5 ways to inspire your kids to follow their dreams

The Little Mermaid was first released when I was in middle school and quickly became one of my very favorite movies. It was no surprise that my Little M was drawn to the singing, dreamy, and determined mermaid as well… after all the two girls have a lot in common. They both sing to express emotion, they both love to collect small things and they are both driven to make their dreams come true.

pic one

Sebastian nailed it! The key to making your dreams come true is knowing how to be you. When we were asked to help spread the word about the release of The Little Mermaid on October 1st, (Available for the first time on Blu-ray Combo Pack and HD Digital) we happily popped some popcorn, snuggled up, and hit play.

And of course, I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t find a way to make this special viewing a little exercise in playful learning… (see what I did there?)

ariel inspired advice

Follow Your Dreams – Ariel Style

  • Collections. Ariel collected items from humans as a way to help her dream come to life. By touching, observing, and researching, she was able to learn more about her dream and what it would take to achieve it. Dream journals work the same way. Provide your little dreamers space to collect and record potions of their dreams. Both collections and dream journals are a way to keep your vision clear.
  • Find Your Voice… even if it takes a few tries. In the movie Ariel has to lose hers to realize that there is more than one way to obtain the goal she was so desperate to achieve. Approaching everyday tasks and projects from a different angle will help your kids understand that there are many ways to approach life. What works best for one, may not work at all for another.
  • Support Self Confidence. King Triton has obviously raised a confident daughter. Having confidence in the choices they make goes a long way to reaching their dreams. This doesn’t mean that your kids will always make the best choice or that every choice will end in success. But knowing they are capable of making decisions and handling the consequences of their actions; will make reaching for their dreams so much easier.
  • Dream Together. Scuttle is the perfect dream buddy for Ariel. He does try to keep her from danger but he also listens to her plans and swims along side where ever her dreams lead. Next time your little one comes to you with a wild idea, try to think in terms of dreaming together. Can you help the dream along? Can you ohhh and ahh? Can you avoid shutting it down with “that’s impossible” comments?
  • Follow YOUR Dreams. What’s the best way to teach? By example of course. What is one dream you could start working on today? Something small perhaps, something simple. (Save becoming King of the Sea for after you’ve gained momentum.) Make sure your kids know that it’s something you have been wanting to do for a long time, something you had to work for.

How do you encourage your kids to follow their dreams? 

139 Comments

  1. Dreams are so important to kids! Well, to all of us. My 8-year-old has a dream of making an invention stuck in her mind into reality. When she wants to work on it, rather than cite other things we could do better with the time, I’ll become her assistant. I’ve learned so much.

    All three of my daughters have dream boxes, in which I’ve told them to collect things that remind them of their dreams. I hope the contents – or even just the concept – will give them something to reflect on, or even keep their dreams alive when things seem dark.

    You (and Ariel!) have the right ideas.

  2. One of my mottoes is ‘always try to find a way to say yes!’ Which is why there is a fire pit and a patch of I do not know what growing in our garden but it is well tended. My son is going to be a Jedi Knight and my daughter is probably going to be in charge. Of all of us. So, probably Ursula! Bow down, mortals, lol. Great post, dreams are amazing.

  3. Great job, The little mermaid is my favorite disney movie. My daughter has not yet seen it but I encourage her to follow her dreams by letting her try new things to what she enjoys and encouraging her to follow her dreams with what makes her smile and happy in life. Thank you Robin

  4. My daughter, who just turned 4 a few days ago, loves art and music so I encourage her to be creative and I have her enrolled in ballet class.

  5. I provide my daughters the space and tools to discover their own dreams. Paint, instruments, books, balls, a doctor set, stuffed animals and costumes are always around the house to encourage their dreams. It is amazing what you can hear a child say about their dreams if you listen.

  6. I encourage my children to follow their dreams by letting them try new experiences they are interested in and giving them words of encouragement along the way.

  7. I encourage them by always giving them a positive response and supporting their ideas.
    jslbrown_03 at yahoo dot com

  8. I think it’s important for kids to try lots of different activities. They won’t know their dream if they are never exposed to it.

  9. I encourage my son by constantly telling him that he can do whatever he wants if he works hard and follows his passions.

    Thanks for the chance to win!
    wildorchid985 at gmail dot com

  10. I always tell my children to be the best they can be and I encourage them to try new things and that they can do whatever they put their minds to

  11. My husband is an artist and, early on, our daughter showed an interest in art and music. Now, as a teacher, she incorporates as much art into her kindergarten classes as she can because she knows it’s an important part of her student’s development. My eight-year-old granddaughter is also artistically inclined, but her real talent lies in writing. She loves to write and has received awards for her expressive writing. All of these talents need to be encouraged and nurtured as means of expressing oneself.

  12. We encourage our children to find their own voices through play, imagination and most importantly through showing them love. My younger son has such a sense of freedom to be himself that he breaks into dance wherever he is! We want them to know they can be anything they want to be if they work hard enough and follow their dreams.

  13. Delightful post! I love Disney!! We were frequent visitors there when my daughter was growing up. I encouraged her to follow her dreams by exposing her to everything I could. We didn’t have a lot of money, but we sure had a lot of fun adventures and learning experiences. As a single mom on a very tight shoestring, my hope was to lead by example and show her that ‘the world was her oyster’!

