Thursday, November 6, 2008

How do you explain dreaming big to a 9 year old.

Wow. Last night was a tough one. I am sure many of you have children and may have been through this but I really struggled with how to explain "dreaming big" to my 9 3/4 year old. He would be upset if I referred to him as 9.

Last night at dinner we were talking about Charlie's post about what we want to be when we grow up. We talked about dreaming of growing up to be something and I asked my son what he wanted to be when he grew up. Now I knew I would not get an answer because he never seems to know. I am fine with that. What I got this time however was altogether different. My son said, "I don't want to dream about what I want to be because I do not want to be disappointed.

I was floored. I was sad. I wondered if this is only my child or were there many children who feel this way. I tried to explain dreaming big is a good thing and remembering those dreams is important. Honestly I was devastated. I felt as if my 9 year old son was actually 39 and uttering those words after a long day at work.

Is innocence lost the appropriate term. I am not sure. I am not sure you can get back to where he should be. The whole world is available to him and he should feel exactly that way. I hope that I have not gone wrong in some way.

Sorry for the lack of weight loss talk lately, but I would really love to get your guys take on this. Any psychologist out there?


MizFit said...

powerful post and I surely have no answers.
from my counseling degree I started down the path of : is there something he attempted recently and struggled with and THAT could be what he is thinking of when he talks about disappointment? even something seemingly tiny?
and NO I dont (for what it's worth) think it is anything you did or said or intimated.

In your shoes Id grab him this weekend and spend a lot of time dreaming. being silly. telling him stories of what YOU DREAMED ABOUT WHEN YOU WERE HIS AGE.
what you dream about now.
what youd do or attempt if y ou knew you couldnt fail---and that sometimes it is SO WORTH TRYING even if there IS that chance of failure!
that sometimes the process is the best part.
hope this made sense.

Im kind of braintired but wanted to give you my thoughts.

take care,


Rosie said...

I agree with Miz... maybe he's just a bit mature for his age and see things more like adults do...

If I think of something I'll come back to this post.

Greg said...

The NewYorker Magazine had a cartoon recently where a mother is turning out a child's bedroom light. The kid says,"I'm afraid of the monsters under my bed and I'm worried about my college fund too." Kids pick up on our worries more than we realize and the media sends these messages as well. mizfit is right. make dreaming fun!

Charlie Hills said...

Yep, sounds like a dream weekend is in the cards. If nothing else you can sit around and draw pictures. Something always comes of that, even if it isn't on the paper itself.

MizFit said...

back checking in on you.

and I do think it is as simple as showing not telling.

dreaming big FOR HIM until he's right there with you.

some people are simply 'older souls' which is not AT ALL a bad thing ;)

have a good weekend.

Kathy said...

Wow! Especially in this week where so many are dreaming big for the first time! My younger daughter was always just the opposite. I was always feeling that I needed to ground her a little more, but she is not the mother of triplets, an inch away from her doctorate, has written a book, travels all over the world lecturing, and is still one of the most down-to-earth adults I have ever met. I'd definitely keep digging to see from where that feeling has erupted.

john - from fat to fit said...

I think every kid is different and I wouldn't worry about it. My son, for example, is just a cautious guy in general and he doesn't like things he can't control. I imagine the future feels like that to him. As a parent all I can do is to continue to give him opportunities and show him how hard work can be rewarded and the chips will fall where they will.