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The 15 Biggest Wishes Of Children Around The World – And How You Can Help

The 15 Biggest Wishes Of Children Around The World – And How You Can Help
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Children are pretty awesome, right? Maybe you have some who you love to tiny pieces, or maybe you want some, maybe, one day.

Whatever your own personal story, the relationship we have towards children is one of the most important of our lives. How we develop with children as people, even if we choose to have nothing to do with them at all: it profoundly shapes who we are and who we become.

Children dream big and wish hard. Take yourself back. Remember when you were looking up at that big old world, projecting your hopes and dreams. How do those hopes and dreams compare with those of children today?

Here are the 15 biggest wishes of children around the world and how you can help.

1. The Wish To Have Fun

LH_fun

    When asked by adults, children will answer questions about what they want to be when they grow up. But the chances are they are probably happier sticking in the ‘now’ and doing whatever it takes to just have fun and enjoy themselves. You can take a step back and let this happen as often as possible.

    Agoes Antara

    2. The Wish To Play

    LH_play2

      If you’re lucky, fun and enjoyment can come in a great many forms when you’re a kid. Play is usually at the heart of it. Play allows children’s imaginations to run riot, it gives a channel for competition, it lets them immerse and lose themselves, forgetting everything else. Much like it can for adults. You can create an environment or design a schedule where, for a certain time, play is put right at the top of the agenda.

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      Enrique Castro-Mendivil

      3. The Wish For Mischief

      15-biggest-wishes-of-children

        Children like to test how far they can go with adults. They revel in cheek, little masters and mistresses when it comes to prodding adults, and often taking enormous amusement in our great displeasure. You can accept their devilish tendencies, and try not to let your temper fray to soon.

        Mark Hawkins

        4. The Wish To Experiment

        LH_experiment

          Closely related to both the Wish For Mischief and the Wish For Place is the Wish To Experiment. It’s about testing, probing, learning and discovery. You can let them try things and make their own mistakes, even if they take the occasional bump along the way.

          Dima Vazinovich

          5. The Wish To Be Accepted

          LH_acceptance

            No child wants to feel like the outsider, although many do. They want recognition, appreciation, engagement and acceptance – much like adults. You can unconditionally accept and forgive them any misdemeanours, not banish them to their rooms for too long.

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            Karma Jigme

            6. The Wish For Friendship

            LH_friendship

              For the most part, children like the company of other children; even the most independent and the most happy playing on their own. They’re probably not on Facebook yet, so you can make sure they have a small social circle.

              Jake Olson

              7. The Wish For Safety

              LH_safety

                Children can be improbably adaptable. Many children might not wish for safety, having little idea of real physical risk. But those children with an instinctive understanding of an environment that definitely isn’t safe, they will crave it like nothing else. You can try not to expose children to dangers and potential damage.

                Fotos Fatea

                8. The Wish For Peace

                LH_peace2

                  A close relation of the Wish For Safety comes the Wish For Peace. If you’re a child whose day-to-day existence is blighted by the threat of bombs, gunfire, terrorist attacks, a basic lack of basic supplies, your experience of childhood will be distinctly unlike many. Unless you have considerable political power, there’s not likely to be much you can do about this one.
                  Imgkid

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                  9. The Wish For Food

                  LH_food

                    Children need fuel. Some of them a bit more than others, but for all of them it’s another fundamental human need. You can make sure it’s there when they need it.

                    Mandy

                    10. The Wish For Trust

                    LH_trust

                      Children can be disarmingly trusting of people; even complete strangers. But it’s likely that only those who have been betrayed or deceived will wish for trust. You can be honest, give them no reason to mistrust you.

                      Ipoenk Graphic

                      11. The Wish For Home

                      LH_home

                        Being adaptable, children can move around a lot on the whim of circumstance. But they need a comfortable, safe place to call home. You can try to give them that.
                        Muhammed Muheisen

                        12. The Wish For Parents

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                        LH_parents

                          Once again, their adaptability and experiences may mean that children do not necessarily yearn for a missing parent. But most will. All you can do is be there, and try to make sure your other half is too.

                          Maeka Alexis

                          13. The Wish Not To Work Too Hard

                          LH_work

                            Adaptable as they are, children should be allowed to be children: play, have fun, experiment. You can try to remember this, once they’ve finished washing up, mowing the lawn and building the latest extension.

                            14. The Wish To Learn

                            LH_learn

                              They might not admit it, but children want to learn new things. That’s why they play, explore, discover for themselves. You can let them be the human sponges they are, create environments and make games where they can make discoveries and learn new skills.

                              Светлана Квашина

                              15. The Wish To Wish

                              LH_wish

                                Children want time to dream and wish. The school holidays in summer last about five years in child-time. Let them use some of that to be idle, to drift, to dream, to wish.

