Developing a Life Vision for Your Child

A life vision is a dynamic concept that reflects a family's current thoughts about their child's future. It will change over time and grow to incorporate the child's own thoughts about his/her future.

Focusing first on a long-term vision provides a framework and foundation for current planning. Long-term dreams help to provide a context for the development of short-term goals. As the vision narrows to focus on the shorter term, it typically becomes more detailed and it is from here that an action plan can be developed.

Long-term Vision:

As you are developing your long-term vision begin by thinking about the following questions:

  • What is my long-term (10 years into the future) vision for my child?
  • Where will my child be living?
  • Will my child still be in school or employed?
  • What type of activities will fill my child's free time?
  • How will my child get around?

Short-term Vision:

Once a long-term vision is in place, begin to develop a short-term vision by focusing on the following questions:

  • What is my short-term (1-3 years into the future) vision for my child?
  • Where will my child spend their days?
    • This might include being at home, in childcare, at school, participating in community activities. Think about how you want your child to be a part of those places. Let your imagination run wild, being careful not to limit the possibilities based on possible obstacles. Finding ways to overcome those obstacles is the next step. Remember - perceived barriers are really opportunities for creative problem solving.
  • How will my child spend their free time?
    • Look at the various activities your child might participate in. What types of activities does your child enjoy? What types of activities does your family enjoy participating in together? What types of activities do your child's siblings participate in?
  • How can I help develop a positive social network for my child?
    • Look at the various social interactions your child might have. Where will friendships develop (neighborhood, school, church, etc.)? How will friendships be initiated and maintained?

Thinking through these types of questions will make it easier to communicate the vision that you've developed for your child's future.

Contact Us

Johnna Darragh-Ernst

Professor Early Childhood Education

1500 W Raab Road
Normal, IL 61761
Phone: 309-268-8746

Email: johnna.darragh@heartland.edu