You have to believe in yourself and your dreams as a parent, and truly believe in your own dreams, and then do something about them, for your child to take their own dreams seriously.
This does not mean to quit your job and start that band that you wanted to when you were 18, party all night long with these new band-mates and give up a great career – I’m not saying that. But it does mean that if you are not doing something you love as a job, or at least often as a side hobby, and you are not truly happy at your core, that your child can likely see through you, and they see and sense your unhappiness.
Parents of young actors need to dream too.
How can your child actor follow their own dreams if you are not at least trying some things, as a model for them? Even if your child actor is already doing well in acting, I’d suggest you stop and think about this in the long term. They may already be getting roles, but take a moment to think many years out. If they see you, their role model, the person they spend a lot of time with, just being okay to be just somewhat satisfied at best each day, or maybe not excited about work, or possibly talking down about how you dislike your job, are always not happy about things, then that will actually stick into their brain as to how things should be for them. They will move in that direction versus moving in the direction of their own dreams.
Personally, my dream has always been to be a singer (yes, that’s me in the recording studio in the left side photo), to make and record my own album, and as of late, to write songs for other singers. I try to get into the recording studio every now and then to keep my dream alive. I also tried out for The Voice a few times and did not make it – but I tried again and again, to also keep my dream alive. I like that my daughter gets to see me doing something I love so much and then I don’t give up. It is for sure something I need to continue to work on and prioritize, and I want her to know how much I care about it and will never give up. It’s hard at times to do it, yes. Some months I don’t get to it as much as other months. But, I always come back to it, and she sees that.
In addition to my dreams of singing and writing songs, I also set a goal recently to drop a lot of weight. Over the past few years of raising my child actor, I found myself getting into bad shape and gaining weight. Being on the road a bit more got me into bad habits with food. But, for the past month I’ve been using my new FitBit (this one right here), and it’s literally been the thing that has gotten me to stay accountable and aware in my days of what is going in my mouth and how many calories I’ve burned. It’s so easy to use, I literally just wear it like a watch and then it does it’s thing all day. I highly recommend this model of the FitBit because it also tracks your sleep and tells you if you have restless or sound sleep and when. The watch can also tell when you’ve fallen asleep automatically, so it knows when to track.
If your are in a job or situation you want to transition out of, you can set up a 6 month or yearly plan to being to transition out in a way that won’t be harsh on you or your company. There are ways to be doing, what you want to be doing. It just takes a bit of creative thinking, setting goals and truly believing that it can happen.
If you cannot see yourself completely jumping into what you want to be doing, then at least take some actions towards your dreams and let your child be a part of that, or have them see you doing that. It’s important that they know you are at least taking baby-steps.
If you are unsure of what your own dream or calling even is, a few weeks ago I just completed reading a really wonderful book about discovering your dreams and then moving forward to make them happen no matter what your circumstances. The book is called: The Art of Work: A Proven Path to Discovering What you Were Meant to Do by Jeff Goins. This book is doing wonders for me. I am dreaming and doing.