"Handle With Care: Dreams Inside": The Invisible Sign All Children Carry
When we’re around children, we must be aware that we are shaping them. We are the people responsible for their imagination, their hunger for life, and their self-esteem.
If we stop and think about it for a second, it’s easy to see how vital it is. If we want to build a house, we know right away that we have to start with the foundation. Because if we start with the roof there won’t be anything to hold it up.
It’s the same with raising children. If we want a solid foundation, we have to start building it as soon as possible. From the bottom up, from day one.
Each child has specific needs
Each child has specific needs because each child is unique. From the pace at which they learn all the way to how they express their ideas and feelings. EVERYTHING in children is very personal and unique.
We have to give little ones hug amounts of love and respect. We have to listen to their crazy ideas and big dreams.
The first step, of course, is to give them our TIME. That means staying calm when they have a tantrum. Or helping them manage their emotions, teaching them ways to do so, playing with them, fostering creativity, and most of all, never putting limits on their dreams.
You learn how to raise a child by raising them. It seems obvious, and as a result, we have to take special care not to fall into false beliefs. We don’t know everything. And actually we’re probably doing things wrong.
The idea that something “is easier said than done,” is a shield we put up. It’s a barrier that limits us when it comes to opening our minds and realizing that maybe we’re not putting in as much effort as we should be if we want to change something about the way we’re raising our children.
But without getting away from the main topic here, we need to highlight an essential pillar of upbringing. Giving our children wings so they can fulfill their dreams.
If we hinder them with statements and attitudes like: “that’s really hard for you,” “if you go down that path you’ll end up a delinquent,” “don’t do it like that, do it my way,” etc, then all we’ll get are children who conform. Children without dreams.
Respect them, cherish their dreams
If we give them hope, children will have hope. If we trust them and even let them fall, they’ll learn. With our irrational fear, all we’ll do make them anxious and not trust themselves. We’ll make them fragile and BREAKABLE. We’ll make them turn into people they aren’t, or more accurately, people they don’t want to be.
Do we really want to set them up like that? Children need their dreams protected, their thoughts about themselves, their self-esteem. It’s something they can cling to when things are hard and they come up against walls.
They’re the only walls we won’t be able to move out of their way. They’re the ones that will be there no matter how much we hate that they’re there. That’s why childhood is the most important part of life. Because it’s a time when thinking impossible thoughts is encouraged.
It’s the phase when you have your whole life ahead of you. When you are you and no one else. When you don’t look in the mirror and compare yourself to the person next to you. It’s when, if you admire someone, it’s because they’re heroic.
So help children see what’s wonderful in them every day. Ask them what their favorite part of the day was, or their favorite sport, what things they’re good at.
Let them feel important. Show them how to use scissors, draw, mold clay, kick a ball hard. Let them get excited, let them understand they have a lot to contribute even if they’re “little.” And so that they’ll grow, show them a thousand and one ways to do things. Ways to control their anger, to share their displeasure and their happiness.
Don’t let them go to bed without having them say great things about themselves. Without highlighting their best qualities, their achievements, their dreams, and their wishes. Value their successes, communicate with them. Because I promise you, it’s easier to raise a strong child than to fix a broken adult.
Principal image courtesy of Karin Taylor