In honor of Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week (Feb 3 – 9), HG EDU wanted to share some inspiring dreams from some of our youngest clients – the children who participated in last year’s Design Your LifeⓇ for Kids course. Here’s an introduction by Kate Dagianis, who led the program.
What is it about growing up that stifles our ability to dream big and go after it?
We see this in retrospect and wonder what happened…how can we preserve this skill and support the emotional wellbeing of our children and future generations to keep them dreaming and designing a proud and inspired life?
Children have an innate ability to dream big – they are deeply connected to their why and what they want. Our responsibility as parents, educators, and supportive adults in their life is to cultivate that skill and keep their dreams driving their direction.
How do we do that?
Teaching them to tune in and value their dream, helping them articulate it through creative expression and language, and to share it. Talk about a whole new (deep) level of show and tell…
You might be wondering how to get a 4 or 5 year old to articulate their dreams? In our program, Designing Your Life for Kids, we watched the scene in Mary Poppins where the children jump into the chalk picture with Mary and Bert. This is how we practiced the idea of writing our dreams in the present as if we are already living them. We talked about what it felt like to be there, what it looks and sounds like to get all the details that make it real.
Next, students drew their dreams and described their work to the group. Empowering them to tune in and hone in on their dreams, and then share them proudly, is cultivating the essential life skill of dreaming and taking accountability for it.
If a child’s dream is to learn to read, they are now in action to reach that dream. And why do we want them to reach their dreams? Because on the other side of achieving their dream is a confidence like no other – the knowledge that they can go after what they want with intention.
That is the recipe for happiness and success!
If we want our children to be happy, inspired, proud AND stay that way, we need to encourage their natural ability to dream and value that as their compass as they grow up. That is what we do in our HG EDU programming for younger children, whether in a classroom or in afterschool workshops, from kindergarten all the way through high school.
Check out some of the amazing dream drawings from our Design Your Life for Kids after school program: