Don’t lie to your children. Don’t tell them they can grow up to be anything they want. It’s simply not true. If it were, what would we do with the surplus of firefighters, astronauts, and video game developers? How can “any kid grow up to be president” when there are only 18 presidential elections in the average lifetime?
Instead of asking kids what they dream of becoming, ask them what they are curious about. Cultivate in them a joy of learning new things. See to it that they are rewarded for hard work. Teach them by example – with empathy and compassion. Then don’t worry about their future. Instead of being frustrated by unattainable dreams, they will gradually discover what fascinates them the most, work hard to excel in that field, and use those skills to live a meaningful and impactful life.