by Georgia Lohan
Each child is born with the limitless potential to do great things and change the world. They aren’t born with disbelief and discouragement. If you listen to small children playing they are superheroes and princesses. They love to use their imaginations to go on exciting adventures in the backyard and dream of being successful, famous, and heroic.
But, if we aren’t careful with our children life can slowly hide that potential away. Fear, failure, and the opinion of others can cause our children to lock away the great potential that they have within. It’s our job and responsibility as their parents to help them unlock the potential that is within and follow their dreams.
How stories can unlock children’s potential
Most of us adults have experienced a time when we were inspired by a story that we heard. It might have been a story that the local news covered, or a story read online about someone that found success by following their dreams. These real-life stories encourage us to pursue more for ourselves. When we see others, who are living success because they used the potential that was within them it makes us want to tap into our own potential.
Children experience this same feeling. Only it’s most likely not the local news that is giving them this urge to tap into their potential. It’s fairytales and stories. Children identify with characters in stories and are motivated by the actions they are taking. They see the characters in the story taking on a big challenge or following their dreams and it helps them develop their ability to do the same. They begin to use their creativity and imagination to think about what they can achieve in life.
Choose stories carefully
Children love being read to, but you need to choose the stories carefully. They are not all created equal when it comes to unlocking your child’s potential. At Rafael the Unicorn we work to carefully formulate stories that children will love and learn from as well. For example, in the story of Peter the Caterpillar, as Peter overcomes an obstacle despite the criticism of others children learn not to let the opinions of others stand in their way. And Peter was able to discover his potential because of it.
In The Factory of Dreams, children follow along as Ralphy the dinosaur helps others discover their dreams. When approached by a little girl that finds a flaw in his place they work together to overcome it. Children learn about taking action to follow their dreams instead of just holding them inside.
Put what you read into practice
These are just a few examples of how children can discover their potential through stories. But, it can’t stop with simply reading the story. You need to sit and read with your child and then discuss what you have read. Help your child see how they can apply it to their own life. Talk with them about what they would like to do with their life. Ask them what their interest and passions are. And, then as they grow, help them see how their potential continues to grow and develop with them.
When you know the areas that your child is very interested in or the areas that they struggle the most you can choose stories that apply directly to those circumstances. Then they can see through characters what it looks like when someone realizes their potential.
Look for ways that your child can start practicing the lessons they are learning in the stories in real life. Help them to see what actions they can take that will help them discover and use their potential. Support them as they show interest in things, even if it is not what you understand. And, don’t forget to focus on your own potential along the way as well.