We need to encourage children to DREAM!
On my very first day of school, when I was in Kindergarten, I was encouraged to dream. I remember being asked what I wanted to be when I grew up. I was also asked to share my favourite food. I recall randomly throwing out “firefighter” and “oatmeal” as my choices, two completely random things that sat on a piece of paper above my cubby for the entire school year, staring me in the face. I liked oatmeal, but certainly didn’t love it. Perhaps that was what I had for breakfast that morning, I don’t recall what influenced my decision to choose that as my favourite food. I had never thought of being a firefighter, and that career option left the list quite quickly as I definitely was NOT cut out to be a firefighter. While I loved to (and still am passionate about) helping people, becoming a teacher was more appropriately in my wheelhouse and was something that I dreamed of from the time that I was very young; just not on the first day of Kindergarten apparently.
I remember lining up all of my stuffed animals and dolls and pretending that they were my class.
I remember practicing for tests on our family chalkboard in the basement, pretending to actually be the teacher.
And I remember taking my swim instructor job extremely seriously as I knew that I was preparing to later become a “real teacher”.
The truth is, while I do have the “educator gene” in my blood, I also was never really aware of all of my options. There are so many more different jobs and opportunities than the typical teacher, nurse, doctor, lawyer paths. And please know that I do not believe there is ANYTHING wrong with any of those paths, but in my opinion, children should be encouraged to dream more; to be creative with their future desires for their careers.
If children can’t dream when they are young, when CAN they dream?
My son wavers back and forth between wanting to be a firefighter and a police officer. He occasionally will answer with, “Mom, I just don’t know.” and I am just fine with that answer, after all, he is only seven years old. I don’t ever want him to feel pressured to make a decision during his younger years about what he wants to be. There will be enough pressure from society as he gets older.
I want to encourage him to explore the world of possibilities and to follow his curiosities.
For a few years now, my daughter has been sharing that she would like to be a teacher. Something tells me that this might be the path that she decides to take, after all, she has “teacher in her blood”. She has also been spotted lining up her stuffed animals and dolls, just like I did when I was a child. BUT, I also would like to encourage her to keep her mind open and to explore her endless possibilities.
At 11 years old, she is still young. If she KNOWS what she loves, has a passion for and would like to pursue, I fully support her and I am happy for her, I truly am. BUT, I don’t want her to close her mind to her multitude of options.
I want her to explore.
So, to all of those little dreamers out there…
I say DREAM!
I say EXPLORE.
I say BE CURIOUS.
I say BE ADVENTUROUS.
And to all of the parents out there, my advice is to PLAN for your child’s future! Who knows where they will land and how much education they will need to reach their final destination.
Education isn’t cheap.
If you can save from the beginning (or whatever stage you are at now), the more you will be able to financially support them in whatever capacity that looks like for you and your family.
Heritage Education would like to help you get started! They’re giving away a $5000 RESP, iTravel2000 travel vouchers, iPad minis and more during their #MyLittleDreamer contest that is running from June 15th to September 15th. Entrants are required to upload a short video of their children expressing what they want to be when they grow up. The videos will be uploaded to Heritage’s Facebook contest page and each video will begin collecting votes. Prizes are awarded based on number of votes (the grand prize), the creativity in the video, and a randomized draw of all entries.
Also, be sure to join in on the #LittleDreamers Twitter party on June 16th at 9pm EST for more opportunities to win! Special guest (and Heritage Ambassador) Caroline Rhea will be joining us, and there will be $1200 in prizes, so be sure to tweet along! Click here to RSVP.
Encourage Children to DREAM!
Did you dream as a child? What were your biggest dreams?
This post is dedicated to Mandy Kuelz. She has helped me find my dreams again and I will be forever grateful.
This post has been generously sponsored by Heritage Education Funds, however, all opinions are my own and have not been influenced in any way.