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How Embracing Your Child's Passions Supports Their Financial Future

Updated: May 3


Do you remember being asked as a child: “What do you want to be when you grow up?” 

It’s such a common question, and it’s been around for ages. When kids are asked this, often we hear answers like: I want to be an astronaut, I want to be a dancer, or I want to be a police officer! 

The way that kids blurt out their answers too, with such conviction and joy… it’s so pure, honest, and beautiful.

But what happens?

Given kids know what they enjoy doing, and generally only do activities and play games that bring them joy, why do we hear stories of people not following through with their childhood aspirations when it comes to their careers later in life?

What happens between being a child and becoming an adult, that has people pursue completely different career paths that don’t necessarily fulfil them? 


Is there a correlation between parents supporting their children's interests and passions, and a kids' future financial success and wellbeing? I think there is. 


Job dissatisfaction is no joke 

According to Indeed/YouGov’s 2022 Workplace Happiness Survey, 20% of Australians are unsatisfied with their job. Other research conducted by The Harris Poll found that nearly half, 47% of older millennials, wish they’d chosen a different career path when they started out. 

We spend so much of our adult life working (approximately 90,000 hours for the average person), which is equivalent to a third of your life! Think about your kids spending that much time unhappy in the workforce down the track... not a very exciting future for them to live into, right? 


So it begs the question...

What can parents do now to help children be fulfilled in their future careers? 

Here are some ideas:

1. Cheer and boost their self-confidence

Getting behind your kids' passions and becoming enthusiastic about what they’re interested in can feel like a chore (like another thing on your to-do list) - especially if you find what they’re interested in boring and pointless. But when your child sees you cheering them on, and that you’re interested in what they’re interested in, they feel validated and encouraged.

Just imagine it for a moment.

Your child is in the middle of [insert their interest], and they pause to turn around and look for you. When they spot you and see your bright eyes watching them, your face smiling, and your fists raised high in the air in cheer, they light up! A huge smile stretches across your child's face and they are suddenly beaming.

You know that face they make… It's magic, right? 🥹✨

When we genuinely delight in our childrens passions, they subconsciously get the message that “I matter. What I’m passionate about matters, and it’s okay to love what I love, and do what I do.”

Your cheerleading and support helps them build their self-confidence and ability to trust in themselves and their instincts. 

It also gives them permission to continue to relish in their joy, dive deeper into their passion, and follow what lights them up. It gives them space to master their skills around their interests, and develop competence, pride and self-esteem - all foundations from which they can build their future fulfilling careers from.

2. Watch out for the thief!

It’s human nature to look at others and compare ourselves. Studies around Social Comparison Theory tell us that people determine their self-worth based on how they stack up against others around them.

Now this can be motivating for some, but when children are formulating a sense of who they are, and belonging and fitting in with their friends is important, being ‘different’ or not having the same interests as their peers can feel scary and risky. It’s often why we abandon our passions… for fear of not fitting in and wanting to look good to our mates.

As Theodore Roosevelt said about comparison, “it is the thief of joy".

That’s why it’s so important that we act as guardians of our children’s joy. Finding ways to combat the dangers of comparison, and supporting our kids to nurture their passions, can be as simple as acknowledging and praising them for their interests, and having go-to family mantras that are affirming and resilience building.

Praise could sound like: “Wow, you light up when you’re working on your [insert passion]. I love seeing you do things that bring you joy.”

While acknowledging and affirming could sound like: “Different is beautiful! How boring would the world be if everyone was the same? Being creative, different, and unique is important and okay.”

Words, phrases and mantras like that may seem silly, but they’re really not. Our words have power, and we can use them to help our kids foster trust in themselves and what they enjoy, and strengthen their capacity to be resilient in the face of comparison and other people's opinions - setting them up to feel confident in choosing career paths that bring them joy down the line.

3. Show them what’s possible

Historically, when it comes to career choices, the phenomenon of children following in their parent’s career footsteps is not uncommon. A 2022 UK Labour Force Survey found that one in three sons do the same trade as their fathers, and almost a million people surveyed do the same job as their parent breadwinner.

So what do you do if your child has interests in a different field to the one that you work in? How can you support them now to walk their own career path in the future?

Showing them what's possible by giving them examples of others who are doing the thing that your kid loves to do is one way to encourage your kids to carve out a fulfilling future career. Watch movies and documentaries with them, go to events, shows, musicals, and read stories that expose your kids to other role models who they can look up to.

Widening their world view and showing them different examples will teach them that there are many different ways to make money, and that it's possible to make money and have a successful career from doing something they love. This is the core message in my children’s picture books, My Money Lesson from Ms Boss: A Book About Making Money and Finding Joy - another tool you can use to support your child's interests.

ms boss book excerpt for kids financial futures
A page from 'My Money Lesson from Ms Boss', showing kids different ways people can make money 🥰

Here's where the correlation between supporting our children's interests and their future financial freedom comes into play...

When children are passionate about something and encouraged to follow their interests, they're more likely to put time and effort into mastering it. As they grow and develop their skills, their interests have the potential to evolve into fulfilling career paths. Whether it's becoming a professional athlete, an artist, a programmer, or an entrepreneur, their journey starts with a spark of interest in childhood and having the courage to find and follow what brings them joy. 

By supporting our children's passions, we're making a conscious effort to invest in their future success and wellbeing. And at the end of the day, having children who are fulfilled and happy in life is one of the big goals, right?

Until next time, here's to raising happy and passionate kids!

Jaleesa x

PS - If you'd like to grab a copy of my children's picture book to encourage your kids to pursue their passions, you can find My Money Lesson from Ms Boss here. You can also learn more about the other books available in the Money Lessons series here.


Interested in other resources to boost your kids financial literacy?


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