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Helping Children Realize Their Dreams

Updated on February 2, 2011

The dreams of childhood are many and varied. Many times they are born of a fleeting fancy that is silly, funny or impossible. Often, these childish dreams are quickly forgotten.

Other times a dream arises from within. It begins as a fleck of light in the heart, and grows until it is a consuming desire.

This dream is not an idea for that mysterious time 'when I grow up.' It is a dream for now. It is something the child wants to pursue today. It is something the child will fight for, work for and save for. These are the dreams a parent needs to get behind and help to grow.

Chasing the dream.  Picture courtesy of:
Chasing the dream. Picture courtesy of:

Dreams of the Heart

When a dream is born in the heart, I believe it should be nurtured, explored and expounded on by both parent and child.  Without exploration, the dream cannot be known or realized.  A child who has a dream may not have the ability to explore the dream, or even the full capacity to express their desire, that is why an adult must be involved. 

Dreams of the heart involve doing.  They are something that must be done, and that by the child.  These dreams are something that involve the body, mind and soul. 


Using my Dream

My plan was for a family.  Sewing to enrich their lives was one of my dreams.  These sheets were enhanced to Lief's delight!
My plan was for a family. Sewing to enrich their lives was one of my dreams. These sheets were enhanced to Lief's delight!

What was Your Dream?

Think back to your childhood. What was your dream? Did you achieve it? Was it worth pursuing, even if it doesn't serve you today? If you didn't achieve it, does that still bother you?

When I was four years old, I sat under the dinning room table one day, planning out my life. Who I would be when I grew up. From those plans sprouted many dreams. One of the those dreams was to learn to sew.

While learning to sew may not seem very spectacular, I knew what I wanted, and pursued it by every means available. I talked one of my grandmas into teaching me how to crochet, while the other one showed me how to embroider. Soon I was stitching doll clothes together by hand. By the time I was seven years old, I was fairly proficient in most sewing related crafts. By high school, I made 90% of my clothing, plus quilts and gifts. Even now, there is not much I cannot do, though sewing is no longer a burning desire.

My sister wanted to be a writer.  She dictated her first story to mom when she was three years old.  By age eleven, she had written a short story that involved more than a years research, for the sake of accuracy.

My best friend wanted to be a lifeguard.  She achieved this dream by early high school, and was able to fully enjoy the realization of it for several years, before heading off to college.

Pursuing His Dream

Kaycee, age two, learning how to hold the violin.
Kaycee, age two, learning how to hold the violin.

Our Children's Dreams

When our children express and interest in something we watch and wait.  There is no telling whether the interest will grow into a dream or fade into obscurity.  We watch for signs that it has grown, in their play, their speech and in their actions.  When we see them working towards an interest, investing their time and energy to learn, we step up beside them and offer assistance when needed.  It is their dream to dream, but our job to provide information.  It is our job to teach skills, or find teachers for them. 

Just today, my toddler has made it known to me that he wants to play the violin. Having heard of great composers, who began their journey at the tender age of two, I sat down with him, and let him feel the violin play.  He is not ready for lessons, and won't be for awhile.  However, he is ready for encouragement.  After all, if mom believes he can, he won't have any reason to doubt his ability.

Encouraging me, even when they didn't understand my passion, was one of the greatest gifts my parents gave me.  It is a gift all children need. 

Ivorwen, 2009.

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    • Ivorwen profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Hither and Yonder

      Thank you evvy_09.

    • evvy_09 profile image


      7 years ago from Athens, AL

      Beautifully written. I know I want to be a fan just from reading this one hub.

    • Ivorwen profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Hither and Yonder

      Thank you couponalbum.

    • couponalbum profile image


      8 years ago from Sunnyvale, CA

      Great hub. Liked your other hubs too. Joining your fanclub and would like to invite you to join mine. :)

    • Ivorwen profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Hither and Yonder

      Thank you, Cheeky Girl. I will have to take a look at your hub.

