Monday, February 21, 2011

When (they) Grow Up to be....

It's Blog Cruise time again... and this week, I've been humming the Beach Boys...

The question this week:  What do your children want to be when they grow up and what are you doing to help them pursue their field of interest?

I've talked a lot about what my kids are thinking right now for careers... they pretty much all lean towards science of some sort.  Thomas wants to be an archaeologist, Connor leans towards forensics.  William changes his mind all the time.  Richard wants to work at UL testing products.  Trina, well, although she seems so grown up as a 5 year old, still, she IS only five.  So this post is about my boys, mostly the three who are in double digits.

That means we've tried to make science and math pretty important in our schooling, while still focusing on communication and just being well-rounded.  I want them to be able to get into a good college, if that is what they want to do.

But maybe it is because I have this song going through my head this week... I guess I've been wondering about how we're doing in preparing them to "grow up to be a man."

Did you listen to the lyrics?  Go ahead, go up, watch the video and listen.  I'll still be here...

Okay, you're back.  The Beach Boys are often blown off as being just fluff, feel-good, and fun... and I do think that is true of some of their music.  But this song gave me something to think about.
When I grow up to be a man
Will I dig the same things that turn me on as a kid?
Will I look back and say that I wish I hadn't done what I did?
Will I joke around and still dig those sounds
When I grow up to be a man?
Should I be worrying about trying to find educational opportunities in bugs, archaeology and forensics?  Are they going to completely go for other interests when they grow up to be men?  And what is the cost?  Let's say they all decide to become literature professors (yeah, right!)... is it going to hurt them to have fairly extensive knowledge of insects, ancient ruins, or scientific crime investigation practices?  Definitely not.  Are they going to look back and wish I hadn't indulged these interests?  I doubt it...
Will I look for the same things in a woman that I dig in a girl?
(fourteen fifteen)
Will I settle down fast or will I first wanna travel the world?
(sixteen seventeen)
Now I'm young and free, but how will it be
When I grow up to be a man?
Oh, ouch.  They start their count-up at fourteen.  Yikes.  Connor will be fourteen in about two months.  I'm not always willing to think that this count-up has really started in earnest.

What is kind of funny is some of the conversations that were held (not instigated by me) in this house this week.  Brought on by Valentine's Day, no doubt.  Dale giving them advice about finding a woman worth marrying.  And how much there really is to the statement about how behind every great man is a great woman. 

Not sure what that has to do with this topic... but in thinking about preparing them for their futures as men, what is more important than finding someone who respects them, who honors them, who supports them? 
Will my kids be proud or think their old man is really a square?
(eighteen nineteen)
When they're out having fun yeah, will I still wanna have my share?
(twenty twenty-one)
Will I love my wife for the rest of my life
When I grow up to be a man?
More on the wife thing.  Are we preparing our boys to love their wives for the rest of their lives?  Am we being a good example? Hmmmm...

And really, the question about their kids sounds a lot like a respect thing too.  Will I be the kind of man my kids are going to respect? 
What will I be when I grow up to be a man?
(twenty-two twenty-three)
Won't last forever
(twenty-four twenty-five)
It's kind of sad
(twenty-six twenty-seven)
Won't last forever
(twenty-eight twenty-nine)
It's kind of sad
(thirty thirty-one)
Won't last forever
(thirty-two . . .)
Maybe it is the influence of Blue & Gold this weekend, but the other thing I keep thinking is that one of the reasons we invest so much in Scouting is that we feel that Scouting is helping us to encourage our boys in what WE want them to be when they grow up.  Men of honor, men of faith, men of courage, men of principle.  And I don't have to ever teach about maggots helping to determine time of death for them to "be" those things.

This post took a completely different direction than I expected when I first read the topic.  But I think what we are doing to help our children pursue their fields of interest has far more to do with what we are doing to encourage character than it has to do with what we are doing to teach to their interests.


Vickie said...

Great post! We like the Beach Boys around here too. Character building, one of the utmost important things for career building.

Michelle Smith said...

You know, Debra, I did quite a bit of thinking on this topic over the weekend myself. Since my own children are changing up their career goals with seemingly great frequency, I was left conviction that the spiritual foundation and character were what I most needed to focus on. That, and learning how to work.

Yes, it is good to try to give each of my children an adequate education so that they may each someday be able to apply for and be accepted into college. Yet those foundational spiritual and character issues are most essential in my household.

SisterTipster said...

Toe tapping and enjoying the music while I read...Thanks for the insights and thoughts ;-)) Guess we're all still growing UP...LOL HUGS!