Help Your Kids Learn How To Dream

Our dreams inspire our imaginations – and our imaginations are the key to constantly improving our lives and our world. As Neville states, “By imagination we have the power to be anything we desire to be.” Dream to imagine, consider and create.

Think of the imagination that shows in the music of Mozart and Beethoven, in the art of Van Gogh and Renoir, in the technology of Elon Musk and Steve Jobs, in the philanthropy of Bill Gates and, in the culinary creations of Mario Batali and Bobby Flay. They dreamt, imagined and created. We can do the same.

When given the freedom to dream, we dream in areas that matter most to us. Couple our greatest interests and passions along with our abilities and we are able to move dreams and imaginations into reality. We have what it takes to constantly imagine and improve all that we touch. This is how we create our world and how our kids will create theirs – with both of us remembering it is our responsibility to keep improving our world.

Make dreaming practical

One of the activities I had my class of college entrepreneurship students do was to stop and notice a success, need or challenge about their world on their way to each of my classes. Then once noticed and shared with the class, there are to consider – or dream and to imagine–  some way to make it better. Encouraging them to dream activates their greatest abilities – they dream from their strengths. Big things become possible.

When we ask our kids to stop and notice their world – then dream about what they would want it to be – we invite them to consider what is possible. If we can dream it, we can imagine it. If we can imagine it, we can find a way to create it. As they learn this, they see that they can use it in any situation they experience in life. Dreaming opens the door to big results – to living a life they want and love. Permission to dream is something all parents should give their kids.

How to help your kids dream

Dream with them. Our kids learn more by watching than by listening, so dream with them. Invent and imagine what you want for your life, work, family and relationships. Share your dreams. Share why they are important to you. Invite them in. Not only does this help them learn how to dream, but it builds a powerful personal relationship with them by sharing what is important and personal to you.

Ask a lot of questions. Most parents tell more than they ask – we think it is our job to direct our kids instead of to guide them. When we shift to asking more than telling, we activate their thinking, their creativity and their ability to dream. By asking what they think about something, and inviting them to dream up a way that a challenge goes away or a problem gets solved helps them build their dreaming muscle. Practice makes perfect.

I am sure we have all heard at one moment in our lives that we need get our heads out of the clouds (dreaming) and get your feet on the ground (be practical). Both can survive together. Dream and imagine the direction, goal or objective, then be practical in your plan to achieve it. Teaching this to our kids early can fill their lives with possibilities. By inspiring them to dream and imagine, think of how much larger you have helped to create their worlds. What a gift from a parent…

How to Eat Right To Be Ready For Life, With Donna Schwenk – RFL11

How to Eat Right – Episode Overview

We eat everyday, but few of us know how to eat in a way that powers us to do amazing things – particularly our kids. Most kids are moved by what food looks and tastes like – not how it supports their growth and health. And, they learned some poor eating habits from us. In this episode we connect with the amazing cultured food expert and Hay House author Donna Schwenk who has much to tell us about how to eat right to feel good and live well.

Attention and Intention

In this episode we focus our attention on what we eat and how we feel. We then shift to having an intention or learning how to eat right because our food should power us to feel good, do great things and connect to our greatest selves. This requires us to make some changes.

Meet our Guest Donna SchwenkDonna Schwenk on how to eat right

Donna became a cultured food expert to respond to her own poor health and to the health challenges she had with a premature daughter. Her story is so moving – so much so that she shares it now as a Hay House speaker and author (hear her tell her story).

Learning how to eat right completely changed how she felt – and as she shares – you can’t do great things in life if you don’t feel well.

She now travels the country showing people how to prepare foods that feed us in a way to show up ready for life.

Learn more about and connect with Donna Schwenk at:

Episode’s Key Takeaways

Our bodies are loaded with bacteria. Most of it is good bacteria – it processes our food, supports our organs and helps us feel well enough to go out and do great things in life. The time we feel bad is when we are out of balance with our internal bacteria; this happens when we don’t eat the right things.

As you have heard from Shawn Stevenson, on an earlier Get Your Kids Ready For Life podcast:

All of the processed food we let our kids eat rarely fuels them to show up big to the moments of their lives.

According to Donna, eating well should be easy and it should taste good. She shares that probiotics, foods loaded with healthy bacteria, should be a constant source of what we eat.

