If you ask most children what they want to be when they grow up, they will give you their answer with a beaming smile. At a young age, children are yet to be tainted by the cynicism that comes with life experience. As a parent, what else can you do except smile and praise them for having dreams? While some goals may be unattainable, such as the child who wants to be a mermaid-fairy-unicorn-princess, others may be realistic, but still have problems. For example, the child who dreams of becoming a doctor will have to face a reality in which people are regularly suing the NHS for compensation.

In fact, it can become increasingly difficult to nurture your child to follow their dreams when their career choices may not be as great as the roleplay games they play with their friends.

children's career choices

If we take the career of a vet, for example, the grades needed to attend university and become a veterinary nurse are typically a minimum of B, B, C, at A level standard, including Sciences. A student will also need five A to C grades at GCSE level, including English, Maths, and Science. While this may be achievable for some children, for others it might not be. There is a stark difference between pushing your child to do their best and setting them up for failure.

Likewise, some children want to be able to continue doing the things they love… and getting paid for it. Where children used to want to be sports, movie, or music stars, these kinds of celebrities are moving aside for a new career goal: the YouTuber.

Children are able to watch videos of seemingly normal people, just like them. These people spend their days playing video games, testing out new products, or trying the latest release of makeup from their favourite brands, all the while getting paid for it. This career idea is alluring to both young children and teenagers alike.

The problem here is that, while some creators will be able to earn an income from their videos, the vast majority don’t. There must be hundreds of creators or videos out there with minimal views. It simply is not realistic career choices.

Thankfully, there are still many children who have ideas that are both feasible and realistic. Some children do still want to follow traditional career paths, particularly those who want to work in more vocational roles, such as plumbers, electricians, and builders. These may not be seen as highly glamourous roles; however, they can still be very lucrative.

Overall, encouraging your child to pursue their education and work towards a career they will enjoy is always a good thing, especially if that goal is one that it is possible to achieve.

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Claire Kirby

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