Happy Parenting

Negotiate Fears, Feed Dreams

Sat, 28 May 11
Negotiate Fears, Feed Dreams

Negotiating Fears and Encouraging Dreams

It seems like everyone is anxious or worried or afraid about something these days. Reading my kids book and interacting with thousands of primary school children in recent months, the third question I ask them is: ‘What are you anxious or afraid about?’

Current classes saw an increase in such fears as ‘The end of the world’.

When they give answers such as that I’m thinking, ‘Why on earth are these kids worried about the end of the world?’

I’m wondering if this spike is caused by the media’s blanket coverage of flood, fire, cyclone and earthquake devastation. We don’t have small children living with us, but I hope the mums and dads of the impressionable young, monitor and minimise their children’s exposure to such disturbing images.

Of course kids continue to be anxious about ‘having to do a speech’, ‘playing an instrument in front of the class’, ‘exams’, ‘assignments’ (I don’t remember even having the pressure of assignments due at primary school?), ‘the dark’ and the tension that comes with various kinds of new beginnings.

Sometimes you just want to give them a hug. Hopefully someone in their world recognises their vulnerability and gives them heaps of hugs.

My last question is the one that generates the most response. Every child puts up their hand to answer it. I mean everyone. Sometimes I read to 20 or 30 children and sometimes up to 100 at a time. But asking, ‘What are your dreams? What do you want to be when you grow up?’ is like turning a tap on.

Hands shoot up and away we go again.

“I want to be a vet.” “I want to play football (and other sports) for Australia.” “I want to be a doctor…a marine biologist…a nurse, a builder, a rock star, a dancer, a stockbroker, a palaeontologist, a forensic pathologist, a scientist, a millionaire…’ There’s a bit of mimicking at times, but dreams, BIG DREAMS are alive and well in our children.

One of the best investments we can make in the children of our world is to listen to and feed their dreams. Their dreams often change or develop over time, but they are often signs revealing their God given desires and motivations.

Helping kids through their fears and nourishing their dreams – way to go.

Tags: Developing Emotional And Mental Health In Children