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How to Raise a Purpose Driven Child

by Tiffany Raiford

Raising children comes with its challenges and its rewards, which are often interchangeable. As a parent, you likely have a long list of things you want to teach your child, along with hopes, dreams and goals for her to meet. While there are many things you can do to help her become the type of child, adolescent and adult you want her to become, she won’t be able to accomplish any of that without purpose in her life. A purpose-driven child is one who has meaningful goals she wants to accomplish and a difference to make in the world, no matter how big or small.

Encourage your children to try different activities and pursue those that genuinely interest them, even if those activities are not ones you would have chosen for your child. Let her choose what sports she wants to play, if any, and which groups she wants to join. According to Education.com, children who pursue their interests are developing a love of something that drives them with purpose in their lives.

Teach your child to make goals and have ambition, both of which are important aspects of raising a purpose-driven child. According to the Best Children’s Books website, books with characters that make goals and have dreams are good examples to children of the importance of these personality traits. Story characters who make goals and set out to accomplish them inspire children to behave in the same manner.

Model the importance of the purpose-driven life for your child. According to Harvard lecturer and author of the book, “The Parents We Mean To Be,” Richard Weissbourd, when you model a lifestyle that is purpose driven, you are providing your children with a positive role model. Use opportunities such as your family time around the dinner table and church sermons to discuss the importance of being purpose driven. Explain to your children the importance of doing something good, something you believe in and something that makes a difference to them.

Persist in helping your children become purpose driven, advises author and Stanford University psychologist William Damon. Not all children know from an early age that they will be a doctor or a teacher when they grow up. Some children need more time to find their purpose and what drives them. If your child doesn’t seem to have any sense of purpose, don’t give up on her but rather persist in bringing up the subject and keeping it forefront in your child’s mind.

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