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When it comes to what kids want to be when they grow up, their options are colorful and varied.  Limited only by their imaginations, kids can be anything that their minds can create. My mom loves to tell the story of me, when I was five years old and asked by a grown up what I wanted to be. Apparently, the two choices that were highest in my mind were a nun - or a stripper.

And how I knew about the second option, she had NO idea.

Kids are funny. At any given time, my own kids have vowed to be police officers, priests, teachers, opera singers, veterinarians, mounted police, and mommies with lots of babies. It can be tough to listen to each of those choices with a straight face, to avoid laughing at the earnest little face that vows to be a brick maker or cookie taster. To see that little face look up and you and hear the words, "I want to be a..." means to face the future in all of it's glory - are you ready for that?

Listen to Your Child - The desire to be a ballerina might sound far fetched, but maybe your child really does love to dance - and someone has to be the dancer in the family. Respect your child enough to lend credence to any job that is mentioned. After all, it's not up to you to throw a dash of reality on the child - society does that all too well. Is there some way you can help your child to realize their dreams?

Take Her Seriously - Above all, remember that you are the parent. You are the first person that a child will, many times, confide in, and if you blow up the child's dream to write a book, you could be causing more harm than you know. If your child has a desire to work in a field that is not typical for her gender, don't try to dissuade her with facts. Instead, support her and help her circumnavigate those gender roadblocks.

Expose Him to Many Different Careers - I once knew a boy whose father decided that his young son would be a banker. He took to every single activity that had anything to do with banking - and nothing else. As a result, when this boy failed math in college and ultimately flunked out, he had absolutely no idea in what else he could possibly interested. Expose your child to all kinds of things in all kinds of situations. You have no idea what will stick.

Build Interests - If your child loves to build, enroll him in classes that encourage this love. Maybe he will move from Lego club to Minecraft to architecture.

Don't Overlook the Obvious - Say your child likes to play sports. Odds are, there won't be a professional ball player in your future - but just maybe your child could be a great coach, athletic advisor or personal trainer. Your child might love to read - and while few people can get paid to lay around and read, it's entirely possible your child could be a librarian - or a publisher!

Never Limit Based on Gender - Fifty years ago, girls were very limited to their choices - but no longer. If your daughter wants to be an attorney or a judge, be sure to encourage her and don't tell her she's can't do it becuse she's female. She will certainly hear much of that in her life, but help her to feel that you are 100% on her side.

What did you want to be when you grew up, and did you keep the same career choice? What have your kids said they'd like to be when they grow up? How do you encourage these goals?

Š michaeljung

by on Apr. 18, 2012 at 12:00 AM
Replies (21-30):
by on Apr. 18, 2012 at 6:44 PM

 I wanted to be a vet and no i did not keep that career.. My son has been saying for a while now he wants to be a firefighter...we enrolled him in the First Responders Magnet program in his high school as it is a first step to get his feet wet and he absolutely loves it. They do alot with fire rescue and ambulance's as well. His teachers have told him he can be an EMT while he continues his education to become A Firefighter..They are all so supportive of this goal and push him the right direction!!!

by on Apr. 18, 2012 at 7:27 PM

I wanted to be a private investigator, I'm a sahm.

My dd wants to be a fashion designer, we bought her a sewing machine.

by on Apr. 18, 2012 at 7:29 PM

Lol I wanted to be a Pre K teacher but I didn't do it :( My daughter wants to be a princess lmao shes only 3 years old :) 

by on Apr. 19, 2012 at 1:49 AM

I wanted to be a veterinarian.  That changed when my dad said I would have to kill puppies and kittens. :/

by on Apr. 19, 2012 at 7:38 AM

I wanted to be a veterinarian, I changed my mind though obviously lol. My kids haven't expressed an interest yet.

by on Apr. 19, 2012 at 9:03 AM

 my son can be whatever he wants to be. Hes 17 mths now, so really he has a while to decied

by on Apr. 23, 2012 at 4:57 PM

I encouraged them to think they could accomplish what they wanted.  "Never unerestimate the power of a woman' type things tomy daughter.  When they questioned whether they wanted to apply for something, I told them if they didn't, they wouldn't get it at all and if they did, they might not, but they might too so go for it. We talked about college early on.  I would encourage them to try.  I played games with them, like chess until they won all the time and then I checked with the action line in the paper to find a chess club.  They connected with the high school kids when they were in jr. high and youngest in elementary and they could go play them after school at the high school whenever they wanted.  My daughter was the chess captiain herlast year and was on the school chess team for all 4 years.  My son decided he'd rather do band and football after school in Jr. high and band in highschool.  Both do like to play games and figure out puzzles.  Both are excellent on the computers as we had chess games on the computer and other games and had a computer in the house from when they were young.  They have passed me in that skill as well.  I taught my daughter to play chess when she was in her 2nd year of Jr. High andmy son wanted to play but he was only in the 3rd grade and I said he was too young to understand the moves.  My daughter said, "Mom, you say don't underestimate the power of a woman, well you shouldn't underestimate the power of a kid either."  I said, "Ok, but it is not easy."  He learned to play very well.  i WAS WRONG.  An elementary  kid can learn to play chess.  We didn't let them win either.  We did delay games by showing them their mistakes and allowing them to re-think it.  We sometimes moved and then  showed them whatwe could havedone that would have ended the game.  Soon we were not helping a smuch and then we were stuggling to win, and then NOT.  So they played with the chess team and chess coach.  My daughter is a computer statistics major.  My son majored in mechanical engineering and did his masters in fanance.  Oncxe they were grown, I decided to finish college and go to law school where I graduated at 50 Years old.  
When I considered law, and told my daughter I'd be 50 years old when I completed law school in 3 or 4 years and she asked, "What are are you going to be then if ou don't."  Both said, "Go for it, Mom" I did.


by on Apr. 25, 2012 at 8:09 AM

So far both of my girls are sticking to being a doctor and a far(fingers crossed). I told them when it comes to their careers and success in life to think big. Never settle for anything less.

by on Apr. 25, 2012 at 8:11 AM
1 mom liked this

I wanted to be a mermaid.....or a teacher.

Growing up, my desire to be a teacher faded, until recently, I really want to be a teacher, again!

(Anyhow, I'd still rather be a mermaid.)

by on Apr. 26, 2012 at 5:32 AM
Amber used to want to be a wrestler.
Alesha wants to be a lawyer that specializes in the medical fields.
Andre used to want to be a mechanic, but mostly he just want to blow things up-military.
Alex told me when he was three or four that he wanted to be a vegetarian until he found out that means eating vegetables. He was trying to say veternarian. He loves animals. Still does. Now he wants to be a K9 cop.
I used to want to work in a business type setting.
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