“When I grow up I’m going to…” How do I respond?

“I’m going to be a famous basketball player.”

“I’m going to live in a mansion and have a limousine.”

“I’m going to be president.”

Children between six and nine see unlimited possibilities. Their thinking is still magical, and they believe they’ll accomplish whatever they desire. Although they’re beginning to reason logically and organize their thoughts, they live in the “here-and-now.” If a child enjoys ice-skating, it seems logical to him that he can become a famous skater.

Kids think about the future, but they don’t think the way an adult does. They can’t put themselves in the place of someone who has worked hard to accomplish a goal. They don’t think about obstacles, expenses, time, or limited abilities. Instead, they have an innocent optimism that leads to dramatic conclusions: “When I grow up, I’m going to be a star!”

When your child tells you his grand plans, don’t feel you have to set him straight. One father, hearing that his daughter wanted to become an actress, lectured her on the practical side of working in the theater. She burst into tears.

Respect your child’s confident statements and try to learn more about his values and thinking. If he says he’s going to be rich, ask, “What will you do with all that money?” He might list what he’ll buy, but he might also say he’ll share the money with poor people. One child who said he was going to build a “Kids’ World Park” gave details about accommodating kids with disabilities.

Childhood is short. Through the years, your child will discover his own limitations and learn how the world really works. His innocence will gradually fade as he comes to terms with life’s realities. You do him no harm now by allowing him his fantasies and listening to his big dreams.

Picture Credit : Google