Saturday, June 23, 2007

Goals and Dreams for Kids - The Importance of a Supportive Family

It's so important for kids to have a family environment that is supportive - especially when it comes to goal setting. Sometimes, those that are supposed to be our nearest and dearest are the ones that shoot our dreams down before they even have a chance to get started.

My friend told me yesterday about just such an example. When he was about 11 he wanted to be a ball boy for his favorite football team. Unfortunately when he told his Dad about the idea he immediately started telling him all the reasons it was a bad idea! Terrible idea - it'll be very boring, and imagine how horrid it will be when it rains!

It's important to try and step back when children confide in us about their dreams and goals. Might it have been possible for my friend's Dad to bite his tongue and at least find out a bit more before shooting the idea down in flames. Thinking back to how he wished his Dad had handled it, my friend said that what he really would have wanted back then as a child would have been:

1. For his Dad to show he cared by asking more about the idea and what it was about it that was getting his son excited

2. Then for his Dad to make some suggestions and ask some questions.

3. Finally, he would have liked some specific help - for his Dad to offer to talk to some friends and find out what would be involved, or some such action.

It really made me think about how carefully we should protect our children's self esteem by listening carefully and being supportive, especially when they surprise us with an idea that we might normally rubbish without even considering!

Happy parenting,


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