Supporting their dreams
"I don't think children should be denied their dreams..."
I don't think children should be denied their dreams. If they want to try out something, let them. If they fail or don't like it at least it gave them the opportunity to at least find out for themselves. It's pointless following a dream that is not meant to be without experiencing it (it's just a dream) when they could be following their true path because they have realised where their stregths and weaknesses lie.
I don't think parents should push children either. The more we protect them, the harder they're going to fall when they're older. They need to know that they might not always win that prize or come first and it's ok. Encourage them to acheive and give them your praise no matter what. Hopefully they will eventually succeed at what they are meant to.
Everybody has their talents and by trying out diffrerent things they will soon find out what they like and don't like. When my daughter was younger (about 4) she really wanted to do ballet. I said no. She is now almost 9 and is not interested. If she had to ask now, I would let her try it out. From about the age of 6 or 7 we should let them start spreading their wings. Educate them on different career choices and let them find their path.
Ultimately they are going to have to face confrontation or negative criticism at some stage in their life. We should educate and guide them on how to handle these situations early on so that they can handle them as teenagers and grow into mature adults.