Who knocks the dreams out of our kids?

One thing I’ve noticed since I’ve been doing more work in schools is the difference in attitude and self belief between the younger kids and the older ones.

I love asking groups of 10 year olds what they want to do when they leave school because they answer so enthusiastically, hands waving in the air with shouts of ‘Footballer’, ‘Astronaut‘, etc etc. But when I ask the same question to 15 and 16 year olds they can’t even look me in the eye when they shrug ‘I dunno‘.

I usually persevere with questions like ‘Well what is it you love to do? If you could do anything to make a living when you get up every morning, what would it be?’ but to no avail. The shrugs become more frequent, but the answers stay the same…

Nothing’ or ‘I dunno’

It’s sad isn’t it? The young kids have big dreams and aspirations but a few short years later it’s like they’ve had all the enthusiasm, self belief, and dreams knocked out of them.

And if they have, who’s doing it? Is it the school system? Teachers? Parents? Peer Pressure? Adolescence? Media?

What do you think? I’d love to know so I could try to do something about it.

Please comment below…

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Leave A Reply (2 comments so far)

  1. Ryan Biddulph
    6 years ago

    Hi Mark,

    I think the environment in general can be an energy sapper, depending on the people surrounding you.

    Teachers I grew up with taught us to be “realistic”(whatever that means). Most people around me mocked those who had big dreams. Hearing and seeing this, I never dared dream big….at least until I grew up again in my mid-30’s.

    There’s a child-like innocence we all possess growing up. The great ones hold onto it, keeping true to their dreams amidst the general pessimistic view points society holds. Others rekindle the flame later in life, learning how much more fun life is when you dream like a kid, believe your dreams will come true, and make them come true.

    Thanks for sharing Mark.



  2. Brenda Sabin
    6 years ago

    Wow – what a great question Mark! I have no idea what is causing this but I see it too. It’s sad… and scary too – we need kids with HUGE imaginations and creativity – and entrepreneurship to take this world to the next level. The greatest innovators, inventors and thinkers came from our generations – and these kids need to have the same level of belief in themselves and the world to live their dreams and let their minds soar!

    Waiting patiently for your Book Three! 🙂 You are awesome!


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