"So, mom, what if I want to be a zookeeper and live in a double wide out in the woods when I grow up?"
So my daughter asked me the other day "So, mom, what if I want to be a zookeeper and live in a double wide out in the woods when I grow up?" and I basically said that if that's what she wants to do, then she should do it, and I will support her in any descision. I thought that was a good answer, and good mothering.
Apperently my mother disagreed. She said I was "letting her limit her own potential" and I should "push her". I, obviously, disagreed. My daughter, Sarah, is a very smart girl and could become a lawyer, but she hates confrontation and arguing. So why would I push her to do that, just because I think she'd rock it? I think that she has unlimited potential, but I would hate for her to get a job, high paying or not, that she had no passion for.
Sarah is a huge animal lover, and I can see her working at a zoo (she threw around ideas of being a zoo curator, and the like). Even when she was young and we went to the keys in Florida, I could see her working with animals - at 5 years old she said she wanted to be a marine biologist (not even kidding, she used that exact term).
I get that you want your child to do well in life and be happy, I do too. But if what they want out of life is the "simple things", why not encourage them to do it? It seems to me that if my dreams for my children and their dreams don't match up, that's MY problem, not theirs.