So, I was talking with my husband yesterday. We hit on a topic about which I'd like to see how others feel. When we tell kids, "You can be anything you want!" are we just lying through our teeth?? And if we are, why do we do it? Is it like Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy -- where we think, "They'll figure it out eventually...I don't want to be the one to rain on their parade."
For example, can you really be president of this fine nation without having a bazillion dollars in the bank? Can anyone be a brain surgeon? or a ballerina? or a singer? [If you said yes, you've never heard me sing.]
So, why do we do this? Why when kids say, "I want to be the president!" or "I want to be a professional basketball player!" do we not tell them the truth? What's wrong with telling the 5'3" high school junior that it just ain't gonna happen?
I know this seems strange after my overjoyed post about having dreams. Don't get me wrong: I do think we should have dreams. My about-face came after reading my brother's blog (http://edgeofcenter.wordpress.com/); realism can put a damper on dreams. But ultimately, I think pragmatism is how you actualize your dreams. So, where does this put us in my discussion with the hubby?
I think that when you have a blank slate (read: child), it's good to encourage all avenues until they find one they love, one that becomes their dream. I think people gravitate toward what they are good at; after all, it's no fun failing all the time. So, you develop dreams that fit with your talents, making them seem attainable. So, I think, kids learn on their own (and with good parenting) what they are capable of.
I guess I've discovered that the bottom line is learning how to dream with one foot in reality.