  14. I never tell my daughter something she wants to do is impossible. And she’s smart enough that I don’t believe anything is anyway. 🙂

    chambanachik(at)gmail(dot)com

  15. Being supportive, positive and encouraging and always speaking positive words. Its so important to let them know nothing is impossible.

  16. Your little mermaid is adorable. I always encourage my kids that don’t be afraid to make mistakes. They can always learn from them. Never gives up in what they love and their dream will come true one day!

    amy [at] utry [dot] it

  17. we encourage them to follow them, support them when they do and help them up when they get discouraged

    mellanhead74 at hotmail.com

  18. I try to support my child in whatever she dreams by providing encouragement, and any help that I can. We also talk often about how hard work is what makes dream come true.

  19. I encourage my kids through love and support. I help them achieve their goals through guidance and always have their back 100%

  20. I encourage my kids to follow their dreams by supporting their ideas and the things they want to do. We work together to find a way to make the things happen that they want. At the same time, we instill realistic limits. We can’t fly into today, but if we study hard and work at it, we can get into NASA in the future and fly to space then 🙂 You can have what you want, you just have to find a way to make it happen 🙂

  21. I encourage them to follow their dreams by signing them up for activities they are interested in, and letting them know they can pursue anything they want to

  22. I encourage the kids at a young age to try new things.
    And I tell them that all things are possible.
    Thank you.

  23. I try to encourage my daughter to follow her dreams by setting an example. Thanks for the giveaway!

  24. I encourage my children to follow their dreams by trying new experiences. My daughter who loved cats, volunteered at at cat kennel. My other daughter who loved horses joined Westernaires. My son learned to sail through a community sailing program. These experiences shaped their dreams and futures.

  25. I support them, encourage them, and try to give them the best tools that they need to follow their dreams and interest.

  26. I don’t have kids, but my parents always encouraged and applauded my interests. And later as a young adult, I did indeed follow my dreams!

  27. My daughter love dinosaurs and dragons. She wants to be a paleontologist when she ‘grows up.’ I encourage her as much as possible. We recently brought her to dinosaur world and she now pretends to be the guide who educated us on the tour. Whenever she is discouraged about school work I remind her that if she cannot read or preforme math then she will not be able to account for new spices or measure bones!

  28. I encourage them to give everything a try once and if they like it then we stick with it and try to help them reach their goal or dream.

  29. by providing lots for them to see and try – and then putting the time and praise toward what brings them joy

  30. Unlike my parents, I let my daughter join different groups and tryout for different events. My daughter use to be a wallflower and is now very outgoing. She got this way after auditioning and starring in several plays. I encourage her by working with her in these events and by praising her work.

  31. I encourage her to follow her interests, she knows she can do anything she wants to through hard work. And anything that is truely something you want is worth it. I support her in anything and everything.

  32. My 25 yo daughter’s first- and favorite!- disney movie. We watch it twice a year to remember her childhood and the message that you can be your own person despite what your parents want!

  33. I make sure both my kids know that we support them in life, no matter what, they will always have cheerleaders from me and my husband.

  34. I encourage my children to follow their dreams by supporting them in all their in school and after school activities and helping suggest new activities to inspire them.
    lisalmg25 at gmail dot com

  35. I encourage my sons to follow their dreams by reminding them of all they have already accomplished. I keep their confidence levels high by praising them, their efforts, and their ideas and showing them they are loved unconditionally 🙂

    crystalmethod54751@gmail.com

  36. I may not always agree with the choices my children make, but no matter what, I support them and they know they can always count on me to be their cheerleader!

  37. I currently have no children, although I very much hope that we will be blessed soon. In the mean time, I’m in school to become a teacher and plan to encourage my students to follow their dreams… I will encourage them to work on their weaknesses nicely and will definitely support them in their strengths and encourage them to truly grow within these strengths.

  38. I try to encourage my boys through example. I always try to show them that the only thing that can hold them back is their own imagination. If they believe in something than their is always a way to make it happen they just have to want it enough to make that dream come true.

  39. Support Self Confidence – provide encourage for any envisioned futures, dreams or interests. Let them know they don’t have to do what everyone else likes but if they can, find others that can take the journey with them.

  40. We encourage our children to follow their dreams by helping them. When we see that they have an interest in something we provide the tools they need to move forward with their goals.
    susansmoaks at gmail dot com

  41. Kids say silly things that we adults often blow off. Don’t do this if you get the feeling that they are actually being serious. They may grow out of the silly things but if you blow them off they will not come to you when silly moves to serious.

  42. I like to share stories of inspirational people with them. Ones who have succeeded against any obstacles to live their dreams. I let them know that even someone who is the best at what they do, was not great at first try. I expose them to as many activities as possible, and make sure they give them a good try. Yet, if their heart isn’t in it- I don’t push. I make sure they don’t feel they have failed. That everyone is different, and valuable, in their own way.

  43. I like the leading by example approach. I continue to pursue my own, which can help motivate them to seek their dreams.

  44. I plan on unschooling, letting them learn what they like and focus on their passions instead of forcing them to do things they aren’t interested in

  45. I encourage my boys to follow their hearts and try to achieve their dreams. I let them know it’s okay to fail sometimes, because the only true failure is to never have tried.

  46. I let them know anything is possible if they believe in it and that I believe in them and will always be behind them.

  47. By helping them to believe in their self and that with a lot of practice and hard work they can accomplish anything

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