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Old 08-07-2013, 01:25 PM
Location: Victoria TX
42,668 posts, read 71,638,476 times
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At what age is it appropriate for parents to start giving their kids some rational and realistic input into how they see themselves as professional career adults? This site is a few years old
Most Popular Careers Children Want when they Grow Up - best, greatest of everything ranked User Contributed Rankings - ShareRanks.com
but it shows that kids have very unrealistic expectations about their life career possibilities.

Notice that no kids want to be a salesman, but most of those who will be at least near median income will be doing something closely related to marketing. Also, being a business owneris the conventional view of the American Dream, but it comes in 29th, after Dog-walker and Princess.. Vet and zoo keeper are the ones I expected to be near the top of the list, almost all girls want to be veterinatians. I once knew a zoo curator -- he and I were scheduled for the same hour for our weekly in person report at the unemployment office.

Me? Even when I was in high school, my mental picture of myself in the successful future was standing at a cocktail party with a drink in my hand being called "Doctor" by a bunch of physicists. Ten years later, I met a real physicist. He was on his hands and knees on the floor of a college physics lab at 11 pm with a screw driver trying to fix a broken piece of equipment. So much for the glamor.

Last edited by jtur88; 08-07-2013 at 01:38 PM..
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Old 08-07-2013, 01:29 PM
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I wanted to be a paleontologist but of course thought that meant just looking at dinosaur pictures and not spending 10+ years in university digging empty pits of dirt on weekends But my parents never spoiled the idea, and let me fantasize. I'm so glad they did! If a kid is young enough to fantasize about such a career, I'm sure they are well before the point where it is relevant in choosing coursework.

Mine wants to be a penguin I'm sure that will change without my influence.
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Old 08-07-2013, 01:32 PM
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My son wants to be a video game designer. It's the only job, other than race car driver, he's ever expressed interest in.
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Old 08-07-2013, 01:36 PM
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I wanted to be an anesthesiologist because I liked the word.
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Old 08-07-2013, 01:45 PM
Location: southwestern PA
20,426 posts, read 35,777,368 times
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Originally Posted by Braunwyn View Post
I wanted to be an anesthesiologist because I liked the word.
ME too! Plus I loved biology.

My daughter wanted to be Vanna White, because she wears pretty dresses, works a half hour of the day, and only has to know her ABCs.
My son, when asked what he wanted to be when he grew up, always said 'a lottery winner'.

None of us turned out to be any of those!
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Old 08-07-2013, 01:49 PM
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
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When I was young, the only acceptable "careers" were teacher or nurse and most training and education was purely "so you will have something to fall back on". In college I majored in biology and wanted to be a vet but chemistry threw me for a loop so I dropped that for BS in Business quick enough. I always felt if my parents hadn't laughed at my vet aspirations I might have made it. I am proud to say my niece is a very successful vet and she got lots of family support along the way.

My son knew from a very early age he wanted to be a physicist. He is on his post doc now with PhD in Theoretical Physics. I saved a little book he made in 2nd grade called "My Little Book of Grabty" (gravity). I think it was a very early sign. He has been single purposed about this goal for most of his life even acknowledging he would never make any money in his chosen field but he wanted to be happy in his life's work and not rich in a miserable job.
Daughter on the other hand wavered and messed around- like most of us do but she did get a good job after college which she enjoys.

The little girls are only 11 and I refuse to start with any pressure. However I have been telling them they need a good education so they can get good jobs they will be happy in. One is talking science like her big brother while the other one says she wants to study drama. we'll see.
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Old 08-07-2013, 05:07 PM
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
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I still plan to become the ice cream truck man (I have already been a clown). I will probably make balloon animals too. Free giraffe with every orange push up.

It is not unrealistic, I will probably actually do it once I retire. there is nothing wrong with kids having dreams and far reaching goals their entire lives.

When I was in high school I decided I wanted to become an actor or a lawyer. Since my singing is beyond awful and I discovered I do not like starving, I chose lawyer. Friends and family thought that was ridiculous. I had barely a 2.0 gpa. I was a partier and a little bit of a trouble maker, however once i decided what I wanted to do, I did what i needed to do and became a lawyer. I could also have become an actor despite my singing handicap. I may have been a starving actor, but I would have been an actor. And some day - - I will be the Ice cream man!

I have always told my kids there is nothing you cannot do or become if you set your mind to it. I do not allow them to say "can't" (if they do, I sit on them). One daughter fully planned to become the first woman president. I encouraged her wholeheartedly. Eventually she realized that something like 50% or at least 30% of presidents have been shot and decided she did not want to get shot. After realizing Unicorn trainer was not really an occupation, she decided to become a PhD in Psychology and do research on how bullying and prejudice occurs in child development. I wholeheartedly encourage her in that endeavor as well. Odds are not that good, but I am confident she will accomplish it if that is what she really wants. It is all about tenacity and dedication.

My son wants to design and build high performance cars. Unrealistic? Not really. Someone does it. That is how we got the Falcon. He also has a secret dream of becoming an Olympic rower. No less realistic than if he had told me in 9th grade that he wanted to go from being the rolly poly very fat kid with asthma to a solidly muscled champion flyweight rower in two years time (he did not tell me that, but he did it). Olympics? Why not. It can be done, someone does it every four years. He can do it if that is his true desire.

Short of pure fantasy (like unicorn trainer), I do not see why any desired career is unrealistic. My kids can do anything, I am sure yours can too.

Where is ice cream man on that list? Defective list.

Last edited by Coldjensens; 08-07-2013 at 05:22 PM..
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Old 08-07-2013, 06:20 PM
341 posts, read 386,647 times
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Originally posted jtur88
At what age is it appropriate for parents to start giving their kids some rational and realistic input into how they see themselves as professional career adults?
For surely when parents take notice of any areas where their child is excelling, particularly above their counterparts, or in areas where the child shows advanced interest/desire. The older a child gets, the more parents need to be involved with this.

I come from a large family, so remember a gamut of things we all wanted to become when we grew up. Nurses, doctors, scientists, spaceship drivers, race car drivers, fireman, teachers... Always fun to listen to a young child's dreams as to where they want to go.
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Old 08-07-2013, 06:32 PM
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I wanted to be an undertaker but I didn't have enough charisma so I became an engineer.
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Old 08-08-2013, 04:09 AM
Location: Finland
6,319 posts, read 5,233,693 times
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I wanted to act. When I was really young I wanted to be a scientist because I thought I'd just spend all day mixing chemicals in beakers and watching them have cool reactions. One thing I did find amusing though, when I was in my early teens and we had to predict where we would be in 5 years and 10 years time I predicted that I would be living in Finland and that prediction came true

I have no idea what my kid wants to be, probably a Moomin.
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