Donna recommends these foods

Kefir – easy to make and buy. Think yogurt. Kefir is a fermented milk (or water) beverage that fuels the body with good bacteria. A couple of ounce service before meals or as a snack is sufficient.

Cultured foods – this refers to foods that are fermented (not pickled or canned). Fermenting keeps the good bacteria alive – canning and pickling kills the good bacteria because the process uses high heat). Most any foods can be fermented. Think sauerkraut, carrots, beets, mixed vegetables. Think fermented bananas and even garlic. Eat the fermented or cultured vegetables with each meal, and use some of the fermenting liquid to make sauces and salad dressings. This keeps the probiotic count high in all aspects of your meal.

Kombucha – this is a fermented tea (black or green) that is easy to ferment and can be flavored to make it appealing. Again, 4 ounces before a meal aids in digestion and keeps the good bacteria in our systems high and working efficiently.

Recipes for all of these can be found on Donna’s site at

We each own our health – and the greatest factor affecting our health is what we eat. Teach your kids early to eat wisely – to know what to avoid. Just because some things taste good doesn’t mean they are good for us.

Stop and Notice Challenge

Each week we ask you to stop and notice – to develop your skill of tuning in to you and your world. This week’s stop and notice challenge is:


  1. Stop and notice for one day, everything you eat. Keep a journal. Notice how much of what you eat is natural versus processed. Notice how you feel after you eat.
  2. Stop and notice for one week, everything you eat. Keep a journal. Notice how much of what you eat is natural versus processed. Notice how you feel after you eat.
  3. Go to Donna’s site and select a couple of her easy to make and good tasting cultured food recipes. Include them in your diet for a full week. Then, stop and notice how you feel after you eat cultured foods.

Suggested Resource

How do you talk to your kids so they listen – whether it is about what to eat or other important things. Check out this book:

How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & How To Listen So Kids Will Talk by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish

I recently found this book – though it was initially published in 1980. It is truly a primer for all parents to learn how to not overreact or misread their kids’ communication and actions. Like most parenting guidance, the focus is on the parent, not on the kids. The way to affect behavior change in our kids is changing it in ourselves. The book shares ways to make our interactions with our kids more productive and less stressful – for us and for them. Learning a couple of techniques, we are able to shift our parenting to calm, supportive guidance, instead of out-of-control, emotional reactions. I came away from this book more confident and feeling that I could manage myself better in any situation that comes up with my kids, with the goal of learning to connect and communicate better. Recommended for parents with kids of any age.

Find the book on Amazon.

Share it with someone. We all get better when we learn how to help each other learn to better listen and talk with our kids.


Energize Your Kids With Family Adventures, With Larry Hagner – RFL10

Family Adventures Episode Overview

In this episode, Larry Hagner, founder of The Good Dad Project, joins Jay to share how parents can activate, engage, energize and connect with their kids by creating family adventures.

As always, consider leaving a review for us on iTunes. Here is the link for instructions.

How do you make the most of family time?

Commit to adding family adventures to your days and weeks.

Adventures don’t have to be extravagant – they just need to be something out of the ordinary. This is important for a couple of reasons:

  1.    Adventures keep things interesting – it changes things up and gets rid of the boredom.
  2.    Adventures introduce us and our kids to new and different things – we expand our world.

Attention and Intention

Each week at Ready4Life we focus on attention and intention. So for this show our attention is on how to make time for family this summer and our intention is that we use that time to create family adventures.

Meet My Guest Larry Hagner

Larry Hagner and his boys getting ready for more family adventuresIn this episode we connect with the adventure-maker himself, Larry Hagner. Larry is a passionate father of three boys and the creator of The Good Dad Project. As a father who travels for work, he is committed to making the days and moments of life special for his family – and has some great ideas on how to make life interesting and an adventure.

How to connect to Larry Hagner:

Episode’s Takeaways

Daily adventures

  1. Start small – do things out of the ordinary. Image new things to do with the regular things – for example, rethink dinner. What new thing can you eat, where could you eat, who could be involved in preparing it, what could you read about so you can tell stories about it as you eat together?
  2. Ask good questions. What new and fun things happened in the day? What was the greatest thing you heard today? What was the funniest thing you saw today? In addition to getting everyone included, it helps everyone expand what they notice. This gets them good at watching for places to have adventures.

