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"What will you be when you grow up?"

They say hindsight is 20/20 vision.  When I reflect upon my childhood hopes and dreams, I feel like I can see how early on I exhibited signs of what I would "be", although "what I will be when I grow up" is an ever-refining answer.  I knew, always, that I would be a working mama that attempted to juggle career and family at the same time.  This I learned from my own mama, who - to this day - impresses me with her commitment to career, community, and family.  I knew I wanted to be like her, a career woman that was also a leader in my community.  

I was flipping through a magazine recently and noticed the line "Eames knew from an early age he would be an architect and designer" and there was mention of sketches from as early as 8 years old.  Granted, not everyone has such a strong calling at such an early age, but don't we have inklings?

I have a 13-year old daughter and I constantly wonder: "what will she be when she grows up?"  I don't want to pressure her to choose, but I want to help her dig deeper into her interests.  If she loves art, I want to help her find outlets to explore art more.  If she likes math or science, I want to help her find ways to express that interest (there is the math club at school).  If she likes fashion, maybe there is a sewing lounge?

When she was younger, we tried it all.  Some of it she liked (sports & music), some she didn't (dance & theater).  How do you listen to your youth for cues on how to help them explore more into their likes and loves?  Do you sometimes envision what your young one will "be when s/he grows up?"


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Good question. Also, how do you gently steer your child to become a doctor?! (I have never personally known any doctors to ask them how they got where they are today, but I suspect they all benefitted from some familial nudging and support.)

Going to med school is something that one has to REALLY want for themselves. Being a doctor is not all that prestigious as it once was. Med school is NOT a cake walk, nor is it for everyone. I can tell you the hours suck. Unless you have a supportive spouse, so, etc. personal relationships are difficult to maintain. I can also say, the pay in ratio to the liability is hardly worth it. The dream of helping others is real. The reality is that your not much more than a customer service representative.
I had no guidance from my uneducated parents. They even told me at one point, I didn't need to go to college!?!?? So examine where your childs' interests truly lie, and gently guide them to explore career options. Some tweeking maybe necessary, but don't push your "wants" or "should haves" onto your child.

Thanks for your perspective. I am really not a pushy mother, just want what I perceive to be better for my daughter. I followed my dreams into a job that I grew to not love so I don't really buy into the follow your dreams and the $$ will follow or whatever the saying goes. I want her to follow the $$ I guess, even though the 18 year old me would be horrified to hear that!

Following money is ok, as long as you have an interest in making a career out of it. I excelled in the sciences, hence the decision to pursue medicine. I think I would have been just as happy pursing a nursing career. Less time in school, less student loans, and ultimately less liability in the working world but still having direct patient care. If you have a half a million dollars and 10 years to devote to undergrad/med school/residency and it really is your life dream, then go for it. Just my 2 cents.

I was encouraged towards science because I loved science as a child... but I learned as a college student that I didn't want to actually DO science. What you like to learn in school often doesn't present a direct path to any future job... with the exception of people like doctors!

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