During the summer, in the midst of A level result fever, Stormzy announced he would be funding two places at Cambridge University for black students. The rapper wants to inspire smart black students to dream big and not to let the reputation of top notch universities intimidate them.  In a BBC interview he says, “Young black students who are academically brilliant and smashing should just have that opportunity to walk into a university like Cambridge.” Whatever background or ethnicity a child is, they should be encouraged to dream big.  To know that anything is possible if they want it badly enough and are prepared to work hard enough to achieve it. It’s down to parents to encourage big dreams and not ever to say things like “People like us don’t …”  In this century, people like us – whoever you are – are doing just about everything.  Yes, in some careers there are fewer people from certain backgrounds, but even if they are a minority, they’ve proved it’s possible. It’s like that 4-minute mile back in the 1950s.  Lots of runners were attempting to break the 4-minute barrier, but nobody seemed able to do it.  Some medical people thought that the human body may not be capable of it. Then Roger Bannister cracked the time barrier – and soon after John Landy also went sub-4-minutes and then several others also made it.  Now more than 1,400 male athletes have achieved this.  It is known to be possible. If your child has a dream of a particular career, course of study or achievement – help them to find role models that have done it before and study their path to success.

Dream the dream – then do the thing

The secret of making dreams come true is to take action.  Help your kids to dream by showing them how to write their goals down, by creating vision boards with images of their dream results and by giving them encouragement. But they also need to take action.  Turning a dream into reality isn’t magic! Help them to maintain their dream, but also to create a plan of action with smaller steps to achieve along the way.  If they do something towards their dream every day, they’re more likely to get there in the end.

Dealing with setbacks

Ask any successful person – the path to success is rarely a smooth one.  There will be setbacks and maybe a few real difficulties.  But, as Henry Ford once said, ”It doesn’t matter how often you fall down; it’s how many times you get back up that counts.” Help your kids to analyse what needs to change for them to overcome a setback they’ve encountered.  Then they’ll be ready to give it another go with new knowledge. Watch them achieve their dreams one step at a time and be proud of their ability to dream big and make it happen!