for most people, you’re likely still going through this. It’s part of what makes being alive so great: you can change your path at any time.

Now that you’ve put yourself back into your child body, with all the worries about upcoming tests, which person you have a crush on, and which college you’re going to attend, we’d like you to try and remember how difficult it was to know where to start. Because, for your child, regardless of their age, they may not know the answer to that question, or how to go through the process of self expression.

Every child has their interests and passions, just as you did when you were their age. Rather than asking them “What do you want to be when you grow up”, wouldn’t you rather help start them on a path that doesn’t lead to one destination, but helps them understand their options? Helps them actualize their current life goals using their existing strengths? Expands their interests and even introduces them to concepts that could become life-changing for them as adults?

Okay, you can return to being a parent now. Hopefully you’ve remembered some of the struggles that your child may be feeling when it comes to considering their future. We know that you want your child to succeed in life, but do they? How can you help them discover who they want to be through their own self expression?

Setting Realistic Goals with Your Child

We know how difficult it can be to get your child invested in their future. Because it’s so nebulous to them, they can have a hard time seeing it as important. That’s why it’s helpful to narrow it down for them in tangible ways. You can kindle an interest in your child’s future by getting them excited about their current interests and how they can turn those interests into valuable skills.

Even more than wanting your child’s success, you also want their happiness. There is no better way to ensure your child’s future happiness than by teaching them how to become the best version of themselves using skills they already have. You can start this process of self discovery and growth by setting realistic, attainable goals.

Rather than asking your child “What are your goals this year?”, you can start your child on the path to self confidence and desire for growth by asking leading questions. Such as,

  • Did you know that (your child’s interest) can lead to this job?
  • What would you like to be better at this year?
  • What’s one thing new or outside your comfort zone that you’d like to try?
  • What’s something you’ve struggled with in the past that you would like to focus on improving?
  • How can you grow your love of (blank) this year?
  • What do your friends love/admire about you?
  • What do your teachers love/admire about you?

Once your child understands that they have so much to offer, and have value just by being themselves, you might find that they have a lot of goals! These can include scholastic improvement, becoming more social, trying something new, or even just taking more time to focus on the things they love.

Finding Creative Ways to Express their Passions

Let’s talk DIY projects. Do your kids love expressing themselves in creative ways? This can be the perfect way to get them excited about their future and what it can mean for them specific to their interests.

Now that you’ve set some goals with your child, it’s time to manifest their completion. While it’s not healthy to demand that a child complete their goals by a certain date, it is healthy to have reminders about what meeting those goals can do for their future.

If you’ve ever seen or heard of a vision board and thought they were silly, try again to put yourself in that child mindset. Having a beautiful, personally made vision board in their space that reminds them of their goals can be a powerful tool to direct their focus, and organize their self expression.

To make a vision board, follow these easy steps:

  1. Choose your board. This can be a white board, cork board, poster board, or other. It should be big enough for your child to glue, stick, or tack on plenty of images and text!
  2. Choose a few of the goals your child set and make them the theme for the board. If your child has goals of improving their grades this year, maybe choose specific words and phrases that are encouraging.
  3. Provide them with magazines, posters, coloring books, glitter, glue, and whatever else they might want to visualize their goals. Making your own vision board alongside them is a great way to show them you are also still improving as a person!
  4. Put the finished product somewhere they can see it every day.

Check out these great examples of vision boards!

Vision Board - Self Expression - Thinkster Math

(Source: livewithyourlighton.com via Pinterest)

Vision Board - Expressing Yourself | Thinkster Math

(Source: Cherish365.com)

Vision board still not the right vibe? There are lots of creative options that can help your child start taking an interest in goal-setting!

Encouraging Self Expression Without Expectations

We know you want to be the best parent you can be. We also know that it’s basically impossible to be everywhere, do everything, and still have time for yourself at the end of the day. That’s why it’s so vital to get your child interested and feel in control of their own journey, and comfortable with their own self expression.

Remember when you were growing up and the question you got the most from your family was “What do you want to be when you grow up?”

Well, we’d like to think there’s a better way to define a child’s worth than by what job they’ll do as an adult. It’s difficult for children to see that far into their future, and you probably remember hating that question. After all, so much can change as you grow, and there’s a slim chance that you still want to be the things you wanted to be when you were little.

With that being said, how can you encourage your child to think about their future and potential jobs, lifestyles, or journeys? Your children trust you absolutely. Talk to them about your own experiences with discovering yourself, and help them understand that they are completely in control of their own life.

You can also try reading these books with them, watching these movies, or get them talking using those same questions that helped them set their goals.

Teaching Children Self Expression | Thinkster Math

Online Options for Continued Growth

We know you’re a great parent. If you weren’t you wouldn’t be working so hard to help your child succeed! There are so many ways to encourage your child to achieve their own success, and online tutoring is just one of them.

If you envision your child’s future involving careers in engineering, science, teaching, or really anything that involves critical thinking, it’s important to give them a good foundation. Online math tutoring can help set your child up for future success. May that be academically, or personally, getting the help they need now shows them that you know they can be successful.

We know your kid has a bright future, and we hope they can clearly see that future and are excited to begin making it a reality!

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