Aibu to give my kids options ?

(27 Posts)
MegGriffin1 Thu 10-Mar-16 20:37:38

Hi all. Aibu to want my kids to have more options than me even if these options may not be seen as privileged ? Let me explain! I grew up in middle class house and it was always expected almost unwritten that I would go to uni and have a good job. That happened for me and my siblings and we were lucky to have them opportunities. However I want my kids to not see that as the only route. For example if my child wanted to skip uni and train on a job or get a job that wasn't seen as professional but they were happy and non stressed I would love that. Aibu to want that?

FeelingFine89 Thu 10-Mar-16 20:45:38

YANBU at all. Uni isn't the be all and end all.
My dad left school at 16 to work in a shop, and worked his way up in the business. He owns a really nice house, has a 7 seater car, goes on about 3 luxury holidays a year, goes out for meals regularly, has a season pass for the footy, etc etc...
He's retired at age 55. He's absolutely loving life. He worked so hard in retail and now he's reali gone rewards from it. If he'd have gone off to uni he wouldn't have worked his way up for the business he worked for.

Uni schmuni.

FeelingFine89 Thu 10-Mar-16 20:46:33

reali gone= reaping the

MegGriffin1 Thu 10-Mar-16 20:49:19

I just really didn't like uni and my line of work is stressful. I wouldn't mind if my kids left school and worked in a bank or admin a job they wouldn't taken home

BertrandRussell Thu 10-Mar-16 20:49:38

Yes. Up to a point. Giving them options means giving them the keys to open as many doors as possible- even doors they might not know they want to open. So the best exam result they are capable of. The widest range of outside school activities you can persuade them to do...........And then they can decide. It's not a proper choice if they can't do things because they haven't got the qualifications/skills/training......

SweetieDrops Thu 10-Mar-16 20:52:20

YANBU. I went to university because I'd done well at school and it was the expected next step. I wasn't that into it, drifted through without putting that much effort in and managed to scrape a 2nd. I will only encourage DD to go if she wants to pursue a particular career that she would need the relevant degree for. It's only been fairly recently that I've known what I want to do and I'm going back as a mature student soon but this time with the motivation to do it because I want to be there.

sooperdooper Thu 10-Mar-16 20:52:28

Yanbu, there are plenty of options in life and nobody should feel that have to take a set route, why would anyone think that was unreasonable?? confused

MegGriffin1 Thu 10-Mar-16 20:55:22

Sooper doper my family would think this was unreasonable

FeelingFine89 Thu 10-Mar-16 21:00:50

Yeah I see what you mean. My dad did bring home a lot of work. But it goes to show that you don't need to go to uni to be successful.

There really is nothing wrong with jobs that you don't bring home and you can leave behind at the end of the day. People say those people don't work as hard and they get looked down on by people.

I never went to uni because I didn't know what I wanted to do. I'm glad my parents didn't pressure me in to it for the sake of it as it would have been pointless.

You seem like you are very supportive of your children. Some parents need a good old reality check when it comes to uni and going down the academic route- I often wonder if they want their children to do it to make them look good and to "keep up appearances" and they can brag about it.

RockUnit Thu 10-Mar-16 21:59:28

YANBU to want what's best for them, whether that turns out to be university and a "professional" job, or straight into a job after school, or something else like a gap year, a degree and a non "professional" job, or doing a degree on the job.

However, be careful that their choices are theirs, and that they don't feel you're trying to put them off university and a professional job, any more than pushing them towards those things. You didn't like uni but many people do and it can depend so much on the place, course, people etc.

I was lucky enough to enjoy university in many ways. You get to meet so many different people with various interests to broaden your horizons, you spend time on a subject that fascinates you, and develop many transferable skills such as research/analysis/presentation. It's not about making money but about developing your mind and as a person. And after a degree you've still got the rest of your life in the world of work.

Some of my school friends opted for going straight into work after university and were happy with their choice. One or two seemed to find it necessary to make comments that university is "a waste of time" instead of recognising different things are right for different people.

