Does having an ambition make your child more successful?
In 1969, almost 14,000 eleven-year-olds were asked to write short essays on how they would imagine themselves at age 25 at work and at home. Thirty years later, these children were tracked down, and their career lives compared to what they had written in these essays.
The children who had lofty ambitions were doing much better in their career lives compared to those who were not ambitious. Half of the ambitious children who aspired to become veterinarians, engineers and architects (to name a few) were professionals by age 42 while only 29% of those who did not have high ambitions managed to become professionals.
It doesn’t matter if a child comes from a poor family or is not considered “smart.” Being ambitious, it appears, is a prerequisite to success in adult life.
How do we plant the seed of ambition in a child?
The secret is to start early.
A child who is exposed to different professions at a young age is more likely to develop an ambition early. Playing with building blocks, axels, and wheels encourage children to create and solve problems – foundations for engineering and science related careers.
If you wish to nurture a mathematician, make math fun. Show them how math relates to every day life, not confined to answering questions for tests.
If you like the idea of your child becoming an inventor, perhaps you and her can search for recyclable items, and make delightful things together. Create stuff that are useable, like a decorated basket for toys and household objects, or gadgets that may be used by the family.
Even better, find and watch YouTube videos that feature how simple inventions can transform people’s lives. For example, in the Philippines, someone invented simple solar bottle lights that worked wonderfully in homes that didn’t have electricity supply [watch: A Liter of Light At Night]. Imagine how inspired your child will be. ~ Jamilah Samian