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                                Elena Shumilova

                                Featured photo credit: Smiling Eyes/Mark Hawkins via composedimages.co.uk

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                                Last Updated on July 20, 2021

                                How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

                                How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)
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                                You’re standing behind the curtain, just about to make your way on stage to face the many faces half-shrouded in darkness in front of you. As you move towards the spotlight, your body starts to feel heavier with each step. A familiar thump echoes throughout your body – your heartbeat has gone off the charts.

                                Don’t worry, you’re not the only one with glossophobia(also known as speech anxiety or the fear of speaking to large crowds). Sometimes, the anxiety happens long before you even stand on stage.

                                Your body’s defence mechanism responds by causing a part of your brain to release adrenaline into your blood – the same chemical that gets released as if you were being chased by a lion.

                                Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you overcome your fear of public speaking:

                                1. Prepare yourself mentally and physically

                                According to experts, we’re built to display anxiety and to recognize it in others. If your body and mind are anxious, your audience will notice. Hence, it’s important to prepare yourself before the big show so that you arrive on stage confident, collected and ready.

                                “Your outside world is a reflection of your inside world. What goes on in the inside, shows on the outside.” – Bob Proctor

                                Exercising lightly before a presentation helps get your blood circulating and sends oxygen to the brain. Mental exercises, on the other hand, can help calm the mind and nerves. Here are some useful ways to calm your racing heart when you start to feel the butterflies in your stomach:

                                Warming up

                                If you’re nervous, chances are your body will feel the same way. Your body gets tense, your muscles feel tight or you’re breaking in cold sweat. The audience will notice you are nervous.

                                If you observe that this is exactly what is happening to you minutes before a speech, do a couple of stretches to loosen and relax your body. It’s better to warm up before every speech as it helps to increase the functional potential of the body as a whole. Not only that, it increases muscle efficiency, improves reaction time and your movements.

                                Here are some exercises to loosen up your body before show time:

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                                1. Neck and shoulder rolls – This helps relieve upper body muscle tension and pressure as the rolls focus on rotating the head and shoulders, loosening the muscle. Stress and anxiety can make us rigid within this area which can make you feel agitated, especially when standing.
                                2. Arm stretches – We often use this part of our muscles during a speech or presentation through our hand gestures and movements. Stretching these muscles can reduce arm fatigue, loosen you up and improve your body language range.
                                3. Waist twists – Place your hands on your hips and rotate your waist in a circular motion. This exercise focuses on loosening the abdominal and lower back regions which is essential as it can cause discomfort and pain, further amplifying any anxieties you may experience.

                                Stay hydrated

                                Ever felt parched seconds before speaking? And then coming up on stage sounding raspy and scratchy in front of the audience? This happens because the adrenaline from stage fright causes your mouth to feel dried out.

                                To prevent all that, it’s essential we stay adequately hydrated before a speech. A sip of water will do the trick. However, do drink in moderation so that you won’t need to go to the bathroom constantly.

                                Try to avoid sugary beverages and caffeine, since it’s a diuretic – meaning you’ll feel thirstier. It will also amplify your anxiety which prevents you from speaking smoothly.

                                Meditate

                                Meditation is well-known as a powerful tool to calm the mind. ABC’s Dan Harris, co-anchor of Nightline and Good Morning America weekend and author of the book titled10% Happier , recommends that meditation can help individuals to feel significantly calmer, faster.

                                Meditation is like a workout for your mind. It gives you the strength and focus to filter out the negativity and distractions with words of encouragement, confidence and strength.

                                Mindfulness meditation, in particular, is a popular method to calm yourself before going up on the big stage. The practice involves sitting comfortably, focusing on your breathing and then bringing your mind’s attention to the present without drifting into concerns about the past or future – which likely includes floundering on stage.

                                Here’s a nice example of guided meditation before public speaking:

                                2. Focus on your goal

                                One thing people with a fear of public speaking have in common is focusing too much on themselves and the possibility of failure.

                                Do I look funny? What if I can’t remember what to say? Do I look stupid? Will people listen to me? Does anyone care about what I’m talking about?’

                                Instead of thinking this way, shift your attention to your one true purpose – contributing something of value to your audience.

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                                Decide on the progress you’d like your audience to make after your presentation. Notice their movements and expressions to adapt your speech to ensure that they are having a good time to leave the room as better people.

                                If your own focus isn’t beneficial and what it should be when you’re speaking, then shift it to what does. This is also key to establishing trust during your presentation as the audience can clearly see that you have their interests at heart.[1]

                                3. Convert negativity to positivity

                                There are two sides constantly battling inside of us – one is filled with strength and courage while the other is doubt and insecurities. Which one will you feed?

