My husband was about 10 years old when he told his mom that he wanted to write stories. She told him that he'd never make any money doing that, and discouraged him from pursuing it. Then when he was about 12, he wanted to go to the symphony, and she said no way, that was for sissies.
Well, he ended up as a mechanic, and then when his back got too bad to continue, he became a realtor (this was in conjunction with his stint as Mr. Mom, of course!) And, I think that experience really colored his support / approval of our son's desire to be a writer. Tommy was 7 years old when he "sold" his first story to our next-door neighbor (something about broccoli gone wild). Ever since then, he has been single-minded in his desire to be a writer, and we have not tried to change that (although, I have to admit I do keep asking how he's going to support himself while waiting for his first published work to be sold!)
We really try never to shoot down our children’s dreams, (like wanting to be on American Idol, or wanting to play for the Yankees), and do what we can to support them.
-anonymous, Syracuse, NY