Children start young with big aspirations.  They don’t start off seeing any career as a tough nut to crack – they dream big and don’t see any reason why they shouldn’t become anything from an astronaut to a zoologist. As they get older they respond to being told ‘you’ll have to work very hard to achieve that’ or ‘that’s not possible, with your results’ and modify their aspirations to more ordinary careers. Are you the kind of parent who encourages your child to think big and aim for the stars or do you, however well-intentioned, discourage them from their dreams and suggest a more attainable goal?

Does your child have a role model?

Is that someone famous like an Olympian, a musician, an actor, a scientist or even an explorer or an astronaut?  Or it might be someone they know, perhaps in the family or local area. Every famous person started out with a dream – whether it was to compete at the top of their sport, appear on TV or an arena stage, get a rocket to the stars or discovering something that will help mankind.  Why shouldn’t your child be one of those who made their dream come true? Leaders in the local community have a vision of how they want to change things for the better.  Why shouldn’t your child become one of those people who take action and make things happen? If a 14 year old Pakistani girl (Malala) can win the Nobel Peace Prize – anything is possible – and why shouldn’t it be your child?

Get your kids to dream

If your kid has a vision of what they want to be one day – don’t pour cold water on it.  Encourage them to think about it, to visualise what it might be like to work in that role.  Send them online to find out about what it entails and how they might get started – and get them to tell you all about it. Get them to research the subjects they’ll need to do well in to follow their dream and make it fun. Reality check: Kids can change their minds about their career choices – frequently!  Don’t beat them up about it – just encourage them to keep exploring and eventually they’ll find that career that will make life worth living.