What do you want to be when you grow up?
It’s a question we all ask our kids. I’m not sure why, but it’s just so darn exciting to hear what they’ll say. Maybe we’re hoping they’ll say Tiger Woods. Or Britney Spears. Then again, maybe not. Yikes.
The first time I asked our six-year-old this question was when he was about four-and-a-half years old. He told me he wanted to be a paleontologist. And a policeman. And a race-car driver. He said it with a straight face.
I smiled and told him he was going to be a busy guy. He responded by saying he wanted to be a daddy as well. Melt my heart.
When I asked our daughter this question, she was just under four-years old. She said she wanted to be a ballerina teacher. And a mommy. She’s recently added paleontologist to the list. Which makes sense, of course, now that she’s four-and-a-half.
So when should we start taking this question seriously? Should we have our children enrolled at dinosaur camps across the U.S.? Should we be teaching our son about law enforcement? Should we have our daughter creating lesson plans for her ballerina class?
The reason I ask this question is because I see a lot of parents out there who don’t know what they want to be when they grow up. Some are OK with it. Others are not. I think it’s something we should explore more often with our children as a lot of them have passions that are already emerging and it would be great to harness that energy. Perhaps we can even give them a gentle nudge down the right path.
For example, that little boy (my son) who said he wants to be a race-car driver recently asked me if we could spend Saturday watching NASCAR together. I chuckled. However, when I did remember to turn on the TV during a recent NASCAR event (which I never do) he was so excited he could barely contain himself. He immediately honed in on the #18 car (with the M&M paint job) and cheered for it the entire time.
So now I’m asking myself, “does he really want to be a race-car driver when he grows up? Should we be seeking a sponsor who can get us a race-car?”
When did you know what you wanted to be? Should we encourage our kids to give their future more consideration? Did you actually become what you wanted to be?
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