Last year, when my son was in kindergarten, all the kids talked about what they wanted to be when they grew up. There were a couple firefighters and ballerinas, but at least two of the boys picked ‘dad’ as their top future job, and there were quite a few future scientists as well. I know it brought home a bit of planning anxiety when we, as parents, started thinking about our children’s future educational needs.
Talking about jobs
When I was small, I didn’t have a good idea of all the kinds of jobs out there. I didn’t realize that the list of names scrolling on the screen after my favourite cartoon was actually all the people who helped make it, or that someone designed the pictures on the cereal box on the breakfast table. Talking about what people do, and how things are created, helps our kids form some ideas about what they might like to do. Obviously these ideas will change a few (million) times, and fair enough.
Talking about school
There’s also the connection between subjects in school, and the jobs kids might want to do. Connecting science with flying planes or building really fast remote control cars is not too far to leap, but what about science and making food for astronauts, or science and designing furniture. It blew my son’s mind the first time I explained that the gorgeous backgrounds in a game he was playing was drawn by someone – someone whose job it was to create beautiful scenes like that. ‘Whoa,’ I believe was the response.
Paying for school
Ah yes, there’s the elephant in the room as we discuss these amazing dreams with our kids. How will we pay for university or college? Or the second round of schooling when they decide the first path wasn’t the right one? Starting an RESP and contributing a bit at a time is the least painful way to go for sure. There’s also the BC Training and Education Grant, that helps with a one-time $1200 grant to start or boost the RESP account for any child born in or after 2007.
This post is sponsored by Government of BC. Families in British Columbia are encouraged to start planning and saving early for their children’s post-secondary education or training programs. To help, the Government of B.C. will contribute $1,200 to eligible children through the B.C. Training and Education Savings Grant. To learn more about the BC Training and Education Grant program, visit gov.bc.ca.
Erin McGann is the former Managing Editor for Vancouver Mom and Toronto Mom Now. She drinks just a bit too much coffee, is a bit obsessed about sourcing local food, plays the cello moderately well, spends too much time on Twitter, keeps honeybees on a rooftop, and has a thing for single-malt whisky. Erin is working on a novel set in turn-of-the-century Vancouver, which her husband, son and dog have to hear about all the time, and also blogs at Erin at Large.