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Our Children’s Aspirations

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Our Children’s Aspirations … Teacher, vet or ???

   Dr Tracy Laverick CPsychol HCPC DEdPsych MSc MEd BA(Hons) QTS

Starting young!

When I was 3 I decided that I was going to be a teacher. My brother had just started at school and I thought it sounded great! I cried and cried that I was not allowed to be left at school as I was too young.

Play and aspirations

My play involved teaching my toys, tacking paper up to the walls and writing sums on them and doing the register. I enjoyed this and continued to follow this path. Some 18 years later I achieved my aim and started teaching. Having an aspiration made life easy for me. I didn’t have to worry about my GCSE choices as it was any that helped me to get in to teaching. University choices were equally straightforward. Having an aspiration or an ambition can be hugely empowering.

Now, I am slightly extreme in this! There are not many 3 years olds that continue to hold the same aspiration through childhood but that is not my point. My point is that by having a dream or an aspiration as a child helps you to see how your experiences fit together. We go to school to be able to achieve what we need to follow those dreams. Our holidays and hobbies can help us develop skills.

Children and young people need to be able to have control over their aspirations.

Being able to have some control over our dreams and aspirations also leads to better well being. We feel that we are able to achieve something. As children get older they can ‘test out’ whether they are still interested in a particular aspiration. Our influence as parents can help our children to do this. We can provide opportunities and have those conversations. When children come to their own conclusions that a dream is not for them or they feel they don’t have the skills for it we will be there to listen to their disappointments and support them as they develop new dreams.

Children change their minds!

Children often change what they would like to do. I currently have a trainee astronaut and a trainee vet at home. I am excited to think what they may end up doing. Probably some occupation that I have never heard of and doesn’t exist yet! There has been reporting in the media that the jobs that will really sustain over time are those that require people to talk to each other, creativity and innovation. Who would have thought that making online videos could lead to a self employed career!


The world of work is changing every few years. Our experiences as parents at school is very different to those of our children. It is not for us to know everything and direct the paths of our children but to listen to them and support their aspirations and dreams. The best job in the world is when you get paid for something that you love doing.  It is wonderful to know that you’ve had a hand in supporting them to get there!

Developing independence is one of the areas that we discuss further in the Parenting Workshop. Look at the website for the latest workshops and come and join the connected parenting approach.


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