What Do You Want to Be When You Grow Up?

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I like adults who know how to talk to children. There are other questions to ask children besides “What grade are you in?” and “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Isn’t it embarrassing when an adult asks your child, “What grade are you in?” and your child looks at you in bewilderment: “Uh, I don’t know. What grade am I in, Mom?”

In a Christmas movie that came out more than twenty years ago, an obnoxious man has a conversation with a less-than-respectful second grader. While on an outing to see “The Nutcracker,” he says, “I bet you want to be a ballerina when you grow up, huh?” She replies: “I never said that.” He says, “It’s every little girl’s dream, isn’t it?” She replies: “What if I’m fat? What if my head’s too big? It’s too much pressure . . . . Wait until I’m in third grade. Then I’ll pick a career.” I don’t like the disrespect, but, having heard my children answer that question over and over again as they grew up, I can understand the sentiment: “Just let me be a kid, for crying out loud. Please give me some space.”

The questions don’t get easier when our children get close to adulthood or in their early adult years. Sometimes it seems that the only correct answer is, “I’m going to an Ivy League university to major in finance.” What about the young man who is off to missions training? What about the young woman who wants to stay at home and help her mother homeschool her younger siblings? What about the young man like our son John who forms a partnership with his parents and starts a new business? They don’t get the same response as the Ivy League finance major. Any of these four choices can be a great decision or a bad one, depending on the person. Be confident that you can:

Train up a child in the way he should go . . . 
Proverbs 22:6

. . .  not in the way someone else’s child should go.

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  1. You are so right here! So good to hear someone share about this very topic. There is pressure for parents to have their children be/do something “great” …in the eyes of others. We need to remain focused on doing great things but in the eyes of our Lord, for Him, no matter what others think.