                                ‘What if I mess up this speech? What if I’m not funny enough? What if I forget what to say?’

                                It’s no wonder why many of us are uncomfortable giving a presentation. All we do is bring ourselves down before we got a chance to prove ourselves. This is also known as a self-fulfilling prophecy – a belief that comes true because we are acting as if it already is. If you think you’re incompetent, then it will eventually become true.

                                Motivational coaches tout that positive mantras and affirmations tend to boost your confidents for the moments that matter most. Say to yourself: “I’ll ace this speech and I can do it!”

                                Take advantage of your adrenaline rush to encourage positive outcome rather than thinking of the negative ‘what ifs’.

                                Here’s a video of Psychologist Kelly McGonigal who encourages her audience to turn stress into something positive as well as provide methods on how to cope with it:

                                4. Understand your content

                                Knowing your content at your fingertips helps reduce your anxiety because there is one less thing to worry about. One way to get there is to practice numerous times before your actual speech.

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                                However, memorizing your script word-for-word is not encouraged. You can end up freezing should you forget something. You’ll also risk sounding unnatural and less approachable.

                                “No amount of reading or memorizing will make you successful in life. It is the understanding and the application of wise thought that counts.” – Bob Proctor

                                Many people unconsciously make the mistake of reading from their slides or memorizing their script word-for-word without understanding their content – a definite way to stress themselves out.

                                Understanding your speech flow and content makes it easier for you to convert ideas and concepts into your own words which you can then clearly explain to others in a conversational manner. Designing your slides to include text prompts is also an easy hack to ensure you get to quickly recall your flow when your mind goes blank.[2]

                                One way to understand is to memorize the over-arching concepts or ideas in your pitch. It helps you speak more naturally and let your personality shine through. It’s almost like taking your audience on a journey with a few key milestones.

                                5. Practice makes perfect

                                Like most people, many of us are not naturally attuned to public speaking. Rarely do individuals walk up to a large audience and present flawlessly without any research and preparation.

                                In fact, some of the top presenters make it look easy during showtime because they have spent countless hours behind-the-scenes in deep practice. Even great speakers like the late John F. Kennedy would spend months preparing his speech beforehand.

                                Public speaking, like any other skill, requires practice – whether it be practicing your speech countless of times in front of a mirror or making notes. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect!

                                6. Be authentic

                                There’s nothing wrong with feeling stressed before going up to speak in front of an audience.

                                Many people fear public speaking because they fear others will judge them for showing their true, vulnerable self. However, vulnerability can sometimes help you come across as more authentic and relatable as a speaker.

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                                Drop the pretence of trying to act or speak like someone else and you’ll find that it’s worth the risk. You become more genuine, flexible and spontaneous, which makes it easier to handle unpredictable situations – whether it’s getting tough questions from the crowd or experiencing an unexpected technical difficulty.

                                To find out your authentic style of speaking is easy. Just pick a topic or issue you are passionate about and discuss this like you normally would with a close family or friend. It is like having a conversation with someone in a personal one-to-one setting. A great way to do this on stage is to select a random audience member(with a hopefully calming face) and speak to a single person at a time during your speech. You’ll find that it’s easier trying to connect to one person at a time than a whole room.

                                With that said, being comfortable enough to be yourself in front of others may take a little time and some experience, depending how comfortable you are with being yourself in front of others. But once you embrace it, stage fright will not be as intimidating as you initially thought.

                                Presenters like Barack Obama are a prime example of a genuine and passionate speaker:

                                7. Post speech evaluation

                                Last but not the least, if you’ve done public speaking and have been scarred from a bad experience, try seeing it as a lesson learned to improve yourself as a speaker.

                                Don’t beat yourself up after a presentation

                                We are the hardest on ourselves and it’s good to be. But when you finish delivering your speech or presentation, give yourself some recognition and a pat on the back.

                                You managed to finish whatever you had to do and did not give up. You did not let your fears and insecurities get to you. Take a little more pride in your work and believe in yourself.

                                Improve your next speech

                                As mentioned before, practice does make perfect. If you want to improve your public speaking skills, try asking someone to film you during a speech or presentation. Afterwards, watch and observe what you can do to improve yourself next time.

                                Here are some questions you can ask yourself after every speech:

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                                • How did I do?
                                • Are there any areas for improvement?
                                • Did I sound or look stressed?
                                • Did I stumble on my words? Why?
                                • Was I saying “um” too often?
                                • How was the flow of the speech?

                                Write everything you observed down and keep practicing and improving. In time, you’ll be able to better manage your fears of public speaking and appear more confident when it counts.

                                If you want even more tips about public speaking or delivering a great presentation, check out these articles too:

                                Reference

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