A sense of vocation

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Malika, Jan 2, 2012.

  1. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    My son, aged five, has a clear (long-standing) ambition to be a policeman. The motivation and rewards are very clear to him - he wants to catch burglars, shoot them if necessary (no comment), ride the car with the alarm on and help people. I would of course be very happy if he ends up on that side of the law...
    Just wondering. Did your children have childhood ambitions that were actually realised? If your children are small, what do they say they want to be or do later?
  2. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    most small kids want to be everything from policeman, fireman, super hero's, nurses or doctors, veterinarians (for some reason a large number of difficult child's have this ambition), whatever their parents do, and whatever they happen to see or hear about a lot at the moment.

    My middle son decided at 8 years old that he wanted to be a Marine and he stuck to that. I think that was mostly because his beloved grandfather was a Marine in World War II and he wanted to be just like him. Whatever worked. It kept him on the straight and narrow because he knew he had to be very good in order to get in and get his secret clearance he needed for the job he wanted.
  3. skeeter

    skeeter New Member

    My son decided at age 12 he wanted to be an air craft mechanic. He became a member of Civil Air Patrol at that age (did it all on his own, which for my extremely shy son was a miracle in and of itself). His ASVAB scores were so high that all branches wanted him, so he went up one day after high school to the building that has all in it and went back and forth till he got the best deal (Navy). Served 4 years in the Navy - his CAP rank transferred to the Navy, he started basic an E2, came out 9 weeks later an E3, and spent 4 years on the USS Truman working on F18 engines. He's currently in school for avionics.

    His younger brother, on the other hand, still has no idea what he wants to do, but he is working and living on his own, which is a good thing.
  4. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    Around J's age Matt wanted to be a teacher. It was something he talked about and developed in his mind for about a year. Sadly around 6 or so, his mental illness took over his brain, and he stopped talking about wanting to be anything. It was he could do function daily.

    Maybe around 14 he realized his gift for animals, and we encouraged that to him as a possible vocation - he was also an incredible artist and he thought about doing something with that. Again, sadly around 16 all of that went out the window, as he could barely function on the most basic level. He completely stopped drawing - and he was really, really good. He just said one day he stunk at it, and has not drawn since.

    Now, at 21, he is starting to process life again, and wants to go to school to be a horticulturist - but I am not sure where reality lies there as his learning difference is so disabling and frustrating for him. But anything is possible - I have told him that from the beginning - he just has to want it badly enough. I would love for him to start drawing again - but I think it is almost like me with writing - sometimes it is painful to tap into that side of the pysche. Maybe as he starts to heal he will again.

    Wow - that sounded depressing I guess. I guess when you are looking at a non-mentally ill child there are many kids who knew what they wanted to be since they were tots. However, even on the healthy side of my family, no one really defined a profession until they were in college. My dad wanted to be a forest ranger his whole life - went to college - and in his second year he fell in love with science. He pursued a highly successful career as a cell biologist - and won many awards. He died, still doing his science. He loved it - but had no concept of his love for it, until a mentor introduced him to this field. So talk about 2 careers that are polar opposites! But he never lost his love for the out of doors - and that he firmly instilled in his entire family. Thank you Dad.
  5. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    I "thought" I knew what I wanted to do when I grew up... even started univ with that as my major... and stunk at it. Switched majors...
    I know lots of people who had careers but didn't know what they "really" wanted to do until they were 40, or 50, or 60...

    SO... chances of an elementary-aged kid "really" knowing? I'm not so sure.
    Not unless its fuzzy like one little boy I know: "I'm not sure, but I think when I grow up I'll probably have something to do with business"
  6. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Well, I'm not taking J's ambition entirely seriously at this point :) Give it another 10 years.
    That is sad about Matt, Steely. The potential is still there in him; it would be great if that could still flower. He is still young, still has his life ahead of him.
  7. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Sometimes, it is a clue as to "current interests".
    K1 went through a "fireman" phase - and we looked for any chance for him to be around firefighters (community events and such). Then it was "EMT" (emergency medical technician). And so on. He - and we - learned a lot. Biggest thing HE learned? "Nah, that really isn't me..."

    Still doesn't know what he wants to be, though... and he's got 10 years on J!

    Maybe in another ten years?
  8. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Well, you all know Q is going to be a NASCAR driver! never varies. But we do discuss, now that he is getting older, having a plan B etc.

    I heard this story on the radio station I listen to about a little boy who wanted to be a policeman so desperately so for Christmas they gave him a bike equipped with a siren and light. He is now actually a policeman! I always knew I wanted to me a mom, for sure, 100%. NO matter what else I did. So I did get to do that.

    I think most kids pick from the visible careers/jobs that they see when they are little. The ones in stories and that are filled with action and good guys. Most kids when we ask them in preschool will say a dr., nurse, police officer, fire fighter, mommy (not a daddy as much...maybe they think it but dont think of it as being a career??? but boys who are little will say they want to be a mommy), army guy, and a teacher. So odds are some of those will really happen since they are pretty common jobs! then there are the ones who will be the president!

    I think it is great to encourage those early ambitions. It validates their feelings and helps them look for characteristics in those jobs that they want to try to emulate. (I know the shooting thing is common too...with J it may need to be toned down but I had a nephew that was so obsessed with guns when little we WERE worried, threw a fit in every convenience store or anywhere he saw one and couldn't have it...just a super peace loving and funny kid now) I bet you have fun hearing him talk about that.
  9. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    FOREVER easy child wanted to be a pastry chef. We were visiting culinary schools when she was 14 and she did end up getting her pastry arts degree at the CIA, which was the only school she would consider and which we are very proud of (and I'm still paying off). She was our first born and, well, we were naive, 'nuff said. However, she no longer works in that field-she's a nursery school teacher and day care floor manager for 5-11 year olds. She is currently pursuing another degree in education. She usually completes what she sets out to do.

    difficult child has a compassionate heart. I do not think she's listened so she's floated from job to job. I think something working with either animals would be good for her or something in the medical field. When she was little she wanted to be a veterinarian and then later a phlebotomist...I guess we shall see.

    Right now I'm just glad that they're both gainfully employed and not into drugs or alcohol!
  10. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Miss KT's first grade teacher asked me what her strengths were, so that we could build on those strengths towards a future career. I said she would either be an attorney so she could be paid to argue with people, or a TV reporter so she could see something happen and go tell everybody all about it.

    She's now a junior in college, majoring in communications, with an emphasis on broadcast journalism.