Idealistic Children: Traits and Characteristics

Idealistic children are caring and interested in the common good. But we must work closely with them on their emotions.
Idealistic Children: Traits and Characteristics

Last update: 02 August, 2022

Dreaming of a better world. Surely, throughout our lives, we’ve all thought about it on numerous occasions and have even committed ourselves to such a goal. For idealistic children, it’s a daily objective, something they think about continuously. But at what cost? Let’s take a look at the characteristics of these children.

What are idealistic children like?

You’ve probably come across someone with strong convictions about the possibility of improving the environment in which we live. Perhaps, this spirit has accompanied them all their lives and for that reason, we’re going to tell you what the most typical traits of idealistic children are:

  1. They’re very clear about their values and act according to them. Solidarity, equity, justice, and care for the environment are some of the principles that guide them. They’re concerned about something that’s “beyond” their immediate context and that’s why they move in the direction of change. In this sense, many idealistic children seek to transcend–not to earn their own merit or to be recognized, but because they believe in a better future and want to leave a different legacy.
  2. They don’t stop at words: they want to be part of the change they seek. These are infants who don’t limit themselves to dreaming and who, on the contrary, seek to drive change. They get involved in the situations that interest them and show great commitment, regardless of the difficulties they face.
  3. Theyre committed to solidarity, and their objectives transcend individual interests. They show concern for the community to which they belong, they pursue the ideal of achieving that all people enjoy a better situation than the one they have.
  4. They’re characterized by their empathy. They’re moved by the adverse situations of others, they care about those around them, and they strive to make them well and comfortable.
  5. They tend to have conciliatory, communicative, and negotiating personalities.
  6. They have positive references: They usually identify some people they admire, listen to them constantly, and want to learn from them. Then, they follow their example and seek to imitate them.

You may be interested in: 5 Games to Work on Empathy in Children

What to keep in mind about idealistic children

The real world poses a permanent challenge to idealistic children: For just as justice exists, so does injustice. Even if they try hard, their results won’t always go in the direction they want.

Many adults may say that this is the way life is, and this is absolutely true. However, idealistic children devote a lot of effort and attention to being guided by their values and pursuing their ideals, which means exposing themselves to more frustration. For that reason, here are some recommendations to accompany their upbringing.

A cartoon drawing of a child climbing up a staircase that he's drawing himself.
If you have an idealistic child, don’t try to dissuade them from fighting for their ideals. Accompany them to set achievable goals, which will allow them to get closer and closer to the great challenges they set for themself.

Talk to them a lot

Create spaces for dialogue in which they can express themselves and share what they feel and how they feel. It’s important to follow their emotions very closely, especially because they’re always worried about others.

At the same time, you need to help them deal with the frustration that causes people to behave with selfish interests. It’s essential to teach them to recognize and manage their emotions because they can be very sensitive to the realities of others and take them on as their own. Even when it comes to foreign situations over which they have little influence.

Help them think of realistic and achievable goals

In practical terms, help them “keep their feet on the ground”. It’s important to accompany these children in the process towards their goals, but also to help them to regulate themselves. For example, to understand that there are issues that take time, that the desire or action of a single person isn’t enough to achieve a great change in society.

All these tips will help them to think on a “smaller scale” and to start out by seeking to produce a positive impact on their closest and reference groups.

Always take what they say seriously

For a long time, the potential for transformation that children could exert was underestimated. This was due to the persistence of an adult-centered social criterion that weighted ideas according to the age of those who proposed them.

However, there are children who have an idealistic and committed spirit, who seek to create another possible reality and whose ideas are good. Discouraging them because we’re worried that they’ll suffer or to avoid disappointing them won’t prevent them from moving forward with their dreams. On the contrary, it will leave them without our support.

Therefore, it’s key to validate these children, recognize their desires, help them achieve their goals, and offer them the support and encouragement they need. It’s important to provide them with an education that gives them resources, allows them to face situations, and that doesn’t “clip their wings”. An education that allows them to satisfy their appetite for change and that’s not only focused on transmitting theoretical knowledge.

A child riding on his parent's shoulders, wearing rocket wings on her back.
Dreams aren’t always naïve and, on the contrary, they can keep the flame of motivation alive. So why do we try to extinguish them?

Learning from idealistic children

Many times, the adult world is characterized by an “extra” dose of rationality or objectivity and justified by the need to keep our “feet on the ground”. Because of this, parents often look at the world through realistic lenses, but forget their illusions and dreams along the way. We even leave aside the purpose or meaning of what we do.

Idealistic children come to remind us of that “what for” and they come to infect and motivate us. From our adult role, we have a lot to contribute to them and we guide them very well so that they don’t get discouraged when they stumble. But, in essence, we must allow them to be who they are and let them enlighten us with their illusions.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Pizzo, M. E. (2006). El desarrollo de los niños en edad escolar. Facultad de Psicología, Universidad de Buenos Aires.
  • López, L. M., Soto-Rubio, A., & Rico, G. M. (2015). Bullying e Inteligencia Emocional en niños. Calidad de vida y salud8(2).
  • Andrés, M. L., Castañeiras, C. E., & Richaud, M. C. (2014). Relaciones entre la personalidad y el bienestar emocional en niños. El rol de la regulación emocional. Cuadernos de Neuropsicología/Panamerican Journal of Neuropsychology8(2), 217-241.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.