Ever Talk with Your Kids About their Career Dreams?
THE GAME OF LIFE game used to be one of my favorites growing up. I think it was because I enjoyed imagining myself as a grownup; with a roll of the dice I was sailing through adulthood, marriage, kids, and makin’ play money! Of course we all know real life doesn’t always sail quite so smoothly, but I was still nostalgic and excited when Hasbro invited me to try out their new version, THE GAME OF LIFE My Dream Job game with the kids. I knew it would be a fun addition to our family game nights, but I didn’t realize the great conversations it would start, too! And it got me thinking… should I encourage my kids to dream so big? Should they really be thinking about future careers at the age of 8? And how – with my life experience (and jadedness…) – can I encourage and support their big dreams? So I went to some of my blogging mama friends to hear how they handle the subject of future careers and big dreams with their kids. Let’s hear what they have to say…
How Do You Support Your Kids Career Dreams, Mamas?
We Give Them Opportunities to Try Everything
“My 7 yr old wants to be a doctor-engineer-astronaut-cook- painter among other things. He adds professions to his list as he discovers more fun things he can be. He also likes making and editing movies. We believe in letting our kids be whatever they like. For one, it is their life and they should be given the right to choose. As their parents, I guess our job is to only prepare them for making right choices. We try to do that by giving them the opportunity to do everything. Let them try their hand at everything so that by the time they grow up they know what they really want. I am a biotechnologist by profession but I enjoy needle arts. I want my children to be able to learn that ‘there are somethings that you will enjoy as hobbies and some that you will enjoy as professions’. I think my eldest is learning that already.” Ayesha of Words and Needles
We Focus on the Need for Education
“My son wants to be a robot scientist. When talk about his what he wants to do when he grows up, we focus on the need to get an education. Studying all he can about what he wants to do will give my son a strong foundation of knowledge he can pull from while he is working.” Dierdre of JDaniel4’s Mom
We Encourage Creative Thinking
“My five year old wants to be ‘a builder and build houses and maybe hotels’. I encourage him to ask questions to learn more about being a ‘builder’ and I also introduce him to related fields such as architecture and engineering. What I encourage most is developing creative thinking and problem solving skills so that no matter what he decides to do or be in the future he will be an innovative thinker.” Jamie of Hand Made Kids Art
We Help Them Explore Through Play
“My little girl is 2 years old and wants to be Doctor. She enjoys helping people and has such a caring, thoughtful, loving nature. I encourage her through play, reading books and role play. We set up a surgery/hospital with her teddies and we work together to make them feel better. I would always teach my children that you can be whatever you want to be when you grow up and would support them in following their dreams!” Amy of Learning and Exploring Through Play
We Foster a Love for Learning
“My 5 year old son wants to be a zookeeper. My 8 year old daughter wants to be a marine biologist. My 9 year old daughter wants to be a geologist. My 14 year old daughter wants to be a protocol officer or microbiologist in the Air Force. We like science! We encourage our kids to love learning and pursue their passions and interests.” Jennifer of Royal Little Lambs
We’re Realistic & Honest About Hard Work
“My five-year-old wants to be an engineer when he grows up. He got this idea because he loves building with LEGO and we mentioned at one point that some engineers design and build structures, just like he does with LEGO. Since then he has explored other engineering fields and we have talked extensively about what chemical, electrical, mechanical, and aerospace engineers do. He is already looking forward to college when he can take all the engineering classes he desires. We do teach our kids that they can literally be and do anything when they grow up, but we teach it realistically. We talk about the schooling it takes to get there, what the actual job looks like, and even find someone in the community who does that job to talk to our kids.” Crystal of The Science Kiddo
We Teach Them to Have Faith
“My son wants to be a race car driver. I do not teach that he can be whatever he wants to be because usually he says superhero or a monster truck (like actually be the truck.) I teach that he can do whatever God gives him the ability to do and he can accomplish what he sets his mind to within reason and with God’s help. If he wants to be a race car driver but God closes that door, then he will find something else he was really meant to do. I want him to be successful and do what he loves and accomplish great things, but I ultimately want him to just try his best and trust God’s direction.” Alyssa of Arts & Crackers
We Encourage Them to Focus on Finding Their Calling
“I won’t be telling my children they can be whatever they want to be when they grow up, because I believe God has an individual plan for all of us, and I want my children to stop asking themselves ‘What should I be when I grow up?'” and instead ask ‘What should I do when I grow up that will glorify God?’ or ‘What does God desire me to become?’ Plus, sometimes life throws you a curve ball that prevents you from doing the career you always wanted to do, or doing it for long. I don’t want my children to be afraid of change, of taking leaps, of doing something uncomfortable, and certainly not of doing something hard or different. Plus, a job is only one aspect of your life It’s only one way you can truly fulfill your calling, your mission, on earth.” Katelyn of What’s Up Fagans?