I haven't ended up in a high-flying professional career but I don't regret university for one minute. I see university as an all-round experience, and beneficial in its own right, rather than learning a set of skills for one job.

I think these days many people aren't that bothered about the "prestige" of where someone works. Some people make judgements (one of their first questions will be "What do you do?" and you can sense the calculation going on after you answer!) and I have felt judged sometimes. But most people are interested in the person, rather than how they earn a living.

If your DCs have all the information in front of them, maybe some university prospectuses/visits and some time researching jobs you can do straight from school, and perhaps some work experience, they can choose what they feel is best for them. Then it's their choice, not someone else's ambitions or expectations.

theycallmemellojello Thu 10-Mar-16 22:03:03

If you just encourage them to do their best and follow their interests they'll be fine.

RubbleBubble00 Thu 10-Mar-16 22:18:39

I will be encouraging uni if they have a set career in mind that needs a degree - it's too epensive otherwise to be worth it

Hassled Thu 10-Mar-16 22:24:21

With the amount of student debt kids leave university with now, you'd be insane to push a DC into Uni unless there was a clear vocational need - i.e a burning desire to have a specific career that needs a degree.

RockUnit Thu 10-Mar-16 22:43:46

I remember when the student grant was dropped and loans came in. I know things change, there are lots of cutbacks of public services these days, etc. But I preferred it when higher education was considered valuable in itself, rather than only thought to be "useful" if the course is directly vocational.

Rainbunny Fri 11-Mar-16 03:11:47

I agree with you actually OP, for many different reasons. Firstly, the cost of university and the associated debt is an issue to me. I think more and more students will opt for more practical degrees over things they might better like, such as a history degree, given that they will be in debt for studying something without an obvious career prospect.

Then, and just as importantly I honestly feel that setting on a specific subject to study at age 18 when you hardly know what you'll turn out to enjoy or be talented at, or what your passions in life will be is a waste of money. I think it would better if people held off going to university until at least age 25 since I know so many people, myself included who changed careers and interests years later. I'd do anything to go back and choose a different subject for my bachelor's degree. I'm on my third career in fact, including being a lawyer as my second career I had. So much time in graduate school!... Luckily for me I just missed the introduction of tuition fees, so it wasn't as damaging for me to change track but I pity students now!

daisychain01 Fri 11-Mar-16 04:22:04

With my DSS, we started a conversation around GCSE time and continued it through A levels about what university was, how it differs from a technical college, what those different options could do for him in terms of future job prospects and whether, in our opinion, we felt he would be happy sitting in lectures for several years versus doing practical hands on in a workshop, as we knew he wasn't academic but very much enjoyed creating and designing. We told him if he wanted to go to Uni we would fully support his choice but to think about what he needed to achieve rather than just going to Uni because all his friends were talking about it as if it were the only default option

He is now at a technical college doing engineering, through his choice. He drew his own conclusions, because we gave him food for thought.

We did point out early on that he needed to work hard at school to get the basic qualifications, they were the reliable starting point to further choices.

keylimepieplease Fri 11-Mar-16 04:39:05

I think by the time current toddlers get to university age there will have been a sea-change in regards to attitudes about going to university. I think apprenticeships and jobs that take on school leavers are going to get very highly sought after as people slowly start to accept that many degrees simply aren't worth the tens of thousands of debt any more.

SoThatHappened Fri 11-Mar-16 05:06:07

My dad left school at 16 to work in a shop, and worked his way up in the business. He owns a really nice house, has a 7 seater car, goes on about 3 luxury holidays a year, goes out for meals regularly, has a season pass for the footy, etc etc...
He's retired at age 55. He's absolutely loving life. He worked so hard in retail and now he's reali gone rewards from it. If he'd have gone off to uni he wouldn't have worked his way up for the business he worked for.

With the greatest of respect to you FeelingFine89, good on your dad, but seeing as your dad is over 55, this cannot be used as an inspirational tale now.

