D for Dreams

How can I inspire my child make their dreams come true?

My son is unmotivated, how do I motivate him? My daughter’s lost all motivation and is not interested in anything, what do I do? Well the answer is to tap into what motivates them already. What THEY want….

So today I want to talk about D for dreams. Now, what have dreams got to do with happiness? Well, dreams take us to that place of possibility, that place of looking forward to the future and they are, in my experience working with 1600 kids, a place to start to engage your child in any sort of conversation about emotions. 

Because what matters to your child is that dream, whatever that dream is. And those dreams can change from day to day. So when I was a kid my dream was to play rugby for Wales - I was born in in Wales. And to swim for Britain and to be in the Olympics, and also to swim the English Channel. Now, I didn't achieve any of any of those dreams. Those dreams came and went. And I remember seeing David Walliams swimming the channel swimming through all that sewage and yucky stuff. And I just thought, you know, I'm glad I didn't try. I didn't try and swim the channel because who wants to swim through poop? Pretty bluntly, I'd much rather be swimming in a clean pool or the sea.

 

Yes, so dreams take us away from where we are. And take us to that forward place. So your child may have a dream to be a nurse or a footballer, or a dancer, or a scientist or all these sorts of dreams. Here's the thing at school, they're not focused on those dreams. And they aren’t worked on a lot of schools. They're focused, for primary school kids, on getting the kids through the science exams or the SATs tests, which are obviously not going to happen this year with COVID. Or they're focused on their English or their maths or their science and, and they don't make the connection between what the child wants and what the subject delivers. Your child's dream is THEIR agenda. And a lot of the time, the child's agenda is run by somebody else's agenda. So whether that's you want to get them to school or the school wanted them to get through this, that's what matters to us.

So that's the best way to engage any child in a discussion about confidence, about positivity, about, you know, that thing called the growth mind-set – by showing the child, empowering the child, how what they think and feel can help them make that dream come true. So, a story that pops into my mind. And this requires creativity. Yes, so a little bit of thought. So the story I was going to tell you was in a school and this young guy, 10 year old guy, like a lot of other boys and girls he wants to be a professional footballer. This guy was a Manchester United fan and he wanted to play for Manchester United. And this was a few years ago when Alex Ferguson was still in charge of Manchester United. And he's had that autobiography just come out. So somehow the idea just popped into my head about the guy, the 10 year old guy telling me that he wants to play for Manchester United. And I got him, through questions, to think about how if his English was better, then he would be able to read and understand – it's written for adults – Alex Ferguson's autobiography. And that would give him a better chance of making it through into the Manchester United team. 

So how did I do that? It could take quite a long time for me to explain that but that answer isn't going to work for your child. So you've got to get your child talking about what they want to achieve in life and then look at how you're going to make that dream come true. And how you need to feel, to do what you need to do. And that's what my processes is all about. So helping children and helping parents through that process. 

Because by engaging the child, the child listens more, talks to you more, shares their feelings and will share thoughts and that's the way to have a more forward paced dialogue with your child towards their dreams. Now, I'm not a parenting coach, I'm not going to tell you how you should talk to your own child. 

My aim is to help you understand how kids think and give you the tools that you can apply to your child and you can make them work for you. But the whole focus of shifting your child's thought into the future is for me the first the most powerful step that you can take to engage your child in any bigger conversation. So I hope that helps. If you want to find out more then please get in touch and I'll help you inspire your child. Inspire your child to make their dreams come true. Because that’s a great end result. And talking about their dreams is a great way to get your conversation started.

Simon Benn Children's Happiness Expert

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