(Katelyn goes into more detail in her post, Should We Really Tell Kids They Can Be Whatever They Want to Be?)
We Emphasize Process Over Results
“My boys are so different. My older son wants to be a scientist so he can discover something to create peace in the world. My youngest wants to be a SWAT team leader! I do instill that they can do and be whatever they work really hard for as long as it is also something they are passionate about. I constantly emphasize process over results in what they do. I also reinforce the idea of working hard and letting them know that if they are proud of their efforts – truly proud – then so am I. So, I hope they get that my ‘satisfaction’ depends on their level of satisfaction with themselves. Such big ideas for such little ones!” Karen of Spoil My Family
We Teach Them that it’s Okay if Goals Change or Even Go Unaccomplished
“When I was younger, my mother always told me there would always be someone better than I was, but there would always be someone worse. This always stayed with me and helped me in many situations. I went to college and studied music. I was a vocal performer. Was I the best? No. Was I the worst? No. I did my best and that’s what matters. No matter what goals we aspire to, they will influence our life for good, even if they don’t end up being our lifetime careers. My husband has a degree in Family and Marriage Counseling, but works at Walmart. Who knew he would find so much career fulfillment in shipping and receiving. He loves that he can clock in and clock out with no stress, and no exhaustion from listening to people’s problems all day. I try to pass down these lessons to my kiddos and expose them to as many career options as possible through studies of community helpers and as many subject areas as possible. If they decide to choose one path, and succeed, that’s great. If they decide to stop going that path and do something else, that’s okay too. We have a lifetime to accomplish what we’d like. There’s a time and season for all things.” Renae of Every Star is Different
We Encourage a Healthy Balance
“My daughter wants to be a teacher when she grows up, and I think she would be great at that. I want to teach my kids to pursue their passions and talents, and I believe with enough heart and determination they can achieve their goals. That said, I do want to create in them a healthy balance in life, so I try and teach them about the things that really matter in life. It’s great to pursue your dreams as long as it doesn’t come at the cost of relationships, sanity or moral decision making.” Jodi of Meaningful Mama
We Live in the Moment
“My 5 year old used to say Fire Fighter Scuba Diver Policeman (maybe that’s a thing?), but now he wants to be an inventor or creator. He has really embraced science and tinkering. My 3 year old wants to be a police officer. I support where they are at the moment and encourage it until they change their minds.” Amy of Umbrella Tree Cafe
We Let Them Chatter!
“My 11 year old wants to be an actress and a marine biologist or a scientist — she knows most theaters are open at night so she figures that she’ll be able to do both careers. And yes, we believe that letting kids talk about any career is a great thing — both of our kids have changed their ‘what I want to be when I grow up’ ideas through the years. We travel and visit many places so they are exposed to lots of different careers.” Jacquie of Edventures with Kids
A Fun Game to Inspire Important Conversations!
I love hearing from other moms – each influenced by their own backgrounds, experiences, and faiths – on how they talk with their kids about career dreams and goals. And I love that the new GAME OF LIFE game can help get the conversation started with our kids in a light and playful way, too. The new version, THE GAME OF LIFE My Dream Job, is played like the classic we moms love but also includes careers chosen by kids, for kids! Hasbro conducted an online survey in partnership with Wakefield Research of 400 kids (administered via parents) to find out what “modern” and “traditional” jobs kids are interested in today. The top picks are featured as Career Cards in this newest version of THE GAME OF LIFE game.
My kids loved picking two random Career Cards and choosing their favorite to start the game. Priscilla chose to be a Chef and Sawyer chose to be a Race Car Driver. When they came to the Night School Stop Sign on the game board, Sawyer chose to pay for some education and upgrade his career to the higher paying Secret Agent while Priscilla skipped Night School and remained a Chef. It was fun to go over the pros and cons of each choice with them and interesting to see their choices. And at the end of the game when we counted up our “lifetime” earnings, we had a great conversation about how money isn’t actually the goal in real life, but having fun and loving one another along the way is instead. I was really impressed by the “big” conversations we easily wove into our board game fun!
THE GAME OF LIFE game featuring the new fun Career Cards is available on shelves now at most major retailers. It retails for $19.99 and is for 2-4 players, ages 8 years & older (but my Priscilla – at age 6 – love it, too!). THE GAME OF LIFE My Dream Job game can also be purcahsed at HasbroToyShop.com. You can find ind out more information about THE GAME OF LIFE at www.HasbroGames.com and follow Hasbro Gaming on Facebook and @HasbroNews on Twitter.
Take Your Child to Work Day – Another Great Teaching Moment!
Another great opportunity to teach your kids about future careers and dreams is coming up THIS WEEK! Take Your Sons or Daughters to Work Day is April 23rd, 2015. What a fun opportunity to show your child what you do for a career and get the conversation going about what their future career goals are.
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This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Hasbro THE GAME OF LIFE. Please see mydisclosure policy.