to be when I grow upWe all heard the question as kids ourselves, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Hard to say or predict but these six questions can lead you into an interesting conversation with older elementary or tween children. Questions are taken from Ralph T. Mattson and Arthur F. Miller, Jr., Finding A Job You Can Love,
P&R Publishing, Phillipsburg, NJ, 1982.


1.  What are your most important achievements? (not experiences like going to Hawaii; not talents like being a good artist). Example: I directed and starred in plays with my cousins.The most successful play included transforming an unused tool shed in the backyard into a castle.

Admiration or envy

2.  Who do you envy or admire? (break it down until you get an idea of exactly what the child admires. Example: Jen made a You Tube video (a skill); Tomas got the most applause at the talent show (a result); Uncle Steve gets to work in a jungle (a location); Connor’s dad does cycling with him (a relationship.

Angry or upset

3. What upsets or angers you about the world?

Free time

4.  When you have free time, what do you return to do again and again?


5.  What rewards (both obvious and intangible) mean the most to you?


6.  What activities and events do you look forward to doing before they happen? (Anticipation is an indication of how people are motivated to work or play.)