I was wondering if there are other parents of 9th graders who have kids who have already chosen what they want their career to be when they grow up. Do you find yourself pushing them one way or the other?
My daughter is taking some 8th grade courses and several 9th grade courses and since she was about three years old she has indicated that she wanted to be a veterinarian. She can spout facts about animals like some kids do about pop stars or movie stars. She is very compassionate and patient with animals (not so much with humans ) and I believe that she would probably be a very good veterinarian.
Lately she has taken on a new interest in astronomy and is fascinated by physics. For fun she is reading Michio Kaku, a theoretical physicist and futurist. Now she is talking about being a astro-physicist.
I don’t know whether to discourage her or encourage her. Realistically it is fine with me, whatever she wants to do. I don’t want the idea that she has “always” wanted to be a veterinarian to lock her into that career if she would like to change. After all, she is only 13.
At the same time, the reality of the job market makes me think that being a veterinarian, especially large animal vet medicine, is a career with more need than the physicist career. And I’m pretty sure that the preparation for each of those careers will diverge after the most basic of college maths and sciences.
I think back to when I was in high school. My mom was a nurse, my dad a reproductive physiologist and both pushed me to be in the medical profession. My sister became a nurse, my brother a paramedic. I worked in a hospital for 15 years and hated almost every minute of it. Eventually I followed my heart and got my degree in English. Had I followed my mother’s urging, I would have become a nurse…and I would have been miserable.
I don’t make as much money as either my brother or my sister. I also don’t live with the job stress and pressure that they do. At the same time, my income is not as stable, nor my profession in as much need. They pretty much have assured jobs no matter what because people get sick. I do, however, have every holiday off, and work from home, sometimes in my pajamas. (TMI right?) I vote for my quality of life over their quality of life, but that’s just me.
I want my daughter to be happy in whatever she decides. Would one of her preferred paths net her more money than the other? Maybe. Would one of her preferred paths net her great happiness? Probably. But either way, it will be her finances, and her happiness. So it is my job as a homeschooling parent to prepare her adequately for her future, whatever that might be.