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Is it normal for a 10 year old to not know what he wants to be when he grows up?

My 10 year old doesn't know what he wants to be when he grows up. Is that normal? How do I help him find his interests?

29  Answers

4 6

It's normal for adults not to know what they want to be when they grow up! Be patient and encourage him to explore and grow. Encourage him to read! Most of all, when he chooses something that is completely different from what you imagined your child to be.... be supportive! Don't ever discourage or criticize. Remember it is about what HE wants to do. If he chooses something he loves he will do well at it.... if he chooses something because you pushed him into it, he will resent it and not nearly live up to his potential.

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35 28

Fabulous advice Sharon!!!! Right on!!!

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1 14

My 22-year-old son still doesn't know (he's in college and working full-time, so I don't complain)! I'm nearing 40 (yes, the math will make your head hurt), and just figured out what it is I really want to do, which doesn't resemble anything that I had planned on doing when I got my undergrad degree in 1993. My 7-year-old daughter wants to be a vet right now; she's also wanted to be an artist and a zookeeper. I'm sure she would also like to be a princess, but I hear those openings are few and far between. :)

My suggestion would be to offer him a wide variety of experiences - visit museums, parks, libraries, concert halls - and continue to be involved in his education. Encourage him to read. Get him involved with activities that keep his body and his mind fit. Take him to hear interesting people talk about interesting things (I work at a university, and my daughter enjoys attending lectures with me!). Eventually, something will appeal to him, and when it does, nurture those interests.

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0 9

He's 10......let him be 10 and play outside, ride his bike, read......LET HIM BE A KID!

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4 20

Just step back and take a look at your 10yr old....He is a child and that is all he should be concentrating on right now. Children have to grow up so fast these days we forget to let them just be kids. Best way to spark interest in him is to let him experience different situations...My brother use to build forts in the woods when we were small, Now he builds houses for a living. Once an interest is sparked you never know where it will go....Enjoy your 10yr old for one day you will blink and there will be a man standing in front of you!!

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0 8

I'm absolutely stunned by this question! I highly suggest you watch the movie "Race to Nowhere". Slow down and enjoy your child being a child. I'm 36, have had a full career and I'm changing tracks now. As a child, I would have never imagined doing what I'm doing now. Be careful, rushing your child could really hurt them in the long run.

5
35 28

Of course it's normal. I'd be worried if my 10 year old knew exactly what he wanted to be at 10. Mine wants to be President, a doctor, a lawyer, a football player, a hockey player, and a CIA operative. And next month it'll be 5 new things. Don't worry about it. You only need to worry after he's graduated from college, doesn't have a job, and wants to move back in with you.

4
0 20

Really? This is a serious question? I am 31 and don't know what I want to be when I grow up. Get a clue, lady. He is a little boy. Just foster reading and education so he can learn about different careers. Keep in mind that parents nowadays expect way too much from their kids. Let him be ten.

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14 21

Ah, my daughter knew what she wanted to be since the age of three. A Doctor. She never lost sight of that and graduated high school with a full scholarship to a med school. She graduated med school and is now a promising physician. And then I woke up! My dd6 has wanted to be a doctor since she was three but this is often shared with ballet or art. And the doctor thing is changing from family physician to veterinarian. Don't pressure him, let him be a kid and answer as many questions as possible. Encourage questions and give him as much info as possible.

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0 9

Heck, I don't even know what I want to be when I grow up, and I'm 46! The great thing about being a kid is having the time and freedom to find out what he or she truly enjoys, to develop multiple interests, and to maybe even try out several different routes as he or she moves towards their ultimate dream.

2
0 11

I agree with the posts that say 'let a kid be a kid,' without worrying too much about the direction his life will take. My 5-year-old announces regularly some new occupation that he will have, along with how old he will be when he does it! However, I would also point out that if your worry arises because your son doesn't seem to have any interests at all, I too would be concerned. Granted, I'm no expert, but I know depression can affect children. A child who is listless or disengaged from hobbies, activities, sports or other interests may need to see a doctor or therapist.

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15 0

Dude, he's ten.

1
11 22

All the people that suggest that you expose your son to many and varied experiences are on track. At ten, kids should be curious about many things and as a parent, it is your job to let them investigate those interests. My ten year old is sure he will be an architect. He builds with legos, k'nex, straws, and any other material that stacks. If he goes this way, great, if he decides on some other interest, that's ok too.
Please remember when you were ten, probably entering fifth grade, and your biggest concern was whether your best friend would still be your friend when you were in different classes in the fall. The social game is where their concerns are now...

1
0 20

I'm 42 and still don't know what I want I want to be when I grow up! :) But I have enjoyed and am still enjoying the journey to finding out!

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4 10

Really???? This is your concern? He is 10. Of course he doesn't know what he wants to be when he grows up. He is enjoying being a kid.....let him! He will be asked that enough as he gets older. Encourage him in what he likes to do and enjoy him as a 10 year old boy. Now, when he is 30 and doesn't know what he wants to be when he grows up......then you can start being concerned. Enjoy him, they grow up way to fast!

