Is This Discouraging Children's Career Aspirations?

Is This Discouraging Children's Aspirations?

Today is 'My World of Work Day', incase you didn't know. But more surprising than that is the news that a school has banned kids from turning up to its celebrations dressed as stars from the world of sports or pop music. They've also put a ban on kids dressing like their favourite YouTubers for the day.

Huffington Post reports:

Durrington C of E VC Junior School, in Wiltshire, sent parents a letter requesting children who wanted to dress up as celebrities should “think of their ‘Plan B’ choices” as the high profile jobs mentioned are “so hard to achieve”. Two-time Olympic medal winner Jack Green tweeted a photo of the letter, along with the caption: “Have a read of the ‘Special Note’ and then ignore it and let your children aspire to be whatever they want to be. Thanks mum and some of my teachers for supporting my aspirations when I was young.”

A spokesperson for the school defended the decision, saying it sets no limit on children's aspirations and runs a programme within school, launched for a former Olympic athlete, to encourage children to be the best they can be and to nurture career ambitions.

But nonetheless, this makes me sad. Today's YouTube stars are the Blue Peter presenters of our generation. It might be unrealistic for every little Tom, Dick and Harriet to aspire to be an vlogstar but if you can't dream big dreams about your future when you're a child, when can you? Why are we quashing those aspirations so soon? Isn't childhood all about harbouring wild hopes and absurdly ambitious dreams?

One of my kids is football mad and dreams of nothing career-wise except one day playing for his favourite Premiership team. This isn't just some idle fantasy. I have every faith in his ability to pursue that goal, so to tell him not to dress like his ultimate career hero and to focus on his 'Plan B' seems unnecessarily discouraging. Had it happened in his school, I'd certainly be voicing my protest.

We'd love to hear your views on this. Do you think the school was right to ban 'unrealistic' career heroes, or should kids be free to dress like sports heroes, pop stars and YouTubers on a day dedicated to career aspirations?

Leave us a comment here or come and join the conversation over on our Facebook page.

33 comments

  • Sharon P.

    My daughter wants to be the next Walt Disney. She’s 7 and he’s her hero. She already has characters created, made comics, wrote movie plots,has merchandise planned, and wants a theme park based on her characters. It’s unlikely she’ll be the next Walt Disney. But I will 100% encourage her. But if a child wants to be a singer , but is an awful singer, you need to let them know the truth. All pop singers, footballers, movie stars etc, were once little kids sitting in a class room.

    • Sharon P.

      She also wants to be a vet, which is also going to be a lot of hard work and university. Nothing good comes easy.

    • Victoria T.

      If they are an awful singer you buy ear plugs - they'll grow out of it without you spoiling their dreams

    • Sharon P.

      My daughter tries to sing. She’s awful, like her dad. I tell her straight, you won’t be a singer, but you are amazing at .......... I tell her different people have different talents. Hers is drawing. I don’t stop her singing though , she’s constantly singing lol.

  • Leah D.

    So it’s “MY world of work” but they are not allowed to dress as what they hope to be? It’s their business what they hope to be not any one else’s.

  • Tessa F.

    That's ridiculous. As parents were supposed to support our kids in whatever they want to become. Mine wants to be an astronaut/ scientist/ footballer/ Spiderman/ builder/ electrician. I tell him he can do whatever he wants to do, as long as he does well at school.

  • Lisa N.

    Children should be allowed to have dreams. As someone else said working hard at school and doing their best gives them choices. I encourage my children to work hard all around so they can have the option to choose. Right now they want to be footballers. Nothing wrong with training hard, working as a team, being physically fit and healthy plus learning good sportsman ship and respect alongside a good education.

  • Emmajane M.

    Yes I always tell my boy that he can be whoever / whatever he wants 2 be x there only kids there dreams n goals will change so let them be little as there only young once x

  • Zoe S.

    Thank god they didn't do "my world of work day" when I was at school. I desperately wanted to be a page 3 girl!!! :joy:

  • Melissa W.

    My son wants to be Rudolph when he grows up! :joy:

  • Alyson C.

