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Thoughts about teens, tweens, parenting and this adventure of living on Earth in the 21st century.

Annie Fox, M.Ed., is an internationally respected parenting expert, award-winning author, and a trusted online adviser for tweens and teens.

Whose dream is it anyway?

June 9, 2016

You are unlimited

You are unlimited. Dream big.

We like to tell our kids to dream big, yet when they do we often poop all over it. Think about it. When a kid older than ten shares an outside-the-box dream, how many parents around the world have said things like: “What a crazy idea!” “How will you earn a living?!” And/or some variation of: “Over my dead body!”

Maybe we tell ourselves we’re just trying to save our kids from soul crushing disappointment. Maybe our own disappointments have made it too painful to believe in dreams. Maybe, at this point, all we believe in is a life that tramples people with stars in their eyes.

Recently I spoke with a woman whose parents so regularly invalidated her goals she saw them as “dream stealers.” At age thirteen she stopped talking to them about anything she wanted to accomplish in life. That conversation got me thinking about generations who’ve had dreams stolen by well-meaning parents and teachers believing these children needed a strong dose of reality.

Let’s talk about reality for a sec. Parents must educate their kids when it comes to the realities of fire, traffic, sharp objects, and overdue library books. But a kid pursuing a dream? On the road to wherever, life will provide plenty of reality without our help.

Our job is to open doors and windows for our children so they can open their minds. Our job is to expose them to limitless possibilities so they’ll fashion a vision of their own future. No one can foretell where or how far a child may go. Don’t even try. Relax. Celebrate your children’s dreams. They may get you dreaming again.


Filed under: Parenting — Annie @ 4:30 pm


  1. I love this post Annie! I have a teenage daughter who wants to pursue singing as a career. I try very hard to help her explore career paths in music without totally destroying her dreams. I needed this post!

    Comment by Carrie — June 11, 2016 @ 11:22 am

  2. I love this post! I have a teenage daughter who wants to pursue singing as a career. I try very hard to help her explore career paths in music without totally destroying her dreams. This post is very fitting and super helpful!

    Comment by Carrie — June 11, 2016 @ 11:25 am

  3. I don’t really remember too many of my dreams as a kid, but I do love watching my kids shape their dreams now that they’re all teenagers. Surely the best time to dream is when you are young!

    Comment by Rachel — June 17, 2016 @ 12:59 am

  4. Carrie, your daughter may not say it, but I’m sure she appreciates how you help her explore her dream of singing. I wish you both well! btw, is she a fan of The Voice? Talk about young people who go all in to pursue their music dreams!

    Comment by Annie — June 17, 2016 @ 7:13 am

  5. Hi Rachel, it’s an honor, as a parent, to watch our kids “shape their dreams.” I’d also add that dreaming isn’t only for the young. I believe we stay young by continuing to dream and to work toward our goals throughout life.

    Comment by Annie — June 17, 2016 @ 7:16 am

  6. That’s a good point Annie. I’ve just started working towards a dream that I half thought of and dismissed years ago. I am loving it! But I also know that the timing is perfect, so I’m not regretting the wait either. Bless you!

    Comment by Rachel — June 23, 2016 @ 12:09 am

  7. Good for you, Rachel! There’s something so energizing about working toward a dream, a goal, being “in the zone” or whatever you want to call it. If it’s something as you say, that we might have “dismissed years ago”… that can feel like reclaiming a piece of your Self! I wish you well in your dream pursuits, Rachel!

    Comment by Annie — June 23, 2016 @ 6:05 am

  8. […] Editor’s note: This article was originally published on Annie Fox’s Blog. Read the original article. […]

    Pingback by Whose Dream Is It Anyway? | Psychreg — November 16, 2016 @ 7:58 am

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