I think we need to look at this from a little different angle. Too often we ask what a person wants to be when we really mean what do they want to DO.
I honestly don't care what a person does for a living. It matters what the are. The person sweeping and cleaning a hospital is just as important as the doctor treating patients. Could that doc safely treat patients in a pig stye? Of course it's possible, but not safe. Not only that, but a place that is disorganized and filthy causes confusion. Less people can receive care in mess and chaos.
So let's ask that question again: What do you want to be when you grow up?
I want to be a person who helps others with things they cannot do themselves. I want to be a person of love, integrity, justice and kindness. I want to be a person who lives out my purpose.
In order for me to "be" those things, I have to have a place to learn them.
So as a parent, I began to realize that my children did not need me to teach them to do. My children needed me to pour into them how to "be." All those other things about jobs fall into place when a child learns to be who God made them to become.
It's more about character than it is duties. It's about the depth to your personhood. All those DNA factors of talent and bent come into play here. When a person recognizes who they are on the inside, the outer accoutrements fall into place.
How? You'd be surprised at trusting your interests or the interests of your child. Let them explore. Passionate interests will emerge. A man who works with passion is an amazing force of nature!
That exploration sometimes comes in trial and error. Excellent! You'll know when something doesn't fit. It's easy. You won't want to be there, you'll begin to make excuses, or even feel stress. Move on to the next thing just like trying clothes on at a store. If it doesn't fit, it doesn't fit. You may wish you could blink like Jeannie and make it happen, but wishing and blinking won't change what's on the inside.
(Okay, not my most flattering photo but I do love I Dream of Jeannie and got it for Christmas from my 19 yr old daughter. And for those that wondered, yes, I do wear aprons most days all day long, lol. Is that too old-fashioned?)
When you sit around your dinner table or walk the dogs with your kids or run them to activities, how will you approach this concept? Will you model the behavior? Will you discuss it?
I told all of our kids (and keep telling them) I don't care if you go to college or what job you choose, I care that you are a person of character. No matter what life choices we make, that sense of being is most important to becoming who and what you are meant to BE.
What do you want to BE when you grow up?
Does it have a new meaning for you?