Back in the day, children’s “Career Day” costumes weren’t particularly shocking. An astronaut here, a teacher or a doctor there. Perhaps, even president. It seems parents of today are dealing with more and more kids wanting more inspirational jobs — like being YouTube celebs — and the choice to let them play dress up is causing some debate online.
Jack Green (@jackpgreen), a UK Olympic runner, posted a photo on Twitter of a flyer advertising a school’s “World of Work Day.” It was the special note attached that he took issue with.
We know that some children would love to be professional sports people or pop stars or famous YouTubers in the future. These are great ambitions but so hard to achieve! Because of this, on this occasion we’re not allowing these dress-up choices – instead, we’d like children to think of their ‘Plan B’ choices for future jobs.
Green captioned the image, “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!” While Green’s point is definitely important, Sam Egerton (@SamsonEgerton), a Rugby player and law student, disagreed.
“Encouraging a ‘plan B’ is very responsible thing to do for children. Not everyone makes it like you, and even then, you yourself will need a plan B when the body fades,” he tweeted in response.”
The debate ignited, with folks commenting on both sides of the issue, but many are definitely on the side of letting kids dream big.
“I think they are just being polite here with ‘Plan B’. They don’t reckon the kids will achieve those things so want them to focus on a ‘proper job,'” said UK athlete Emily Diamond, while another opined that “Kids should always be encouraged to dream big & not to settle.
“There’s the rest of their lives to have hope sucked out of them,” they added.
“Encouragement is crucial. If you suppress a child’s ambition at the outset, it could do lifelong damage,” wrote one user.
Another person pointed out the becoming a “doctor/vet/lawyer” isn’t easy to achieve.
While Egerton definitely has a point that kids should be taught to have back up plans, it’s also important for them to aim high. But considering just how many YouTubers are making the headlines in negative ways, maybe parents will want to think twice.