This is one of the most profound parenting principles there is:
Don't introduce resistance into their vibration.
A dream is a beautiful, powerful thing. The thought of something wanted is the first step towards allowing it into your life. An inspired idea, so beautiful and pure, and so filled with potential, has no resistance.
"I want to meet Santa Claus", the child says, all dewey with bright eyes.
Our parental instinct might be to help them see reality. To help them not to be disappointed. "Well... honey.... Santa Claus is very busy."
What then does the child think? Santa Claus is too busy to care? Too busy to make a dream come true? Or is it just them - Santa is just too busy for them?
What happens if, instead, we stop trying to make sure they are OK (from our fear-based place) and instead we joined them in their dream?
Imagine stepping into the beatiful bubble they have created in their imagination and meeting them there, in joy and wonder.
"Do you think he would come alone or would he bring some elves?"
What a wonderful discussion you could have! Does Santa always wear his red suit, or does he have casual Fridays?
Maybe your young child wants to swim with dolphins.
The parenting reaction might be:
That is the time to pause.
Even if your intentions were good, has your heart closed in fear? Fear of them having a dream they can't realize? Fear of them being disappointed? Fear of you having trouble laid upon your head in the form of whining, begging, cajoling or crying?
Instead, picture that bubble of joy they are in. Join them there, in that dream. Look around. (You are just in your imagination so you can make it up as you go.)
Wow. It is very beautiful in here.
This is magical! See the waves splashing in the pool. Feel the dolphin's body as you hold onto her while she swims. Laugh while she pushes you around with her nose.
What a fun talk you can have!
"What would you do first? Would you hug the dolphin or splash her and see if she splashes back?"
Magical connection happens when we daydream together.
But what if the discussion turns to actual reality? Your child looks up at you and asks, "Will you arrange for me to swim with one? Now?"
Now you proceed with an open-hearted conversation. One where you only promise or do what feels in integrity to you.
Take it a step at a time.
"Honey, I did some research and there is a place you can swim with dolphins. It's 1,000 miles away and I'm not comfortable planning a trip there this year."
That might be the end of the discussion. Your child might say "OK!" and go about their business. But if they press, you can explain again how the Universe works:
"I am only one person. And while I do get a lot of things for you because I am your parent, I am just one part of the big, huge Universe. The Universe is everything. The Universe always say 'yes'. I will keep picturing your dream with you, and if it feels right for me to do something, I will. But you don't need me to make your dreams come true. You only need you and You. (That big part of you that is always holding hands with the Universe.) You already said what you want. Now your job is to keep picturing what you want, and why you want it, if it makes you happy. Or, you can just go about your day and play. The Universe never forgets."
Join your child in their dreams big and small.
"Can I knock and see if the neighbors are home to play?"
"Can I get a pumpkin to carve the size of our house?"
"It's a school night" becomes: "Oooh! Tell me how you will play and get done all you need to get done tonight."
"They don't make pumpkins that big" becomes: "Would you make it a funny pumpkin, or a scary pumpkin? I know! Would you carve it into a house and live in it overnight for a Halloween sleepover?"
Of course there are times for a simple "not tonight" or "they don't make them that size", but when you add the intent to support them in their dreams two things happen:
1. They continue to blossom and live in a world of possibility.
2. And you don't feel like the keeper of NO.
A real dream come true.