My daughter has been the girly girl type since as far back as I can remember. From dancing and singing, to clothes and hair, what I remember most is how much she loved to sing. She always knew she wanted to pursue singing in some way, and despite saying that she wanted to become a babysitter and a teacher when she grew up, she never stopped focusing on singing and a career in music.
My son was different.
My son never really knew what he wanted to do. Which is definitely a normal thing for teenagers to experience. Some children know exactly what they want, and others do not. There were some days when he wanted to be an inventor, always coming up with new innovative ideas. There were days when I would say to myself ‘hmmmm, maybe he’ll be a scientist and find the next cure to something.’ You never know. My son’s mind was always changing. That was all ok.
Having two children who were so different when it came to picking career paths was great. I learned a few things along the way that I’d love to share.
- Never compare siblings. Ever. You should never compare your children to one another, or your kids to other kids or other relatives. Just as you can’t compare an apple to an orange, it’s important (and only fair) to love each child for the unique person they are. There is no right or wrong in the personal career path. What is right for one might not be right for the other. Not to mention, as kids mature and get older, they start to see things differently and uncover more of themselves, comparison can stop that from happening if one child feels he/she “should be more like” anyone but his/her own self.
- Help and guide each child individually. Much like the above note, giving advice differs from child to child. Keep in mind who you are talking to, and tailor your advice and conversation appropriately. Just as students each have their own learning pace and style, so do your children.
- Encourage your kids (and mostly yourself) that things fall into place with time. All good things sort themselves out, even if that doesn’t measure up to what society thinks is “perfect” or “normal.” Also perfect and normal don’t exist. When we encourage our kids to find their own true voice, they also find their happiness and joy. With happiness, all things fall into place — and when your kids are happy, you’re happy!
- A solid career choice comes more easily with maturity. Even when some children know what they love and want to be early on, that doesn’t mean it’ll stick. It also doesn’t mean that just because they don’t have an idea early on, that they will never find one. Everyone has a different process, so it’s important to stay open, keep exploring, and try new things to find out what they really want and enjoy for the long-term.
So yes, my daughter is actually pursuing that career in music. And my son is experiencing new things everyday — not as a scientist, or an inventor, but in the field of real estate. It is true, when my kids are happy, I am truly happy!