Weekly adventures

Involve everyone in thinking about how to make each day more exciting.

  1. Identify great things in the area and go do them.
  2. Change things up one day a week in something like bed times, bedtime process, dinner, breakfast, etc.
  3. Make a commitment to be outside more during the summer – and make the outside time a family event – Frisbee, kickball, family walks, etc.

Once a year adventures

  1. Larry shared that he takes each of his kids on a special one-on-one adventure each year. They discuss where to go, what to do and then they document it with tons of pictures. It can be near or far based on time and resources. Just make it different, one-on-one and exciting.

To have adventures in life, you have to go create them. Use the collective genius of your family to think up ways of adding more excitement and adventure to all of the places in your life. Expanding your world is how to Get Your Kids Ready For Life.

The Dad's Edge Course On Family AdventuresGreat Offer From Larry

Larry offered a special 30% discount off his new Dad’s Edge online course. Click here to see the course. This link has the discount already applied. Get the $27 course for $19 for being a Get Your Kids Ready For Life listener.

Stop and Notice Challenge

Each week we ask you to stop and notice – to develop your skill of tuning in to you and your world. This week’s stop and notice challenge is:

  1. Stop and Notice 3 things that would be great adventures for your family. Why? How could you make them happen?
  2. Stop and Notice what makes life exciting and adventuresome to you? What are two things you could do in the next month to build more adventure into your life?


Suggested Resources

Teen Life – Great website that has powerful and meaningful information for teens and parents. Here is their mission:

Our mission is to make it simple for teens (along with their parents and educators) to develop a meaningful personal experience portfolio, no matter the makeup of their individual interests, talents and resources.

Check out their site and stay connected to their blogs. They write great, practical and meaningful things that teens and parents need to know.

15 Free Apps to Help With College Prep

As the title shares, here is a link worthy of your time. The apps range from finding colleges, learning about the culture at colleges, to arranging your visits at college campuses. Great one for both parents and students to review together.


Mistakes Are Some of Life’s Best Things

Sure, perfection – we want it. No mistakes. Get it right. Know what to do. Look amazing.

It seems pretty unreasonable, though most of us still have it as an expectation.

Mistakes are part of being human

Just in the last hour, how many mistakes, bloopers, errors or mindless things have you done? A lot? Yeah, me too. Mistakes aren’t the problem. Not learning from mistakes – that’s the problem.

Rachel Remen, the author of the amazing book, Kitchen Table Wisdom, shares that perfection (the lack of mistakes) is the booby prize in life. When we spend so much time trying to avoid mistakes, we miss our life; we take the fun and the learning out of life. And we focus on something that we will never achieve.

Why are we so afraid of mistakes?

We have been scolded our entire lives because of our mistakes. “Pay greater attention.” “Follow directions.” “Do this, not that.” We are like cowering dogs in front of their abusive masters. We cringe and would do anything not to be wrong or get it wrong. This encourages some people to cheat on tests. Others lie and cheat in their workplace. That doesn’t mean we’re bad people – it is just that the fear of making mistakes is so significant that we will do anything to avoid it. If we fear being wrong, we won’t use the event to learn. We’ll miss out on the lesson – only to likely repeat it again and again.

So, what is your expectation of your kids? What is your expectation of yourself? Humanity or perfection?

Change how we think about mistakes

Think back to your latest mistake. To shift your mindset about mistakes, simply spend a minute and ask these questions:

  1. Why did it happen?
  2. What was the consequence – what do I need to do to make right?
  3. What is the lesson I’ll carry forward?

Then, add a bit of self-forgiveness and you are ready to move on.

After all, you have another great life moment arriving. Why miss it because you are still stuck in the anguish of the earlier mistake. Pay for it only once, not over and over. And notice if you make those you work or live with pay for their mistakes over and over. How is this helping them?

Making mistakes doesn’t mean you lack accountability. You are accountable for yourself and your actions. You still determine what to do to make things right because of the mistake. Then, you learn from it and moved on.

Parents, try asking your kids these 3 questions when they make a mistake. The mistakes then turn into life’s classroom, not its detention center. Then mistakes are valuable. Use what you learn to make your next moments better. This is the way to be ready for life.