Practical Parenting: Don’t be a dream-taker!

One of my strengths is that I’m a realist.

One of my weaknesses is that I’m a realist.

When it comes to decision-making, I gather facts, weigh the options, and think through the best options.  My emotions rarely affect my thoughts about what is real and in front of me. This is when being a realist is a strength.

When it comes to parenting, I deal with reality.  I don’t dream too much and I’m not much fun to be around when you’re dreaming.  I deal with facts, and if a dream is too far fetched I’m quick to pour water on your flame of excitement.  This is when being a realist is a weakness.

With every kid, you get a little wiser.  That’s certainly been the case for me in dealing with my “realist” nature.

As my first three children navigated the teen years, they dreamed about everything from what they would be, where they would go to school, and cross-country trips road trips they would take after they graduated from high school. A conversation might have gone like this:

Teen: When I graduate Susie and I are taking a road trip to California.

Me: So how do you expect to afford that?

Teen: We’ll save our money and sleep in cheap motels.

Me: That will take alot more money than you realize.

As you can see, I’d just rob them of their dream with my realist mindset and communication.

With three kids down and two to go, I’ve learned a few lessons.  One of them is “Don’t be a dream-taker, be a dream-maker!”

That same conversation today might go something like this:

Teen: When I graduate Sam and I are taking a road trip to California.

Me: Really?  That sounds like it could be alot of fun.

Teen: We’ll save our money and sleep in cheap motels.

Me: If you’re disciplined about saving your money, you just might be able to make that happen.

Now, I’m learning to be less of a dream-taker and more of a dream-maker!

Are you afraid that your child really will take a trip like that?  You know what I’ve learned? Most of their dreaming is just that…dreaming.  Every kid deserves to dream.  Some of those dreams come true, but most are just wishful, fun thinking that goes nowhere.

And if it does come true…you can work to put away your fears and support their adventurous spirit!

What about you?  Are you more of a dream-maker or a dream-taker?

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4 Responses to Practical Parenting: Don’t be a dream-taker!

  1. Ouch! I suffer from the very same strength/weakness! I do dream and dream BIG…but when it comes to my kids, who are grown now, and their dreams I tend to want to point out the practicality, or lack thereof, of whatever it is they are dreaming. I do this more out of a desire to spare them the snags and disappointments I’ve endured/overcome to reach some of my dreams than anything else…fortunately, I am learning to encourage first…then brainstorm with them if/when the dream begins to take form. I have to be constantly aware of this strength/weakness, lest I become the bearer of the wet blanket!

    Have a most beautiful evening, Jill~
    ;-D Kathleen

    • JillSavage says:

      From the responses I’ve received today, I think a lot of us struggle with this! Change starts with awareness so I guess we’re taking the first step!

  2. viviene says:

    I’m glad you wrote about this. I was surrounded with dream-takers when I was young and I believed them. I believed in the I can’ts rather than the I cans. I tried to revert this and believe myself more throughout the years but there are times I still get discouraged. I promised myself that I won’t be a dream-taker, not to my kids or to anyone around me.

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    • JillSavage says:

      Viviene, wow, thank you for sharing! This is why being a dream-maker is so important. I love how you said that it focuses on the can’s and not the can’ts!