    • Cheeky Girl profile image

      Cassandra Mantis 

      8 years ago from UK and Nerujenia

      A great and stirring hub for all aspiring parents, and we can all learn from it. I wrote a hub recently about role models. Wish I had read this sooner! : )

    • Ivorwen profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Hither and Yonder

      Kathy, I am so glad you found this uplifting. Encouragement really does work wonders.

      Citrus, that quote is fabulous! Thank you for sharing it.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      This is an example of why encouragement is so important:

      "My sister's kid, my niece, painted this great picture of a cow and me and my sister were flipping out 'oh my god, that's so amazing!". We framed it, we put it on wall. What that did for her being, was, like right before your eyes, like a flower...because she was encouraged to make more. You can take that same kid, 'eh, thanks'... and that kids probably not going to paint another picture. "

      -Cheryl Dunn from an interview in the documentary Beautiful Losers

    • Kathy Rimel profile image

      Kathy Rimel 

      8 years ago

      Dreaming is such an important part of our life even as we grow up. Encouragement is such a wonderful thing too because without it we don't continue to dream and to pursue what we need to fulfil those dreams.

      Thanks for your post, it was uplifting

    • Ivorwen profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Hither and Yonder

      Citrus, I believe you are right. If we refuse to remember our dreams and pursue them, how can we expect to nurture our children, and their dreams? Sure, life does not always work out the way we expect, but that doesn't mean dreams don't come true.

      PS Never quit dreaming.

    • Ivorwen profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Hither and Yonder

      Thank you Jarn. Children do place so much value on their parents thought, ideas and reactions. I think a parents approval is one of the most powerful things in the world.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Thank you! I agree that we should not only encourage our children's dreams, but that we should also remember the dreams of our own childhood and relive them as well. Letting out our inner child once in a while, I have found can be quite good for our own spirit. I appreciate you writing about this.

    • Jarn profile image


      8 years ago from Sebastian, Fl

      Wonderful hub. I agree wholeheartedly. Children base their self-worth on parental feedback from a very early age. If the child is not encouraged to explore their own interests and talents they can often take it as disaproval and will shy from such things, or even worse, think their parents are telling them they are of little worth. It's very sad, as often the parent doesn't notice, so busy with providing they forget the child wants their approval more than anything.

    • Ivorwen profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Hither and Yonder

      I agree Joy, some dreams do change, some are accomplished much earlier than the child would ever have expected, while others are out grown. Being a ballerina lost its appeal for me around jr. high. :)

      It is important though, to never quit dreaming, learning, exploring and growing, no matter how old you are.

    • Joy At Home profile image

      Joilene Rasmussen 

      8 years ago from United States

      I love what you have said here. I also think it is important to recognize that dreams may change, and just because they are sometimes outgrown doesn't mean they weren't worth pursuing.

    • Ivorwen profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Hither and Yonder


      I don't think a day will ever come when children are not in need of encouragement, no matter what their age. Your children are fortunate to have you cheering for them.


    • Ivorwen profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Hither and Yonder


      Teachers do so much to encourage and nurture the children they are teaching, but like you said, it is sad that this is the only encouragement many receive. Parents, grandparents, and others who see the child through out their life need to take a more active roll in nurturing their child's dreams.

      I am grateful for friends who come along side my children and encourage them also. It reinforces the message that their ideas are valuable, and that they are worth working towards.

      Thank you for reading and leaving your input.


    • Madison22 profile image


      8 years ago from NYC

      Lovely hub and picture too. I agree 100% encouraging our children to follow their dreams is very important. My children are 20 and still today and always will I continue to encourage them, offer assistance and any information they need. Great hub!

    • mikicagle profile image


      8 years ago from Oklahoma

      It's important for parents to nurture their children's dreams, but others can help as well. As a teacher I encourage all of my students to pursue their dreams. It's sad to say but for many children school is the only place where they find the encouragement they need.


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