My children want to become artists. What should I do?
January 2, 2015  |  Written by M. Rodrigo Brao

Some children, starting at a very young age, show they have a special talent for the arts. Whether it´s painting, ballet, theatre or music, the majority of parents might feel a bit hesitant, anticipating the day they tell us they want to become artists. As parents we might prefer they choose a profession that will lead them to a steady job in the future. So, if this is the case, how should we approach this issue? Today we will clue you in on how to view it and support your children in case they do indeed make the decision to become artists.

Where did they get that idea?

It´s obviously not an idea that occurred overnight. Someone in the family might be an artist and they might have been influenced but what if this is not the case?

Perhaps they simply enjoy painting, acting, writing, dancing or one of their teachers might have encouraged their passion for certain activities. TV programs and even their favourite toys might awaken their interest. Whatever it is, talk to them and ask why they want to be an artist in order to discover exactly how much they´ve matured their decision.

Forget your prejudices

The real problem, however, resides in social prejudices that we, as parents, might have. Technical professions or professions related with science are “better valued” than artistic ones because they are associated with economic success.

When it comes to thinking about the future of our children, we should ask ourselves: What is more important? Earning money or being happy? Whatever they choose, they should strive to their best, no matter how much they earn.

It´s a question of discovering whether their personality fits into that profession, and whether they really want to pursue it and are conscious of what they really want to do. Your mission is to guide them to make the right decision. Talk to them about the pros and cons and ask them how they would like to live in order for them to see things from a realistic point of view.

The key is to find balance and not be encouraged by false illusions, prestige or money.



Hobby or Profession?

Determining whether it´s a true vocation or simply a hobby is equally important. Many young people today feel frustrated when their professions aren´t as fulfilling as they initially thought. Before this happens, make sure they are choosing an artistic path not because they think it lacks hard work and effort. After all, painting, music or dance can be wonderful hobbies that they can indeed practice during their own free time.

Another good idea is to evaluate what artistic professions have better job placements. For example, if they have a knack for drawing, they could very well end up being book illustrators or architects. If they want to be musicians, they can easily teach at schools.

Being a Hard Worker

Whatever they may want to be, it´s important we educate them to be hard workers. This is what truly counts in any profession and is what provides true personal satisfaction.

Be careful not to over praise them and make sure they value the things they do. Even if they learn to organize themselves and finish their homework, go to those extra curricular classes and complete their art projects,  encourage them to enjoy the process, not the outcome.

And don´t forget that their schoolwork is a priority. No matter how much talent they have, they should keep learning and always try to improve by taking on more classes, keep studying, maybe even going to college, getting a masters degree, etc.… The job market might be looking for engineers but a good musician will never have a problem searching for a job.

Do your children want to become artists? What would you do if they said yes?

Photo Credits: ND Strupler

Photo Credits: Famosa 

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