I always ask children what they would like to be when they grow up. I have received fascinating answers; pilots, presidents, chefs, surgeons, engineers, teachers, scientists, fashion designers, cab drivers, musicians, and the list is endless…one day a five year old told me that all she desires to be is a mother. Well, I know at their age I probably wanted to be a doctor too, but that was before I met biology chemistry and physics in high school and I started saying I want to be an air hostess.
My own daughter has never been confident about any career. At first she used to stare at me with eyes that say ‘please! Not now!’ but I kept asking, most of the time for me. (So that I know what to expect when my friends and colleagues ask her). But even to them, she stared at them with the same eyes. So I decided to let go and just do my motherly duties.
One sunny afternoon, I realized that she had been at the balcony for over 30 minutes glued at some KPLC workers right outside the house, those Saturdays that you get so caught up with house chores and suddenly realize that the house is unusually quiet. I stood behind her for a while and she kept monitoring those electricians, like she was having the best time of her life.
I got disturbed, and asked what she was doing, and I received the answer I had been waiting for for 9 years, ‘I want to be a KPLC electrician when I grow up, I want to climb on the posts and fix the cables, I want to sort people out when there is a blackout’
I don’t know about other mothers out there, but for me, I felt something similar to labour pains, my womb crumbed, and my spine felt broken. Of course I dint show her all this, I smiled and told her to keep watching. Walked away with a mind full of figures, probably all the school fees I had paid that year.
Truth be told, children are more exposed now, and they have a wider range of interests, hobbies and desires. As a parent, it is normal to desire that your child gets into a ‘good career’ and makes you proud. The question is, who defines ‘good career?’ is it the child, or the parent? A friend of mine keeps telling me, ‘ if you failed to become a doctor, do you think forcing your child in that career will make you feel better?’
Gone are the days when the parents decided what’s good for the child. Their role is to advice and let them make their choice. Sometimes, their choice is shocking, but life has taught me that turning your passion into a career pays more.
Let them grow into their choice of careers; let them go for their desires. Let their talents set them before kings and queens. God hasn’t made your duplicate. God has created our children in unique ways and the role of the parent is to support their uniqueness.