Encouraging Kids’ Ideas


The other day, I was telling you about my plans to transcribe parts of my podcasts. I want to make them into blog posts.

I found some software called Transcribe to help me, and this afternoon, I tried it out. I transcribed a segment from podcast episode 52, Getting Older, Unschooling, and Moving On. It’s about encouraging children’s ideas (and not being afraid to try out our own ideas).

I’ve used this segment before. If you’ve watched my short video, Should We Encourage Our Kids’ Ideas Even if They Seem Impractical?, you’ll recognise the words. But even though I’ve already played around with this short piece of audio, I thought it was worth using it again as a test piece for transcribing.

So what did I do? I listened to a few words of the audio, hit ‘pause’, and then spoke the words aloud. Transcribe turned my spoken words into written ones. Sometimes the program wrote the wrong word probably because it couldn’t understand my strange accent. And I had to add my own punctuation. But on the whole, it was an easy process.

Are transcribed posts going to work?

As I put this post together, I occasionally had to modify the grammar. It’s easy to make mistakes when we’re speaking. But I usually get away with a few errors in my podcasts.  They’re not obvious because I speak quickly. But it’s a different story when the same words are written down.

This post is a conversation so it isn’t as well structured as my written posts. Of course, the words lose their spoken expression. Is this okay? Does the post still work? I’d love to hear your feedback before I transcribe further podcasts.

And if you want me to transcribe any particular episodes, please let me know.

So onto today’s post…

I want to talk about Sophie and her ideas…

Quite often Sophie and I get an opportunity to talk when we take our dog for a walk. Usually, in the afternoon, we get our dog, and we head on down to the bush tracks and, as we walk along, we have a great conversation. It’s a good time to share ideas with each other. And Sophie, who is 14, is full of ideas. She is such an enthusiastic person. She always has something she wants to share with me.So I’ve been thinking about children and their ideas. Should we encourage them to follow their ideas or do we know better as parents? Because sometimes we might feel some of their ideas are pretty silly. We don’t think they’re practical. They won’t come to anything. Should we tell our children? Or should we let them find out for themselves?

I always listen to Sophie’s ideas. I always encourage her to think it through, to give something a go. I ask her, “What do you think you’ll need to do this? What research will you need to do? Do you have the skills? Perhaps you ought to go and try it.”

I do this because I think we can put our children off all too easily. We can squash their ideas before they have had a chance to examine the ideas properly. If an idea does come to something, well, that’s wonderful. But it doesn’t, a child has still learnt a lot by investigating it. She’s learnt a lot about herself as well.

I’ve read a lot of articles where people say that we shouldn’t tell children that they can do anything they want. That’s unrealistic because children can’t do anything they want. My children aren’t going to be world class tennis players. They’re not going to go to the Olympics. Sophie has already discovered she’s not going to be a great artist.

I don’t think it’s really necessary for a parent to point out that a child just does not have the skills to do whatever she’d like to do. She’ll find it out for herself. How many children start off in life wanting to be an astronaut or a fireman? And how many children really want to do that later on? It’s good to dream, I think.

I’ve read other articles where people say that kids can’t do whatever they want because that might not be what God wants them to do, and I totally agree with this. We have to do what God wills for us. But that doesn’t mean we can’t follow our dreams, we can’t use our talents. Because maybe those talents have been given to us for a particular reason and we’re meant to use them. We have to have courage. We can’t hold back and say I’m not going to try because I’m too scared to. I think we’ve got to go out there and use our talents. We might do something spectacular, something amazing.

Sometimes I have great ideas. Well, I think they’re great ideas for a while, and then as I mull them over, I think, oh well, perhaps that’s not such a great idea after all. Perhaps people will think that’s a silly idea, and so I hold back and I don’t put the idea into action. I don’t go any further with it. And I wonder whether I think it’s a silly idea because I can hear in my head an echo of someone putting down my ideas.

Going through the school system, we’re not always encouraged to follow our dreams, our ideas. Maybe someone along the way has said, “You’ve got to be sensible. You’ve got to earn money. You’ve got to be practical here. This is a much better idea. That’s a silly one.”

But what if I refuse to listen to that voice in my head? What if I tried anyway? What if I didn’t worry about what other people think of my idea? Again, the same with our children, something wonderful could happen. And if it doesn’t, if I fail, it doesn’t really matter because we all learn, as I said, from everything we do. And maybe I’ll come up with a better idea that leads from the first if I modify it slightly…

If you’d like to listen to the full podcast, here’s the link: Getting Older, Unschooling, and Moving On

And if you’d like to give me some feedback, please do!

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  1. Reply

    I think the transcript is going to be useful as an extra resource or for busy times – I usually find it quicker to read but listening works well when I'm doing chores like ironing.

    Just wondering how much of the podcast you transcribed here? If it's too long to transcribe the whole podcast, a snippet might interest people enough to want to listen to the rest of the podcast, don't you think?

    1. Reply


      I only transcribed about 4 minutes worth of podcast. I think a whole podcast would be too long, not only to transcribe, but to read at one sitting. So I'm thinking of transcribing parts of an episode. This might work well for those episodes that are made up of several different topics. For the podcasts on one topic, I could transcribe the best bits or post the whole transcribed podcast as a series. I'll try things and see what works.

      Yes, snippets might encourage readers to listen to the whole podcast if they like the taste I've provided!

      Thank you so much for your feedback!

  2. Reply

    I had listened to the podcast, but I enjoyed reading the snippet also. I think I reflect more when I read since I can pause and think before I read more. I suppose that's technically possible on a podcast, but usually I'm cleaning as I listen, so I don't want to touch my phone with messy hands!

    I was struck by what you said about God's will and dreams. I think that one of major ways we know what God does will for us is by the dreams that he places in our hearts. Even when we don't have the skills to follow a particular dream (say, art), what was it about art that drew us? Was it the use of imagination? Was it the gift of creating something? Was it an expression that was a gift of self? I remember reading that God never gives a desire He does not intend to fulfill, so I think those are very important parts of discerning what God created us to do!

    1. Reply


      Oh yes, there's more time to reflect when reading. I do agree. I'm glad you enjoyed both podcast and the written snippet. That's good to know. I don't want to post stuff readers have heard before if they're hoping for something new.

      "..God never gives a desire He does not intend to fulfill." Yes! I've been thinking a lot about this. Those desires must come from somewhere. I also think they come from God, though maybe this doesn't mean following our dreams will necessarily be easy. Perhaps we have to be courageous and keep working at it.

      Thank you for taking the time to comment. I appreciate the feedback!

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