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    A Parent's Powerful Words

    By Glenn A. Hascall     

    Sometimes we deny our children the opportunity to dream. Boys often want to be firemen, policemen and the occasional professional wrestler. Girls think big, they want to be doctors, lawyers and Presidents.

    As parents sometimes we project our own personal bias on our children. We may want them to do what we do for an occupation, or we may have a family business we feel confident they want to be a part of and we squash the dreams they may have for their own future.

    My daughter wanted to play the piano so we purchased a rather expensive electric model. She's learned a handful of songs and then adopted a definitive lack of interest in the piano once new dreams present themselves. It would be easy to say, "I'm not sure that's something you could do. After all, remember how you handled the piano issue?"

    This type of response may make us feel a bit better, but it never lasts and our words undermine our child's ability to dream big dreams.

    My daughter is eleven and she has her own radio show (of course it helps having a dad that's in radio). She receives dozens of calls every week and she's learned to run all of the equipment herself. This was a big dream that she pursued until she got it right.

    Now she is expressing a strong interest in art. She has a teacher this year who once taught art for a living, so my daughter has a built in instructor who has taught her so much. Now she has other children asking her to draw pictures for them.

    She asked me recently if I thought she did okay with art.

    "Okay? Honey, your work is amazing. If you keep this up you could be an artist one day," I said.

    "Really? You really think I could do it?"

    "If this is something that you really like to do, then you should just keep working hard to learn as much about art as you can and then practice."

    This is generally followed by several questions from her that seek my affirmation of her love for art.

    Perhaps the reason it is so much easier to squash dreams is that it takes very few negative comments to convince a child that they should give up, but it takes repeated affirmations to convince a child that they really could do something special.

    Find out what your child is passionate about and encourage the passion. Obviously there may be things that are dangerous that we would wish to discourage, but one of the roles of parent is cheerleader, so get out the pompoms, there are dreams to nurture.

    Written by Glenn A. HascallRate this article:

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