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10 Ways to Nurture Ambition in Children

  1. Encourage them -- Someone has to be President. If your child wants to do something remarkable, don't rubbish the idea. Encourage them to work out how they could make it happen.
  2. Challenge them -- Wrapping your child in protective blankets will only make the world seem more frightening than it really is. Set them challenges that will stretch them. Celebrate the successes with them.
  3. See the world -- Give your children opportunities to see new things, new places, and meet new people. No one changed the world by staying at home. Take them traveling.
  4. Buy books -- Okay, so it's natural for an author to recommend buying books. Reading broadens the mind and inspires ambition; buy books.
  5. Encourage heroes -- There's nothing wrong with hero worship, in fact it's a brilliant way to focus ambition. Encourage children to find out how their heroes did what they did and how it all started.
  6. Role play -- Creative play develops creative thinking. Children do this instinctively, but encourage them and suggest scenarios for them to explore.
  7. Group play -- Children grow up to be more confident if they regularly play with other children. They also learn how to influence others.
  8. Accept change -- If yesterday's budding astronaut becomes today's budding airline pilot, don't frown. It could simply be that your child has been thinking and recognizes that flying a plane is more achievable.
  9. It's not about money -- Don't push your child toward high-earning careers. There's more to life than money.
  10. Anything is possible -- Each and every person is unique, and today the world is more egalitarian than ever before. Almost anything is possible if you want to do it badly enough. Don't discourage ambition.
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From The Life Guide Copyright © 2008, FT Press. Used by permission of FT Press, and Pearson Education. All rights reserved.

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