    A child should be able to aspire to be anything they want & who are we to control that? Let the little ones use their innocent imagination, it's the only time in their lives they are not being forced to comply!! :rage:

  • Sonia P.

    My eldest wanted to be a traffic light:vertical_traffic_light::joy: he’s older now so has different plans for his life but il always remember and have a giggle about it x

    • Laura E.

      I don't know why that went to sad face like. I like his imagination, maybe he was thinking helping with safety on the roads :smile:

    • Grainne L.

      Lol my daughter wanted to be a pink helicopter :grin::grin::grin:

    • Liz L.

      One of mine wanted to be a dinosaur and the other wanted to be an octopus

  • Libby V.

    When my son was 4, they were discussing what they wanted to be when they were older in school, he said he wanted to be the Hulk, they said he had to pick a proper job, he was so upset and disappointed..... He's 5 and a half now ... Not changed his mind yet, still determined he's going to be the Hulk :smile:

    • Libby V.

      Plus I pointed out that the Hulk is a scientist so he has to try hard in school and he's strong and fit, so he has to eat well and stay hsalty and look after his body ...

    • Shirley P.

      He could team up with my boy. He's always said he'll be 'the real spiderman' :-) x

  • Laura E.

    I think it's stupid to ask children what career they want when they grow full stop.

    • Karen M.

      I agree, my 8 yr old came home from school upsets last year when she was told she HAD to choose a job!! She’s a child ffs why should she be worried about picking a future career, I’m in my 40’s and still have no idea what I want to be when I grow up :joy::joy:

    • Laura E.

      Aww bless her! I'm 35 this year and I still don't want to be an adult

  • Toni C.

    They are children st this time they can imagine whatever they want to be when older, they will Gris out of the silly ones but they are kids

  • Jon M.

    What is a "youtuber" ????

    • Kerry G.

      Believe or not there are people making a career out of releasing videos on YouTube. They have millions of subscribers and attract massive advertising revenues.

  • Sarah T.

    My daughter went as Doctor JoJo! She wants to be a doctor/JoJo Siwa when she grows up! :see_no_evil: She looked fab and she told everyone she wants to be a doctor to help people get better and have her own business like JoJo. You get put down enough times in life without starting when they are so young, let them have dreams and dress up as whatever they like!

  • Sarah H.

    Schools have too much say in how a childs raised these days :sweat: what happened to encouraging them just as much as parents do....oh yeah the teachers are too stressed out about fucking numbers and performances set unrealistically by the government :rage: they have no time for the real stuff that matters!

    • Sharon P.

      Agree with this. My daughter , although very clever, finds School work boring, but she’s an excellent drawer and loves writing her own stories. I was once told in parents evening that she writes too much for her School work and are getting her to write less as she gets carried away. And they also constantly tell her off as she’s different to other children. Not all children are book children. Some like art, drama, sport etc

    • Sarah H.

      Sharon Perry life skills are more important then the main subjects (they need to be in the curriculum im Not saying for a minute they dont need to be) but unless you choose to go down a specific specialist route when will you use trigonometry or algebra? You just dont! And its completely unfair on the teachers putting them under so much stress

  • Andrea N.

    I hope my son or daughter doesnt want to be a you tuber, opening toys, making slime and why do they all have annoying voices. Waste of time get a proper job

    • Emily B.

      Tell that to Ali A, he’s a millionaire :joy:

  • Claire H.

    This is the world THEY live in. If this is what they see and aspire to what do school expect? How many kids aspired to walk on the moon in years gone by? Is that “realistic”? An England footballer? “Realistic”? Pop star? Nobody ever stopped that so what harm will it do.

  • Emma B.

    They’re kids for such a short time let them be kids and have dreams before they’re older and have to live in the real world

  • Emily B.

    Dan tdm and ali a are millionaires. For playing games and making videos. If that’s what my son wants to aspire to, and succeed at, and it makes him happy, why the hell not?! I’d sooner him do something he loves than being paid a shit wage in a shit job that he hates!!

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