What can I be?
Whatever age your children: self-esteem, self-image and having a mindset of self-worth unlocks future possibilities.
For children up to the age of 7:
What can I be when I grow up – they have so many ideas! Don’t limit your children’s thoughts – let them dream big, as they grow and develop, they will realise what their limitations are, we don’t need to point them out when they are young.
It is very important to discuss with even young children that they have options, that the schemas (patterns of thoughts/behaviour) they have, or the things that they enjoy could lead to a hobby, employment or help them realise a dream.
We can each have many different jobs when we grow up. We all like to do lots of different things: sport, art, music and art! We also have hobbies, passions and pastimes.
You can be whatever you dream to be!
From age 8-12 years:
This is when children start to have some knocks of their self-esteem and where confidence and aspirations need to be nurtured. Children start to realise there are people that are better at them at certain skills, where qualities and attributes they have are questioned or challenged by their peers, where being an individual and having different opinions can be tricky in friendship groups. Even virtually, our children can learn to empathise, show acts of kindness (sending friends or neighbours home made cookies) or be entrepreneurial (selling unwanted toys and gifts to raise funds).
Encouragement of skills that are important for the future are key at this development stage. Encouraging good manners, listening skills and social skills with their siblings and peers is so important. All these qualities and skills could be exactly what is required of them when they are an adult, and you have given them the opportunity to practice.
From age 12-16 years:
This is the age where they are being asked what they want to be, and how are you going to get there? This can be an overwhelming question. Unless they have a career path/route/dream already, most children answer: “I don’t know”.
Speak to your children about what they don’t want to do, have no interest in. How their friends, teachers or family members would describe them. Get them to think holistically about what they can be. Don’t just focus on academic and monetary aspirations.
In an age where we have information at our fingertips, we sometimes forget about the importance of reading a good book. Reading as an adult or approaching adulthood often gets linked with reading or work or reading for an assignment/college and often we forget the benefit of reading as an incredibly invaluable activity – and one that can help you improve on a number of different skillsets.
- makes you smarter- the more knowledge you have, the better-equipped you are to tackle any challenge.
- expands your vocabulary – the more you read, the more words you gain exposure to, and hopefully these words will make their way into your everyday vocabulary This gives you self-confidence and can be an enormous boost to your self-esteem.
- if English is your second language, will help you in your quest to perfect the English tongue. You will gain exposure to words used in context, which will help with your own speaking and writing fluency.
- improves your writing skills – this goes together with the expansion of your vocabulary, exposure to different writing styles influences what we use.
- can reduce stress- according to a study from the University of Sussex, it was revealed that reading can reduce stress by up to 68%. It works better and faster than other relaxation methods, such as listening to music or drinking a hot cup of tea. This is because your mind is invited into a literary world that is free from the stressors that plague your daily life.
- enhances analytical skills – can really force you to put your thinking cap on. If you are reading a mystery novel you are using deductive reasoning, taking mental notes of all the details provided and sorting them out to determine who the killer really is. It’s this type of critical thinking that will lend itself well to any task that requires even the smallest amount of problem solving in the workplace.
As an adult it is vital that your children see you read (and talk about what you are reading), even if that is just what you had read on an online article or discussing something that they have read.
Communicate your dreams, you are never too old to dream, or strive to achieve them.
Something for the weekend………
DREAM – Think of as many ideas as you can that sound like fun about “What I can be!” and write them down or draw them.
Parent tip: Don’t judge anything… list every idea, even the crazy ones.
IDEATE – Choose your favourite ideas – pick 3 or 4.
Parent tip: Don’t try and sway your children, listen to everything they say and record it accurately.
DESIGN – Speak to people to see if they can tell you more about your favourite ideas. Ask them to help you learn more or read about the things you love
Parent tip: Find books that relate to their ideas, whether that is being a unicorn or an astronaut.
DO – Play pretend games. Learn some of the skills needed to be good at your dream. Most importantly have fun doing it!
Parent tip: Children formulate ideas and experiment through play, allow them to make mistakes, change their ideas and dreams, and see whether they really do have the skills, qualities to enjoy it.
EXPERIENCE – Keep growing and use your imagination. It is OK to change your mind too. Think about the things that make you happy and always believe you can do it.
And if you want to do some reading, how about trying some of these:
- www.gozen.com (more for anxiety but a useful blog)
- All the ways to be smart by Davina Bell (Age 3+)
- You are awesome by Matthew Syed (age 7+) Journal also available (Age 9+)
- The Queen Engineer by Suzanne Hemming and Jacqui Hughes (Age 4+)
- My Daddy said: I can be anything by Fanita Moon Pendleton (Age 3+)
- I can be anything I want to be: Inspirational colouring book for girls (age 4+)
- Diary of a Brilliant Kid: Top secret guide to awesomeness by Andy Cope (age 9+) – this is an interactive book/journal
- What can I be? – Dave Goodman and Ed Goodman (under 5’s)
If you have any ideas to share or want to keep up to date with the latest workshops/courses/or support then visit our Facebook group:
To book on these or any of the workshops/courses we have on offer then click the link: https://aclessex.com/community-family-learning-online/.
Please feel free to share with any resident of Essex.