by Author Lucinda Bristow

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How do we stop a child thinking that they can not achieve their dreams?

I was working with a group of children in care recently and we were talking about an opportunity we have coming up soon where children from all over the city can come together to celebrate BBC Music day and a big birthday bash. The children all seemed excited but as soon as we said that it could be televised, two of the children said "we can't do it". I asked why. They replied saying that they are not allowed to have photos taken or to be seen on tv, so they can never be famous singers. I said they may be able to when they are grown up and they replied with "no, never". So I am wondering - how many vulnerable children could possibly not even be attempting to learn to do something they may love (play, sing, act, dance even sports) because they fear, or beleive that they can never go anywhere (or get famous) with it?

I was in a similar situation when I was young where I could have no photos, media, go near windows, had to move around and I still learned to play and sing. I can not remember if I told myself that I could never be famous, I don't think that was important to me, it was just about playing and singing. So does that mean it doesn't matter? if they want to learn and play, they'll still do it? 

I always cringe slightly when a young persons goal in life is to win some of these TV talent shows as I feel that the shows are there for the wrong reasons so is it a good thing that young people don't pursue something just for fame but for the love of the actual art or whatever it is they are doing? But is it not still a shame that they feel as though they could possibly be put off learning something for fame which they could actually grow to love in it's own right?

Finally, my big question is: If a child is scared to follow their dreams, how can we connect to the ones who have already given up thought of doing it and reassure them that even without fame there is success!?