Mum, what shall I be?

I have been wondering how much we influence our children’s’ interests in later life.

Obviously the items and stimulus we give them access to in the early years much ultimately have some influence on what they like to do as adults, whether that is as a hobby or a career.

For example: My mother loves music. She’s not fussed on what type and we always had music on in our house. Possibly more often than the TV was on.  Her brother played keyboards and my granddad sings (I suspect he has perfect pitch.) My Dads brother was in a band and plays guitar and drums.

Growing up, I was heavily exposed to all these things and ended up taking music very seriously until I was 18.  My self-confidence let me down.  (something else to beat myself up about!)  To this day I still write the odd bit of music and can theorise.

My Mums other brother had a commodore 64 which he showed us how to programme.  Again, something that I really enjoyed doing.  This time until iw as told that this was not something for girls. (As you can see, I have an excuse for everything!! ) I went into IT at a late stage in my life but I will always recall the early dabblings in Basic.

My granddad played for Southampton FC. My brother also played football.

So, how much did these early exposures define not only my future career but also my hobbies and the things that make me happy?  As the Toddler grows up and becomes more and more interested in playing our electric piano, I can’t help but wonder if by accident I have become a pushy parent, forcing her to become involved in my own hobby as an innocent bystander.

Maybe one day she’ll ask me what I think she should do with her life. I have no idea what my answer will be.

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3 responses to “Mum, what shall I be?

  1. I used to work with young people looking for work and making career choices and I’ve done some career choice theory too.
    People are encouraged to choose a career based on their interests and skill. Parental careers and opinions are influential in that some will follow Mum or Dad’s footsteps, some will go with a parent’s suggestion because they value it (or don’t know what else to do) and some may go the opposite way because they don’t value their parents at all. Ultimately, as happened to you – the activities you suggest will have an effect on her life.
    For Paige – I know I will encourage her to read and be musical, but hopefully I’ll remember to let her try lots of things and not be disappointed when she drops something. My mum hated me doing that, said I would start lots of things but never finish them.
    I’m sure (depending on age) if Paige asks me what she should do with her life, I’ll be terribly vague and say about what she likes and what she’s good at. Then again, 16 years of motherhood might bash the impartialness out of me!

  2. My two boys definitely have their own unique personalities but it’s very interesting to see how they have emulated a lot of my interests over the years. When I was most passionate about sailing–they couldn’t stop talking about boats, then it was cycling, baking and recently soccer. I’m quite conscious of this and never try to steer them in any direction. We really encourage them to find their own passions and interests, but there’s no question they take an interest in our interests.

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