So this week, according to the school calendar, is dedicated to learning about OCCUPATIONS. Liam came home and told us very excitedly that he was going to be a fire fighter when he was big…
And then when he was BIGGER, he wasn’t going to be a policeman…
And then when he was even BIGGER, he was going to be a cooker (a chef).
Well after listening to him, it’s clearly obvious that children are still being taught the Big Five: fireman, policeman, doctor, nurse and teacher. Liam thinks these occupations are all wonderful because these people help others and helping is kind – his words, not mine. So yesterday’s homework was to find out what your parents do and report back to the class today. Liam was HIGHLY and I mean HIGHLY disappointed at the jobs his parents hold. I’m actually surprised we haven’t had this conversation before – he knows where I work but he has never asked me what I do. Apparently, he thinks I play on the computer all day. When I explained that in my job I also help people, one man in particular, this seemed to make him feel better. So I realised that all he wanted to know was that we were helping people. So I easily explained that his Dad’s HR/Payroll function helped people to be happy at work and he made sure they got their money every month so they could look after their families. He liked that a lot.
Although he still wanted to know if I was going to be a nurse when I was bigger. I explained that I was a nurse when he and the rest of the family were sick, and he liked that answer very much.
I felt like his teachers explained this whole job thing wrong. While it is great and admirable to have a profession that helps people – and I do believe that our main purpose here on earth is to love God and love (help, look after, etc) people, I also want him to know that he can be ANYTHING he wants to be! That in every profession, not only the Big Five, you are effectively helping people. And that’s the truth right? So he could be an artist who brings joy to people in the work that he creates, he could be a star piano player who brings joy to people’s senses, he could be an I.T guys who, although people in the workplace love to hate, do effectively help the company greatly and of course he could be a doctor/teacher/policeman or anything he chooses.. AS LONG AS he loves what he does! And that for me is the crux. I want him to go after something passionately because he truly WANTS to be in that field. Not because his crazy mother forced him to study medicine so that he could look after her in her old age. While the paycheck is important, we all want our kids to live comfortably, I first want them to be happy THEN rich. 🙂 There are times when I think I missed my calling, and while I don’t like to live with regrets – it’s such a wasted and useless emotion – I do sometimes wonder how things would have turned out had I done things differently. So for my kids, I want them to pursue their passions FIRST. I do believe that you can make a success out of anything (even being a ringmaster in a circus, please Lord, not my kid) if you have the passion and the drive. And I also think that doing something that you really love, makes the hard work of achieving it, easier. Like if you seriously WANT to be a doctor, the 7 – 10 years of studying is easier than say someone who has been forced to study medicine and who sees those 7 – 10 years as a prison sentence. You get my drift? That’s why I think passion is so important!
So after passionately describing this to my 4 year old in the best age appropriate language I could muster, he responded with “then I’m going to be a cooker.” Huh??? I’m guessing he came to this conclusion because he loves food??
I can just hear him today at school “my mommy helps one man at work cos she makes him coffee and my daddy helps ALL the people cos he gives them money.”