Be a role model
“What do you want to be when you grow up?” must be one of the most common questions asked of children. Answers from our five-year-old have ranged from a professional golfer to an app developer. (It makes me feel old that ‘app developer’ wasn’t even a career choice when I was his age!)
I’m very aware of how important it is to give your children a positive impression of the world of work. As parents, we’re always role models in everything we do and work is no exception.
During the week, my husband commutes into London to work, and I look after Ethan and work from home. I’m really conscious about making sure that our son understands that just because I’m at home, it doesn’t mean I’m not working!
It’s important to me that he grows up to understand that work can take place anywhere, and that looking after the home and working for yourself is really hard work too.
I also want him to understand that it is important to enjoy your work. It’s so easy for tired parents to speak negatively about work, and to be grumpy on Monday mornings for example! But children do pick up on this, so I try hard to speak positively about work, to share how much I enjoy working on my blog, and to be extra happy on a Monday morning (not always easy!).
Encourage imaginative play
It’s also important for kids to understand that they can be whatever they want to be, irrespective of gender or upbringing. Imaginative play, interactive and educational toys (such as Our Generation Accessories) and role play are so important in a child’s development, to help reinforce this message.
Our son hasn’t always had the biggest imagination, but in the past year we’ve seen it flourish. Watching him play, I’ve realised how much he takes note of what we do – he even started writing his own blog the other day, which made me feel so proud! I know he doesn’t really understand what I do, but it’s flattering that he wanted to emulate me. He even called it ‘Kids Duty’. LOVE.
Find what their talents and passions are
Enrolling your little ones in clubs is also a great way to find out what they’re interested in and have natural talents for. There are so many great clubs available now where children can try out things like sport, music, art, drama, and even technology.
Love what you do
I enjoy my work and I really want that for Ethan too. If you love what you do, and you have a real passion for it, your kids will understand that work can be enjoyable and rewarding.
I want to be a role model to our son and show him that he can do whatever he wants for a career – whether that’s going off to work every day in an office like Daddy, working from home like Mummy, or something entirely different.
Let’s face it, by the time our kids are to go out and earn a dollar, work and the working week will probably look very different to how it is now. I think there will be very few limits on set hours or locations anymore, and there will be a whole host of new careers that we can’t even imagine.
It’s our job to prepare our kids as much as we can, to be good role models, and to show that there are no limits to what they can achieve.
Share your thoughts
What did you want to be when you were little? Has it turned out that way, or did you end up taking a completely different path? Please share in the comments below.
Disclaimer: This is a collaborative post.