Girl playing in the sun
Girl playing in the sun

Parenting gifted children is a challenge in many ways. But it is also exciting. Their intensities and passions are electrifying to be around. But sometimes our kids struggle with wrestling that excitement into a dream for their future. Life happens, the world misunderstands them and slowly they begin to limit their dreams, their passions. This is where we need to intercede and help our kiddos NOT lose sight of their dreams.

Dreaming isn’t about being practical or pragmatic. It’s about imagining the most fantastical life you can dream up, and imagining it in perfect detail.  Teaching our children how to visualize their passions can inspire them to do as Henry David Thoreau says and “go confidently in the direction of your dreams.”

A Dream Poster is a great way for your children to put their fantasies and dreams into something that can remind them of their passions. Making one is easy and can be done with minimal supplies. The how-to list below can be done to create a print poster. You can also adapt it to create a digital poster or collage board on Pinterest, Tumblr page, or similar online site:

How To Make A Dream Poster:

  • Start with a listing of your interests
  • Find or draw pictures that capture those interest, as well as your goals for the future
  • Make a collage, poster, or some other artistic representation of those interests. Be as creative as you dare. Some people have made 3-D letters, decoupaged with pictures of their dreams. Others have created Wordle posters or Tumblr pages. There really are no limits to what you can create.
  • Somewhere in the picture, write a goal of something you would like to do or achieve.
  • Date the picture.
  • Revisit it often and change it or add to it as you desire.
  • Most importantly, DREAM BIG!

It’s important for all of us to make visual reminders of where we want to go, both in terms of our goals and our dreams. Teaching your children to to this can help them harness their intensities and turn them into passions that ignite their future. A dream poster can be their (or your) reminder to help us when life throws curve balls, gets too difficult, or our dreams seem to fade from view altogether.


2 thoughts on “How To Make A Dream Poster

  1. This post was intense for me. I parented a gifted child, who was encouraged to express that giftedness in any way he chose. When he became a teen, most adults were intimidated by his intensity and intelligence, so much so that his youth minister, who was studying counseling, asked our permission to test him. The youth minister was completely blown away. Shortly after, the powers of the church clearly discouraged my kids, and my gifted child left and never looked back. He diminished his expectations and became an auto mechanic for 5 years. After that he married and went to university. During that time he had a tumultuous divorce, but finished (didn’t attend graduation even though he was summa cum laude). He went to UC Berkeley and earned his Ph.D in 4 years. During that time he had his first manic episode, subsequently with a diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder. If his brother’s wife were not an ROTC professor, and if he were not at such a great university he might not have survived. During his 6-month convalescence at home, he received a National Science Foundation Fellowship. He returned, under great difficulty, that first semester back, but completed his research. After 20 years he is happily married to a wonderful gifted woman who embraces all his “quirkiness”. Unfortunately, after 3 years of applying for professorships, he now drives for Uber and pieces together a paycheck in various ways. That sounds awful, doesn’t it? But he freely uses his talents to take on community projects, helping others disadvantaged by the “system” to gain a “piece of the pie”. At first folks considered him an “outside agitator”, but now he’s gaining respect from the community. After 20 years, he seems happier than ever, and I actually have great hope for his future now.

    I say all this to warn folks that people outside our understanding will do everything in their power to force your child to stay on the mainstream path. Keep your eyes and ears open as your gifted teen begins to venture away from home. No matter how much anger or grief your gifted adult child throws your way, always show him/her love. And part of that love is to understand that at some point in their journey, you may become the villain. And it might be important to keep your distance.

    And now when I speak to my son of my oldest grandson, his brother’s child, about how bright he is, my son will say, “that’s not necessarily a good thing”. And that breaks my heart.

    Lovingly submitted,

    1. I’m sorry you went through so much of a struggle with your son. Sadly, that is not uncommon. We struggle in our society to accept people for who they are and we really like making people broken. It’s horrible. Hopefully, as we work with our gifted youth we can help them embrace who they are and strengthen their resiliency to remain authentically themselves throughout their lifespan

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