“What do you want to be when you grow up?” It’s a question every parent has asked their child at one point or another. But is it the best question to ask?
It may seem harmless, but for some children, this question can lead them down an endless path of stress and anxiety about what they should be doing with their lives instead of focusing on what they enjoy. This article will discuss why it’s important for parents not to constantly ask about a child’s future aim and how these questions can hurt your child in the long run!
Do All Children Have a Future Aim?
No, not all children have future aims. Some are still too young to know what they want to be when they grow up and may only want to enjoy school or play with their friends. Young minds can’t take so much responsibility, and that is why a parent mustn’t keep asking about their child’s future aim. Take a look at these reasons listed below will let you know why.
- Children shouldn’t feel too responsible.
Children are too young to feel the weight of responsibility and future aims. If they know their future objective, then it will be a lot more difficult for them to enjoy themselves because they have so much on their shoulders. They need time to learn how things work before feeling pressured about future goals.
Having future goals puts pressure on children because they feel obligated to do what their future aims are. Without plans, a child can enjoy themselves without feeling like anything is missing or that they need to achieve something, and this will allow them time to figure out who they want to be.
- Goals keep changing
It is impossible to know what may happen in the future. One future goal for a child can change, which means that the parents shouldn’t hope big. And if you show them that you’re happy with one aim of theirs, they’ll feel burdened when they wish to change it.
- Identity foreclosure
Making future goals for a child can cause the child to feel like they have less control over their future and have already been planned out. They may even think, “I’m not good enough because I don’t know what my future is.”
- Limiting future options
Telling a child too much about what you want them to do in the future can limit the future options. Letting them discover their future goals on their own will allow them to think creatively and not feel trapped by your expectations.
- Their creativity will stop.
Having future goals set for them before they are even old enough to have a voice can cause creativity to stop. A child will not want to explore other options if it might go against what you’ve planned out in the future.
So How Can You Ask About It?
Instead of asking them about their future aim or stating that you’ll be happy if they choose a particular goal, you can ask these questions.
- What do you love doing?
- Have you recently found a new hobby?
- Do you have a favourite subject in school?
- What do your friends enjoy doing?
- Can they tell that you are happy with what they like to do and who they spend their time with every day?
- Keep asking these questions for oriented discussions. It will help them find out what it is that interests them but also allow the parent to
It would be best if you never asked a child what they want to do in the future directly because it may make them worried about making mistakes or cause them to stop discovering.
If Your Child Already Has a Future Aim, What Can You Do?
If you believe your child has found their forever profession, you can help them in many ways. But at the same time, don’t keep asking about their future aim again and again for reassurance. Let them go with the flow, and you can do these:
- Encourage them and support their path. Your child needs to know that they have the right and ability to succeed in life if they want it.
- Be a role model for your child by living out what you encourage them to do to avoid confusion over time.
- Help make decisions when needed and allow them to make decisions when they are ready.
- The future is not predetermined, and it’s up to us what we want our future to be. So let your child know that you’re okay if their aim changes.
If you wish for the best future, then help your child set out on a journey that will lead them there. And remember: You never know until you try! Enrol them in additional courses and such to see how well their interest is progressing.
What If Your Child Has No Future Aim and Doesn’t Even Talk About It?
If your child does not have a aim, it is up to you, the parent. You can teach them about future options and let them explore their interests as they grow older. Teach them how to take care of themselves when they’re on their own so that even if there’s no ambition, for now, all hope isn’t lost.
According to the Center for Public Education, “It is well known that students without definite aims are at greater risk of dropping out.” The statement above means they’re more likely to graduate high school and either work instead of continuing their studies or drop out altogether. So rather than asking this question to figure their aim, teach them about goals and how they work. Let them find something exciting, and we’re sure that they’ll one day come and let you know about their purpose.
When we ask a child what they want to do with their lives, most parents are just nosy. We may not always get the response we’re looking for, but it doesn’t have to be all “no”s. They might change their minds as they grow up, so don’t pressure them and hurt yourself when your expectations fail. Embrace your child’s individuality and let them grow in a flow. They’ll eventually figure out their purpose, so be their guide always.