Wishing and dreaming are core parts of the human experience. From a very young age, we are told to “make a wish” when blowing out birthday candles or seeing a shooting star. This instills in us the idea that if we wish for something hard enough, it just might come true.
But how old do you really need to be before your wishes start coming true? Is there a certain age where the universe begins granting people’s deepest desires? Or is it more about personal growth and manifestation? Let’s explore this topic in more depth.
Young Children’s Wishes
Very young children, from toddlers to about age 5, will make plenty of wishes. They likely wish for simple things like a favorite toy, dessert, or to go to their favorite park. Parents may indulge some of these small wishes as a treat or to make their child happy.
But most of a young child’s bigger wishes – things like wishing they could fly, become a superhero, talk to animals, make it be Christmas every day, or other imagination-driven desires – will not literally come true. Children this young do not have a fully developed sense of reality versus fantasy.
That being said, many parents try to turn some of these big wishes into a type of reality. They may buy a cute superhero costume or take their child to meet Santa. These gestures foster a sense of magic and wonder that makes childhood so special.
Older Children’s Wishes
As children grow into the ages of 6-12 years old, their wishes start to become more concrete and aligned with reality. They begin moving away from magical thinking into an understanding of what’s plausible.
Their wishes may reflect desires like wanting a pet, getting a new video game system, going on vacation to a certain place, getting a starring role in the school play, making the soccer team, or doing well on an upcoming test at school.
While parents won’t outright make all these wishes come true, they begin supporting their child’s wishes in practical ways. This could mean agreeing to care for a pet, saving up to purchase a new gadget or trip, helping them practice for their audition, taking them to soccer tryouts, or assisting them in studying for the test.
Setting this precedent of supporting a child’s realistic wishes helps the child feel heard and like their desires matter, even if the wish doesn’t pan out exactly as imagined. The child also learns they need to put in effort to achieve their dreams.
By the time a child becomes a teenager, around 13-18 years old, their wishes reflect their evolving identity and desire for independence. Some common teen wishes involve wanting:
- More freedom and trust from parents
- To fit in and be accepted by peers
- Success in academics, sports, hobbies, and other pursuits
- A boyfriend, girlfriend, or date to an event
- The latest fashion, technology, or other material goods
- Money and a part-time job
- A car when they turn 16
- Their driver’s license
While parents grant more autonomy as teens show maturity, many of the above wishes need to be earned or learned through experience. However, parents can and should have open conversations about these desires and help set realistic goals when appropriate.
For example, a parent may agree to match their teen’s savings toward a new laptop if they contribute a portion earned through babysitting or chores. Or they may allow the use of the family car on weekends if the teen maintains good grades and obeys driving rules.
Guiding teens toward manifesting wishes teaches important lessons on budgeting, responsibility, independence, and consequences that will serve them well into adulthood.
Young Adults’ Wishes
By the time someone reaches young adulthood in their late teens and early 20s, their wishes reflect burgeoning self-sufficiency:
- Getting into a desired college or university
- Successfully graduating college or trade school
- Embarking on a desired career path
- Being able to support themselves financially
- Moving out of their parents’ home
- Traveling or living in exciting new places
- Developing meaningful relationships
While parents or mentors may provide advice during this life stage, young adults primarily pursue these wishes through their own actions. They work hard in school, network professionally, apply for jobs, budget expenses, and manifest their independence.
Some wishes may happen quickly, like getting accepted to college. Others may take years to develop, like growing a career. Either way, the experiences of young adulthood teach people that wishes require planning, effort, resilience, and patience to make come true.
As people progress through adulthood in their 20s, 30s, 40s, and beyond, their wishes focus on:
- Developing a meaningful career or reaching new heights
- Establishing financial security through promotions, raises, or smart investments
- Getting married, having a family, and/or growing relationships
- Experiencing home ownership or other big purchases
- Traveling to dream destinations
- Giving back to causes through volunteering or donations
- Discovering new hobbies that bring joy and purpose
At this life stage, adults have the autonomy and resources to turn many of their wishes into reality. However, they also have obligations like jobs, families, mortgages, and other responsibilities competing for time and money.
Adults must balance ambition with pragmatism to manifest wishes in sustainable ways. This often requires careful planning, budgeting, and timing. Some dreams may need to go on the back burner while others take priority.
But with maturity and perseverance, adults can fulfill lifelong desires like starting a business, checking off travel bucket list items, or earning an advanced degree at any age. Making thoughtful choices is key.
For seniors in their 60s, 70s, 80s and beyond, many wishes revolve around:
- Staying healthy, active and independent
- Spending quality time with family and friends
- Indulging hobbies that bring joy and purpose
- Contributing knowledge and skills to the next generation
- Revisiting favorite travel spots from their past
- Being remembered and leaving a positive legacy
Seniors have a lifetime of wisdom to know that many wishes simply come down to health, relationships, purposeful living, and making the most of the time they have left.
While seniors may need to adapt to physical or financial limitations, they can still actively pursue what matters most. This could mean taking up a new hobby, auditing a college course, volunteering with youth, going on cruises or group trips to reconnect with old friends, or recording stories and memories to pass down.
Seniors know the timeless truth – you must live your dreams today because tomorrow is never guaranteed. Their wishes reflect savoring and sharing all the beauty life still has to offer.
No Age Limit on Making Wishes Come True
As we’ve explored, people of all ages have wishes and dreams dear to their hearts. While some are fleeting childhood fancies, others reflect our deepest human yearnings.
There is no magic age when the universe starts granting every wish. But there are three key factors that make wishes possible:
- Having the wisdom to wish for the things that truly matter most, not just superficial desires of youth.
- Gaining the focus and discipline to persistently work toward wishes without giving up at obstacles.
- Forming connections with others who can support and share your wishes.
Life grants people more of these vital resources as they mature. But wisdom, drive, and relationships must be nurtured at any age to manifest wishes.
Someone who understands this truth at 20 will find more success than someone coasting aimlessly at 50. As the saying goes: “You are never too old to set another goal or dream a new dream.”
It’s true – age is just a number when it comes to making wishes come true. The wisdom to know what you want, the tenacity to work for it, and surrounding yourself with positive people can make any wish possible, if the desire comes from the heart.
The human spirit knows no age limit when it comes to imagination and creating the life you desire. Younger people may wish for superficial things without understanding their true needs. But elders can still make deep connections and find new purpose if they stay open.
Never stop dreaming at any age. Let your wishes reflect your values, not just passing fads. Pursue them with passion. Surround yourself with those who support you. And know that for wishes from the heart, it’s never too early or too late.
At the end of the day, there is no set age when people suddenly get everything they wish for. Wishes come true when they are guided by wisdom, pursued with drive, and supported by community. With those keys, wishes can transform into reality at any age.
The types of wishes simply evolve over one’s lifetime from childhood imagination to adolescent exploration to adult responsibility to senior appreciation. Yet that spark to dream lives inside human hearts forever.
So make your wish on that birthday cake, when you see a rainbow after a storm, or anytime hope rises. Dream boldly but thoughtfully. Then commit to doing the work. You have everything you need within and around you right now to make wishes real, no matter your age.