Sowing desires and dreams in our children's lives

We live in a society where everything goes fast and where children want everything and want it now. What if we left a little room for hopes and dreams?

Some parents want to give their children everything they didn’t have when they were young. They want to pamper them; they know it, and it makes them happy. Others spoil them without realizing that they are depriving them of a notion that will help them all their life: desires. That is what dreams are made of.

Children often want the latest gadget at a very young age. My friends have one so why can’t I? And, once they are buried under gifts, they do not understand their value because everything happens too fast!

What if we slowed down? What if we took our time and let our child desire things a little? Drawing the bike that he wants for months, watching a Disneyland flyer for a long time thinking “maybe someday…”

Invent special occasions

Create rarity
Reserve candy, chocolate, and chips for special occasions and children will enjoy them even more.

Organize theme parties
For example, every Friday night, watch a movie with popcorn and treats. Children will anxiously wait for this moment to come.

Waiting for a special event

Anticipating an event
Draw a circle around the date on a calendar such as your expected due date, and count the days before you see their cute little face!

Window licking
Go to the mall, just to look and walk in the toys aisles, without buying, just to dream.

Imagine a project
A poster of the Disney Princesses over your daughter's bed is a great way to keep her dreaming. It inspires her every night. She dreams of the day she will see the “real” castle (in a few years, not before!). She talks about them, draws them and tells stories with sparkles in her eyes.

Sustainable consumption

Give an allowance
Giving a small allowance to your older kids in exchange for services will allow them to start saving for their bike!

Educate children to the value of money
Even toddlers understand when we explain that some of our money should be reserved for food, rent, clothing, etc. Allow them to choose an item they like at the grocery store.

Dreaming green!

Make things yourself
When you want something, think about it and develop a plan. How could we make it? Who could help us? Any object can gain value in your hands…

Recover, recycle, reuse
Give them the best possible way of expressing themselves with everyday things: old clothes as costumes, plastic dishes to build beautiful things, leaves and branches for crafts. Many treasures can allow them to create, invent and stimulate their creativity.

Dreaming through the generations

We often hear our parents say that we have been spoiled compared to them, and we realize that our children have much more than we did. That’s too bad. We are losing a great opportunity to create dreams like our parents did and their parents before them. Because having access to everything, at any moment, becomes the norm, not a privilege.

Let’s look back and remember the excitement of a long-awaited event, the pride of creating something with our own hands. Let’s recall the excitement of developing Christmas and birthday gifts, secretly hoping that it would be THE gift. I think we could remember the intensity of these emotions triggered by the expectation, desires, and dreams and maybe, then, we could recreate these dreams and desires for our children’s Christmas.

Solène Bourque

Solène Bourque is a mother of two; Ariane and Thomas. She is a psychoeducator and a certified instructor in infant massages. She worked for many years in community programs with children aged 0 to 5 years old and she now teaches Special Education in the Cégep du Vieux-Montréal. She co-wrote ‘100 trucs pour les parents des tout-petits’, published in 2010 with the Éditions de Montagne. Become a fan of her facebook page.

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