What Does Your Preschooler Want To Be?


Our preschool offers a book purchasing program, and yesterday we got our order. In the order was a book for my daughter, called Doctor Ted. Ted loves to pretend to be different professions, and in this book he is a doctor, prescribing full body casts to treat gingivitis and operations to treat the freckles. At times, my daughter also wants to be a doctor. Needless to say, we read the book at least 5 times yesterday.

A month or so ago, after walking past a particularly intriguing garbage truck, my daughter outlined her potential career path for me. First, she said, she was going to be a people doctor. Then she was going to be an animal doctor, a garbage truck driver, and a sushi chef. No princesses. Thank goodness: I don’t think that I could afford the training.

I love children’s career paths. Unless you instill in them a sense of the relative prestige of various careers, they don’t care. They go purely by what interests them, which is delightful. My daughter loves helping animals, so she wants to be an animal doctor. She loves pretending to help sick people, so she wants to be a people doctor. She finds garbage trucks exciting, so she wants to be the person who rides on the back of one. And sushi – we both love sushi and eat it as often as possible, so no surprises there.

Last night she revised her plan, much to my dismay. She is now going to be a doctor, and after I’m gone she’s planning to become a sushi chef. I told her that her dad will likely outlast me but that he doesn’t like sushi, so I thought that sushi chef would be a more practical choice for her first career. That way she can keep me in sushi for some time.

What does your preschooler want to be when he or she grows up?