1
1

If he can't come up with spontaneous thoughts about the subject, guiding him through coming up with ideas is probably a good idea. More for the spontaneous, creative and critical thinking skills it builds. If he just doesn't know what he wants to be...hell, most 18 year olds don't know and if they do, they generally change their minds several times...

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7 13

How many COLLEGE freshmen have that figured out?????

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6 1

Most 10 year olds can't even make up their mind about what they want for lunch most days. A 10 year old hasn't had enough life experiences to even know what most careers are, not to mention what kind of job they will be a good fit for. When I was 10, I wanted to be a vet. Turns out, now that I am an adult - I don't even like animals . A 10 year old doesn't know what he is about yet, his goals are to get through the school day so he can come home and do something fun. When you are a kid, what you want to be when you grow up are occupations that you think are really cool, like cops and firemen. He hasn't been exposed to things like the stock market, what an accountant does, or know terms like financial analyst or materials manager. Even if you expose him to things that interest him now, they probably won't hold the same allure for him when he grows up.

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101 10

He's 10. He don't even know what he wants to do tomorrow, and you are wondering about him being normal because he doesn't know what he wants to be when he grows up. YOU ARE THE ONE THATS NOT NORMAL.

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48 9

I don't know too many people who really know what they want to be. I have a 10 year old and he wants to be a police, scientist, fireman, ambulance attendant so they really have no idea at that age. My daughter is in grade 12 and most all her friends have no clue what they want to be.

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2 20

When I was 10 I started taking music lessons and I found out I had a real talent for it. Within a couple of years I thought I wanted to teach music. Possibly teach at the college level. That is not what I do now, but I still perform on a part time basis. I wish that someone had encouraged me to explore other options when I was going to school. There's not much you can do with a music degree if you really don't want to teach. It's been really hard the past few years with the economy the way it has been.

I would just encourage him to consider some of the fields where there is a demand

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17 12

Are you kidding me? Geezz he is 10, let him be 10. This is the only thing you could come up with to worry about. Even if he did know what he wanted to be chances are it would change by the next day. I agree, with what someone else said. "Get a clue, Lady" When my son was 10, I was concerned he would wonder off and get abducted, I don't even think it crossed my mind to worry about "What he wanted to be when he grew up". But to answer your question, he will find his own interests in time, thats why it's important to let him be a kid.

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64 49

I am 43 and i still don't know what I want to be when I grow up :) I have an 11 year old who has no idea what he wants to be when he grows up. My 16 year old decided when he was 13 or so. So don't worry, your son will find his path in time :)

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0 20

My daughter is 11, and she has big plans for her life. She's going to be the first woman president, a farmer with her cousin (but none of their animals will ever be killed of course), a housewife with a rich husband (that does everything she wants) and a closet full of high heeled shoes, married to Nick Jonas, and she's going to adopt a bunch of kids to take care of the horses on her farm. Yep she's got it all planned out alright. She's not going to give birth because she thinks it'll probably hurt. lol

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13 33

When my step-son was 3, he was positive that he was going to be Batman when he grew up. He's 8 now and he isn't sure anymore, which is not as worrisome to me as if his answer were still Batman. I wouldn't worry.

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2 35

I am a 40 year old mom... I don't know what I want to be when I grow up!!! I have a 23, 19, and 16 year old... they change their ideas of their life long dreams on a regular basis. I love them all, for the moment that they are in... I also love myself, for all that I get, or don't get. Give yourself a break, Mom... he is right where he is supposed to be !!!!!

BTW... my 9 yr old wears skirts/sarans, one day. Then jean and n/s shirts with cut off gloves the next day. It is all about figuring out who we are.... there is no time line for that. Love the process... engage in the process, recognize how lucky you are. Much love and luck....

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2 20

It is normal for a 10 year old to not know what he wants to be. Dont push it either, not only is he still growing physically, but mentally and emotionally and as someone else said they will change their minds 10 times over.

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15 30

I have a 10 year old daughter and she has gone from wanting to be a Veterinarian to working at a jewelry store. I expose her to all sorts of sports, activities, classes, etc. and eventually she'll find something she loves whether she's 11 or 21. Let's let our kids be kids. They aleady grow up way too fast nowadays.

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1 23

Not every one is meant to be SOMETHING when they grow up. SOme people just find themselves doing a certain something. Some people find themselves doing a lot of different somethings such as waitressing, bank teller, housekeeper, working at a McDonalds's, etc. Every job is important because when we go to a Subway we most certainly expect someone to be there to make our sub, right? We also expect someone will clean the hospitals we use, right? I'm 37 and have been a Nursing Assistant for the last 17 years but it is NOT what I want to be when I grow up. I STILL don't know what I want to be but I most assuredly DID know whwen I was 10 and this isn't anywhere close to being a rock star/model/actress!!!

76 32

lol yes its normal. im 23 and still dont know what i want to be when i grow up!
my son on the other hand does...he's going to be Bat man!!!

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0 42

Even if he knew what he wanted to be, chances are it would change again anyway. Don't give it another thought & definitely don't worry about it.

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