The Daily Juggle
The Daily Juggle
Does it really matter what our children want to be when they grow up?
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One of my friends told me a funny story the other day. She received a strange phone call from the class mother for her child's kindergarten class. The 'class mother' is the person (obviously a mother otherwise the role would be called class parent) assigned to keep the rest of the mothers/parents informed of the events in the classroom. I assume it was a position created by teachers to keep most of the parents at arms length.
The mother spoke in hushed tones as she informed my friend that she might like to arrange for her son to redo his drawing for the art exhibit. My friend was perplexed. Her son was five-years-old so what could be so bad about his drawing, apart from it lacking artistic genius (and she would have been ok about that)?
It was what he drew rather than how that had the class mother in a flap. The teacher had asked the children to draw a picture of what they wanted to be when they grew up.
My friend's son drew a garbage collector, complete with garbage truck. The truck was extremely detailed and a great likeness as my friend's son was obsessed with them. Each week when the garbage truck parks out front of my friend's home her son races out to watch the well-drilled operation. He is intrigued with how the mechanical arm collects the bin, lifts it up and empties the contents into the back of the truck. He is, after all, a five-year-old boy.
"Why would I want him to redo the drawing?" asked my friend, who had no idea why she had been drawn into that conversation.
"It's not really a suitable career for him," the class mother said in her best concerned voice, "I thought you'd be upset, especially with your career."
As my friend tells it, she was close to speechless at that moment. Yes, my friend is a successful executive in the corporate world. And as bright as she is, she failed to understand how that was relevant to her son's fantasy future.
"I'm fine with him wanting to be a garbage collector," she said, "he tells me that all the time".
The story gave us a laugh but it did make us wonder why that woman would think that a career-focused mother would be more likely to want her child to pursue a certain type of career. Don't we all just want our kids to be happy?
On the afternoon of the art exhibit my friend's son stood proudly beside his fabulous drawing of a garbage truck and garbage collecting man. His little chest was stuck out proudly as he showed his mum and dad his work.
He became animated as he pointed out the various points of interest in the drawing. My friend barely heard what he was saying she was so caught up in his passion for the subject. How on earth could she have asked him to draw a different career just to appease the prejudice of another parent?
Does it really matter what our children think they want to be when they grow up? Do you believe that parents with successful careers should have certain expectations for their child's career?
What did you want to be when you were growing up?