When Does Your Child’s Play Become A Future Career?
Aspiring Cartographer (Map Maker)
What a joy and a pleasure it is to see a child excel at something or just enjoy what he or she is doing. This is the very reason we, as adults, need to assist our children in choosing activities that will help them behave their way to success. The majority of adults have heard a child say, "when I grow up I want to be _______." I know I have heard this from a child, and then I said, "that's nice sweety." I really didn't take the child seriously because he or she is a child, and from my experiences, children's minds change like the weather, but some children do know what they want to be when they grow up and begin pursuing their chosen career early. Some adults don't even know what they want to be when they grow up - LOL!
A child's play shows little indication of their future career aspirations, but for some children who "eat and sleep" certain activities a parent may have a sense of career direction their child might take. It would behoove parents to sit down and talk to their children about a career. Children need to know what prompted Mom and Dad to choose their careers. Was it a chance encounter with an organization? Was it something they saw on TV? Was it a speaker at career day? Was it a favorite person and what they did?
When you see a child enjoying a particular activity ask him or her, "Do you know there are people who get paid for what you are doing?" Then go on to explain the job or career. Maybe even look up what it takes to get into that career. Also, consider looking up the salaries for that career. Look up if that career will be on the rise for the future. There is a reason schools have career days for its student body. Teachers are especially adept at seeing in a child a future career - the reason for this might be because children spend most of their time at school. Teachers can also help to introduce a child to a future career because of what he or she sees as the child interacts with others on the playground. Teachers can make a game and match the game's activities to jobs. Kids love to role play. A child who loves and it great at playing basketball can be a professional basketball player. A child who loves and is great at cooking can grow up to be a professional chef. A child who loves and is great at track and field can grow up to be a coach. A child who is great at and loves to get in front of people and talk and/or read can grow up to be a lawyer.
This is a short list of some activities that a child might "eat and sleep" and may give a parent a guess of how their child's play might turn into a future career:
A Child's Activities
Book Reviewer / School Newspaper Contributor / Readers’ Circle / Blogger
Editor / Writer / Author / Columnist
Helping to operate a high school radio station / Operating TV camera at church / Radio Host
Broadcasting: Reporter / Senior Producer
Cooking Academy Participant
Dietician / Chef / Nutritionist
Building homes for local organization
Architect / Contractor / Interior Designer
Jr. Open Water Diver / Sea Camp Participant / Lifeguard
Speaks a second language
Lawn Care Service
Landscaper / Arborist
Pet Caregiver / Classes in: Wildlife Biology / Wildlife Camper / Farm Volunteer / Ranch Volunteer
Veterinary Science / Animal Husbandry / Taxonomy (the science of classifying organisms)
Musician / Singer
Composer / Lyricist
Robotics and/or Engineering Camper / Computer Programming
Engineering Disciplines / Science / BioMedical
Little League / Gymnast / Any sports
Economist / Banker / Trader
Aerospace Program Participant
Astronaut / Aerospace Engineer
Camp Counselor / National 4H Forestry Program
Conservationist / National Park Ranger
Civil Air Patrol Cadet Program
Naval Sea Cadet Corps Program (ages 13-17) and Navy League Cadet Corps Program (ages 11-14)
Ship's Captain / Marine Pilot / Navy Seal
Studying maps as a hobby
Cartographer (map making)
As your child gets older offer incentives for discovering careers that might interest them. Increase their computer time, game time, TV time, curfew, or allowance for using their healthy investigative nature in finding careers, and the required education that goes along with those career fields. Talk to your child about your chosen career path and how you arrived at it. This approach is proactive. There's nothing wrong with preparing your child for life and for encouraging their self-sufficiency.