Perhaps only they can dream for real – passionately, wholeheartedly, without sharing with anyone or, conversely, uttering their cherished desire in every detail. On the eve of the holidays, we asked them what they dream of today. Children’s answers and parental experiences with comments from our experts.
“What is your most important dream?” Some people made this question ponder, others gave the answer straight away. Some clarified: “To talk about the marketing or unfulfilled dream?” Or “Can I have a few?” The little ones spoke in detail, sometimes they lacked words, and they began to draw. The schoolchildren seemed to have decided everything for a long time and now they set forth their dreams clearly and seriously for me. With each new story, I felt more and more that in children’s dreams there is a “double bottom”: it is not a whim, but something deep, personal, a reflection of such needs, which cannot be said otherwise. Parents usually left the room where we talked, but then anxiously asked: “So what? What she said). “And often sincere children’s answers caused them to be perplexed, annoyed, disappointed. It turns out that the dreams of our children do not always suit us. Why?
From fantasy to dream
In the dreams entrusted to me, there were echoes of fairy tales, films, family realities and TV news, someone else’s experience and their own feelings. One child dreams of wings, like a fairy, another wants to “learn how to draw cartoons” – is there a significant difference between these two desires? “Yes, there is,” said Jungian analyst Anna Skavitina. – The fact is that we often confuse dreams and fantasies. Fairy wings are more of a fantasy, but learning how to make cartoons is a real, swords dream. It has a certain goal and attempts to somehow get closer to this goal, the willingness to act. ” To fulfill his dream of animation, the boy comes up with a script, learns to draw. And if a girl dreams of becoming a ballerina, she tries to dance to music and walks on pointe shoes, presents herself in a tutu, asks to give her to ballet school. But such constructive dreams do not arise immediately. At first, fantasy and dream are the same thing, because in their imagination a small child “truly” talks to a wizard in the forest, understands the language of animals, flies. “Children can live in the world of their dreams, unlike adults,” says Marina Bebik, a child psychologist. – They “live” their fantasies, they can become kings, princes, fairies, play different roles at the same time, and this is a reality for them. “The inability to draw the line between fantasy and reality persists until the child is 7–8 years old, says teacher and psychologist Eda Le Shan (Eda LeShan) *. But even then the work of imagination helps to realize and accept one’s own feelings, to survive the inevitable periods of hardship, to learn how to act in the real world. “Today’s children spend most of their time in a state of frantic activity, and they just need to replenish their spiritual resources with fantasy,” emphasizes Eda Le Shan. “In addition, fantasy is a necessary condition for liberation from constant control and intervention by adults.”
The most desirable
“A child grows, he recognizes himself better, he has more desires, so one dream is replaced by others,” explains the children’s psychotherapist Daria Krymova. “Dreams allow children to feel themselves, choose a direction – where to go.” At different ages, children dream about different things – to fly, like Peter Pan, to meet the handsome prince, to get a radio-controlled helicopter or a set of dolls. But it happens that even in early childhood, a child dreams only of what is achievable: at four years old, he wants a children’s car, at five – a bicycle, at seven – a game console. What does such pragmatism mean? “This is a sign that the child has little imagination,” says Daria Krymova. – These children rely entirely on logic. They can be helped by developing emotions, sensations, and intuition. ” Or they simply do not have the habit of dreaming the unrealizable: for example, because parents do not like to dream or have enough fantasies in books, films and games.
TODAY, CHILDREN SPEND MANY TIMES IN ACTIVITY. DREAMS FILL THEIR SPIRITUAL RESOURCES.
The dream speaks not only about the experience and inclinations of the child, but also (mainly) about what worries him and what he lacks. “If he wants to live in ancient Egypt or meet with dinosaurs, it means that something is missing in the present, and he“ escapes ”to the past, in which he finds something good,” explains Anna Skavitina. “He needs to be helped to see the good in the present, so that it gives him the strength to move forward.” “A ten-year-old girl who wants to have friends is a reason to pay attention to the situation in the classroom and find out what prevents her from being friends,” Daria Krymova develops the topic. “She may have experienced stress (divorce of parents, relocation.) And she needs to help improve relations with her peers.” One child may not be confident in himself – and therefore wants to become strong in his dreams, another one is lonely after the birth of a brother or sister – and he dreams of a friend, interlocutor. “When a wizard or a kind fairy appears in his stories, it can mean that he is looking for protection and support. I would ask a child who wants to meet with the wizard, why he wants it, – continues Marina Bebik, – and, perhaps, would get the answer: “Because he is all-powerful”. This means that the child most likely feels helpless, lacking self-confidence. Playing with him, an adult is able to help him live this meeting with a wizard, to fulfill his dream. And the child will add confidence that he can change something in his life. “
Area of freedom
“Tell me what you dream about, and I will tell you who you will become,” the sly witch suggests in an Italian fairy tale. But we are mistaken in taking seriously the firm decision to become a banker, super spy or traveler made in 5-7 years. A girl who wants to understand the language of animals, does not necessarily become a zoologist, and a boy who wants to see volcanoes, in a year with the same passion will be carried away by constellations. “If your daughter wants to be a ballet dancer now, this does not mean that she will become her,” comments Anna Skavitina. – But she has a desire, and it is very important for her growing up. Desire leads her to the goal, helps to find ways to fulfill her dream. ”
While dreaming, children develop their imagination and learn to act, recognize the boundaries of the possible and grope what they really like. That is why it is so important to take their dreams seriously, to be able to hear the children, to talk with them about what inspires them. In a word, to join the game or at least not to deny and destroy the world of their fantasies. Why do we sometimes embarrass and disappoint children’s dreams? “Often it seems to parents that the child’s dream is inappropriate (stupid, unrealizable, mediocre) or that it’s time to finally stop believing in wizards, fairies and talking animals and get down to serious business,” explains Anna Skavitina. – Or they suddenly realize that their child lacks affection, sympathy, attention. And they have to admit that they are not good enough, and it is very difficult. If a father, for example, seems senseless to his son’s dreams, he is afraid: “I’m raising him up incorrectly, he’d better have dreamed of becoming rich and famous or learning better than anyone!” We’re annoyed if his son’s or daughter’s dreams and are unhappy if they coincide with what we ourselves dreamed of as a child: what if it repeats our mistakes and failures?
Familiar or strange, in any case, dreams – this is an area of freedom that we can neither control nor direct. But thanks to them we can better know our children, get closer to them, strengthen mutual trust. Children are waiting for our support, and we should
Take care even to the most incredible of their ideas. We can not always buy the desired toy and even more so we can not resurrect Michael Jackson or teach the language of animals, but we can invite a fairy to a holiday or arrange a flight on a dizzying attraction. Didn’t all of us want to be in childhood at the place of the Kid who was finally given a dog? “It is important that the child has the experience that dreams come true,” concludes Daria Krymova. “Then it will be easier for him to overcome the inevitable disappointments.”
* Author of the book “When your child drives you crazy” (Prime EUROSNAK, 2008).