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Would You Let Your Child Have a Career?

While most kids her age are skipping rope on the playground, 10-year-old Courtney Oliver is scrubbing in for surgery. The college graduate is a certified veterinary assistant at the South Bay Veterinary Hospital in Olympia, Washington. And since the animal lover's peers are in elementary school, the law requires Courtney's mom to stay with her while she works.

Would you let your lil prodigy move through life at a rapid pace?

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Skippym Skippym 8 years
When my son was 10 years old he started working as a fiddler on a TV show. He was the only kids there. His working hours were noon to midnight. He went to private school and brought his homework with him. One year he missed 60 days of school and won a prize for top marks. He still played with his friends and did lots of kid stuff. Just because he worked with adults didn't mean that he didn't play with kids, computers, ride bikes, go to Karate, Sunday School, etc. He went on the earn 2 college degrees in violin by the time he was 21. Now at 37 he is very happy and successful, and totally invovled in violin and fiddle music; -- he has played in thousands of concerts in several countries and has 2 more CDs coming out this spring. When a kid knows what he wants to do it's important to encourage their career, while encouraging friendships with kids their age. The friends have to accept the fact that some kids are, well, "different".
Twinkle1 Twinkle1 8 years
No way!
musewings musewings 8 years
Truthfully, I don't get the attitude of "losing one's childhood." I had my childhood snatched away from me in my teens due to a debilitating disease. Anything can happen in life, so if this is the path this little girl wants to take, then I commend her and her parents... as others have said, she's doing something highly worthwhile and educational.
Bookish Bookish 8 years
It depends on the child and the career. If my son came to me at ten years old and said "Mom, I want to drop out of school and be a rock star," then of course not. But if he came to me and said "I want to work in a vet clinic, or at a doctor's office, or anything like that" (worthwhile work, which can teach life lessons), then I'd probably allow it. But it would get treated like an after-school activity, with the same limits. Schoolwork comes first, and you have a limited number of extracurricular activities you can have at any one time.
Renees3 Renees3 8 years
She doesn't seem like a freakish worka holic or anything. How do we know she doesn't have a normal childhood outside of this? You can hold back these kind of kids. Like davisdavis said, it just makes worse problems
babysugar babysugar 8 years
If my kid was a brainiac and really wanted to pursue something like this, I guess I'd have to at least consider it. But so hard to make that call. Maybe I'd have mandatory play time on the weekends and at night. ha.
annebreal annebreal 8 years
I agree that finding a balance is important, and it's probably so difficult. It's hard to have an extremely intelligent kid that's got good social skills and relationships with their peers, so they could be doing everything they want, but are they really happy? I think it's good she has a mentor, and if I was her mom, I'd definitely be encouraging activities with other kids her age so her friends don't end up being only the adults at the vet hospital. Also, maturity and the still-developing brain is an issue too I think.
sushiii sushiii 8 years
bfly1133, you took the words right out of my mouth. I totally agree with you.
Shannikan Shannikan 8 years
I would. If she wants to yes. Everyone is different, some kids just want to be different. As long as it's HER DECISION, and no one else's..
Dana18 Dana18 8 years
In this case I would say yes. She is not your average kid. She is a college grad. What else is she going to do with her time. The average kid is in school. She is only working part time.
SweetnLow SweetnLow 8 years
I would try to allow her to do what she wanted. I doubt she's going to want to stay a vet tech forever, but even if she did- would that be so bad? I do agree, howver, that she needs time to be a child as well.
books-and-shoes books-and-shoes 8 years
She's like a little Doogie Howser! For pets.
bfly1133 bfly1133 8 years
I wouldn't hold my child back from something they truly wanted because, as some posters have said, it could have terrible consequences. Children still need to have a childhood where they are carefree and just get to have fun. If they don't get that experience they will burn out or simply go crazy. I would attempt to find the proper balance. And I would most definitely still be a parent that enforces rules and teaches life lessons. You might be smart at 10, but you certainly don't know everything.
bluesarahlou bluesarahlou 8 years
Moto-the vet tech program is a 2-year certification program...basically an associates degree. Mostly through community colleges, but you can do it online as well. There are actually quite a few high demand jobs that only require a 2-year certification :)
ktownpolarbear ktownpolarbear 8 years
i think i'd let them explore, but to have a full-on career at 10 seems kinda harsh. i know kids are overburdened as it is with afterschool activities these days, but still . . .
MotoLinz MotoLinz 8 years
Do you have to graduate college to be a vet tech? When I hear "college graduate," I think 4-year degree. The report says she's a vet tech who got an online certificate. So, I am confused. :?
JennyJen2 JennyJen2 8 years
Okay - I did some more research - I don't think this little girl is working for $$ - She is volunteering at the hospital.
davisdavis davisdavis 8 years
This child is clearly truly gifted, which comes with it's own set of dilemmas. If you take a child who is capable of completing high school, college, and earning a vet tech cert by the time she is 10, and choose to hold her back instead, you're asking for trouble. Kids forced to sit through classes below their academic level tend get bored and turn to anything exciting for fun. Not good. I'm not saying that accelerated learning doesn't come with its own slew of social and emotional problems, but holding her back won't lessen them: she's not intellectually equal to her age group, just as she's not emotionally/physically equal to her intellectual peers. The accelerated education isn't what puts her in an awkward, outsider position, it is just a fact of her life. I really like that the law acknowledges her as a child and requires her to be accompanied by an adult- I think that this can go a long way to shelter her emotionally until she is psychologically/physically an adult.
bingkaycoy bingkaycoy 8 years
No...kids should be k ids. Childhood is short.
DesignRchic DesignRchic 8 years
I guess if it's what my daughter really wanted to do, I'd let her. Of course I'd have the "ARE you SURE this is what you wanna do" conversation beforehand. I'd just hate to have her resent me in the future. Not sure if the parents in this situation applied pressure to her or not.
JennyJen2 JennyJen2 8 years
I would so let my kids do this. If a child is this talented and gifted who am I to stand in the way of that gift. However, I would definitely keep them involved in activities with kids their own age so they can develop friendship and grow up somewhat normal. Because after all - kids just want to be kids. heck - I just want to be a kid!
MotoLinz MotoLinz 8 years
No. "She decided early in life that this is what she wanted to do..." Huh? I didn't realize that 10 years old was considered all that old and wise. It's great that the girl is smart and having a good time, but a 10-year old should be a kid. These accelerated kids, on the fast track through life, so often seem to burn out and hit a quick downward spiral.
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