Thursday, May 27, 2010
What are your kid's dreams?
Well, we have all heard the news now of the thirteen year old boy, Jordan Romero, that has now climbed Mount Everest and is now only one peak away from climbing the highest peaks on each continent.This is a feat that only 200 people before him have completed and none of them have been as young as he is.
In May, sixteen year old Jessica Watson became the youngest person to ever sail around the world solo, non-stop and unassisted. She is only one of 166 people to complete this feat.
These are just two examples of amazing accomplishments by kids. We have all heard numerous stories of kids that have founded non-profit organizations, written books and invented amazing contraptions that change the world. There is no loss of amazing stories of these kids and I am not here to debate whether the climbing and sailing solo feats are safe or even advisable. I am here to ask the parents a simple question: What do your kids dream of doing?
Do your kids want to climb a mountain or is the mountain just figurative for them and they want to accomplish other great things? As kids, we all dream big; but as parents how do we encourage these dreams? I really do believe that anyone can grow up and be President, but how do I nurture that if it really is my kid's dream? Do I let his main focus in school be history or should we be more concerned with current affairs? How many languages does the president speak and how many should my son learn? Do I bring him up around the super rich or do we stay within our economic group? These are all questions that are geared toward presidency but every kids wants to do something and be somebody.
Do we sometimes crush their dreams because we do not think we have the financial resources to make them come true? Even more importantly, do we sometimes crush their dreams because those are not the dreams that we had picked out for them? When I was pregnant, I wanted my son to grow up and be a marine biologist because I thought it was so interesting and it was probably Shark Week on the Discovery channel. He will be starting swimming lessons this summer so maybe I am starting to push him in the direction I want him to go already, or maybe I just don't want him to suffer any damages when we go to the pool. These are all things that we must ask ourselves at sometime in our life.
Being the parent means we have to answer the tough questions but are we really prepared to answer them? There are grants available to kids that want to give back to the world and the kids that have other dreams can try to find mentors and sponsors in their dream line of work. It is never hard to dream but it is usually hard to make them come true. As parents we all wish we had a magic wand and "Poof" our kids dreams are now their successes but that is not how life goes.
My first suggestion would be to make a list of your kids dreams. You can not make them all come true but when they are our age they may enjoy looking back at them to see what they were like as kids. Second, realize that not all things that your kids dream are feasible or even truly wanted by your child. Sometimes it is just talk. Third, try to support your child as much as you can in their dreams. If you are accomplishing one of your childhood dreams, let them know and let them experience it with you. Check out books at the library about the dream subject, make some phone calls to people already doing it. I believe the world is inherently a good place and people want to help one another.
Allow your kids to dream big!