Most children have the power to dream. And some of those dreams are pretty elaborate. Dreams of who they are, and of who they want to be when they’re older.

Some are fortunate enough to have parents or others who encourage those dreams, no matter how improbable they seem. (How many people actually get to slay real dragons?) But many times, well-meaning adults tell children, “That’s just a silly dream. You can’t really become that. Why don’t you be a (fill in the blank) instead?”

In my opinion, dreaming is a way for children to explore the world. Having daydreams about their future lives helps them learn to believe in themselves and in the probable and improbable. So what if dragons don’t really exist? A child who wants to slay dragons might become an adult who, as a lawyer, helps imprison criminals who hurt children. Not a literal slaying of a dragon, but definitely the ending of something harmful.

Some of the dreams that adults say are too unrealistic are completely realistic with work and belief. Becoming an actor, a musician, a writer… any of those are things that a child could easily become if they take the time to learn the craft, and are willing to put in the time it takes to build a career. They aren’t the “traditional” ways of earning a living, but that isn’t a reason to discourage a child from them. It’s a reason to help them find ways to make it happen.

Instead of discouraging children from their dreams, it would be wonderful if adults encouraged them. Even the unlikely ones. Let children reach their own conclusions about whether they can actually fulfill those dreams, instead of telling them they can’t.

10 thoughts on “Childhood Dreams

  1. I agree! My son is a teenager now, and sometimes it made my head spin to keep up with the sudden changes in his dreams, but I was supportive of each one. In fact, it was sometimes harder for me to say goodbye to them than it was for him, because I was so able to believe they were possible.

    Now, my son wants to be an astronaut. The good news is, if he makes it through all the necessary education (physics! oy ve!), there will be all kinds of options available to him, even if he changes his mind along the way or life happens in one way or another. So once again, I’m on board!

    1. riverflowhealing says:

      I’m glad he had your support. Sometimes it’s hard to do when we want what’s best for our kids.

  2. Aarti says:

    Totally agree with you! What some people don’t realize is that dreams can be used abstractly- while the kid might be literally dreaming about a dragon, maybe that means they are learning how to be brave and conquer obstacles! That learning can be used further, to get more creative and achieve goals.

    1. riverflowhealing says:

      Exactly!

  3. Stella Scott says:

    In these times there are so many crafts we don’t even know about yet. Webdesigner… How old is that as a profession? YouTuber? Tons or professions are lurking around the corner.

    Just in my lifetime, so far…

    I’m a gestalt therapist and have an advanced certificate in Meridian Energy Therapy. That didn’t even exist when I got out of college. 🙂 I’m also certified as an online marketer (What is that even?) and on top of it I’m an opera singer. It’s a 400 year old profession, but at that time it was new, hot and invented together with a new art form – OPERA!.

    And who said we are only to become one thing? 😉

    Dream on kid!

    1. riverflowhealing says:

      Well said!

  4. Lily Leung says:

    Me, too! I agree totally. I love dragons. I should read Harry Potter though I’m not into fantasy. Magic is good for the soul.

    Lily

    1. riverflowhealing says:

      Thank you!

  5. Beth Lauzier says:

    Nicely said! I’m so lucky my parents encouragedied me to be a writer. And I always try to inspire others, children or adults to do what they love.

    1. riverflowhealing says:

      I’m glad you had that encouragement!

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