Given your dads age, property was considerably cheaper at the time he bought it hence he will have made big profits from any sale of property, less people went to university in your dads generation, etc etc...

The chances of a 16 year old today leaving school with no alevels to start work in a shop and working their way up to owing a house, a 7 seater car, several luxury holidays a year are remote at best.

Life was very very different in your dads generation.

Whowouldfardelsbear Fri 11-Mar-16 05:12:46

I agree with you op. My parents sound much like yours. I told them I will tell DDs to think carefully about university as a choice (they're only 7 and 4 so a way off yet). They were horrified at the thought.

Plenty of time yet to see what kind of people they grow in to and what would suit them best.

KeyserSophie Fri 11-Mar-16 05:17:58

There is a 40 yr old guy I know who started work as a bellhop at the Four Seasons and has managed to become really senior at a major investment bank. He gets wheeled out a lot purely because he is SO unusual/ exceptional (he's probably 1 in 10,000) and actually, his story contains at least 2 major pieces of luck that you couldn't engineer. He wants his kids to go to Uni grin

I agree that the system/ process is likely to be very different by the time our children leave school. I would absolutely support an alternative route, but I would challenge them if I felt it wasnt going to lead to building skills or was not a realistic route to gettting where they want to go.

shouldwestayorshouldwego Fri 11-Mar-16 05:42:05

I think that it depends how old your dc are. Mine are primary age. They are aware of uni because I work in one, plus we went to Cambridge for a day trip which had a big impact on one dc. At this age I wouldn't squash their ambitions. The jobs they aspire to require degrees well other than the boy band singer . I just say that they will need to work hard, which at secondary school will serve them well whatever path they choose.

If they were 15/16 though my approach might be different. You need to assess the cost effectiveness of a degree. I wouldn't push them to go to uni and would be open about other paths. Having said that my parents (who hadn't been to uni) asking me whether I might be happier working in a bank (they meant as a cashier not stockbroker) was one of the pushes I needed to start working at A-level. Nothing like parental disapproval to motivate a teenager!

Katenka Fri 11-Mar-16 06:19:19

Having options actually means having options though. I know parents who hated uni and wish they hadn't gone who actively discourage their kids going to uni. Which I think is as bad as making them feel they have to go.

My mum drummed into me I had to go. She did the same to dbro. But he got a grant. By the time I was that age I would have had to have a loan. I didn't want to go that much and mum and dad couldn't have afforded to pay the loans. So I decided I wasn't going. I wasn't getting into the debt just because mum wanted me to go.

I started working and bought a house instead. As it goes I am not financially stable than my brother who never used his degree and mum isn't as pro-uni anymore.

My kids will have options and we will explore them all when the time comes.

keylimepieplease Fri 11-Mar-16 08:12:46

I agree, Sothathappened. Unfortunately my DM doesn't understand that issue about the house prices and how they relate to average earnings. She doesn't understand why DH and I don't have a house yet when both of us are earning, yet she was able to buy a house by herself in her 20s. She also thinks all mums should SAH until the children are off to school, with no understanding at all of why many people simply can't afford that!

BlueEyesAndDarkChocolate Fri 11-Mar-16 08:45:01

Definitely best to let them choose.

My son is at Uni, and when he was home last, he was saying how he was doing homework till 11pm at night. I told him in no uncertain terms, that if he ever changed his mind and wanted to ditch Uni and do something else, that no one would be disappointed. He was adamant that he is loving it, despite the workload, so all fine.

I have not pressured either of my kids about Uni. It's not my life or my choice.

SoThatHappened Fri 11-Mar-16 15:55:34

I agree, Sothathappened. Unfortunately my DM doesn't understand that issue about the house prices and how they relate to average earnings. She doesn't understand why DH and I don't have a house yet when both of us are earning, yet she was able to buy a house by herself in her 20s. She also thinks all mums should SAH until the children are off to school, with no understanding at all of why many people simply can't afford that!

Oh yeah. My salary sounds pretty decent and people dont understand why I cant afford a house, private rent by myself. Have they seen the cost of it lately?

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