(302 Posts)
helenjackson2 Sun 17-Mar-13 21:10:11


lockets Sun 17-Mar-13 21:13:48

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SolomanDaisy Sun 17-Mar-13 21:14:04

Let her try it without judging her. Either it will be right for her or she will quickly realise it's not and you can then support her either way.

Timetoask Sun 17-Mar-13 21:15:13

Do you have any friends/acquaintances that could talk to her about their careers and give her some inspiration?

cocolepew Sun 17-Mar-13 21:17:03

What's wrong with her doing something she is interested in, and might be happy doing it?

colditz Sun 17-Mar-13 21:17:05

Let her get on with it. She clearly has no interest whatsoever in academia, and just because you've paid the price of a house for her education does not mean she likes it. Paying for her schooling was a choice you made, with no input from her, when she was little. Now it's her turn to choose.

Perhaps you could ask her what she wants to do in life, and then respect her choices? Presumably you paid out for her schooling so that she would have choices in life, not so that she'd follow your path in life?

If you're really convinced her choice is a bad one, then you need to explain why that is to her - eg average salary, promotion prospects, etc. But horrified "we didn't pay for your education so that you can do what you want" isn' a very good argument.

landofsoapandglory Sun 17-Mar-13 21:17:28

Why is it stupid and idiotic?

What is stupid and idiotic is forcing someone into a career path that they have absolutely no intrest in whatsoever. She is obviously intelligent, but that doesn't mean she shouldn't become a hairdresser. She might be excellent at it, she might hate it, but it is your job as a parent to support her not to dictate to her.

ToeCap Sun 17-Mar-13 21:18:00

Try to get her to stay for a levels and then she can still go to do hair and beauty but at least is 2 years older and maybe will have changed her mind.
And if not, well your job is done, you have given her all the tools to utilitse in any career and the rest is her choice really.

colditz Sun 17-Mar-13 21:18:21

Also, it might be worth fully supporting this whim, and then fully supporting a hasty transfer back to sixth form when she realises exactly how low the btec beauty course is pitched.

LadyMaryQuiteContrary Sun 17-Mar-13 21:18:34

Why are you shouting? confused

She's happy, what's the big deal? She has the opportunity to go to Oxbridge if she wants to but she doesn't. It doesn't mean she may not change her mind, at least she has the choice. When you pay for an expensive education it can be disappointing (I wouldn't be impressed if ds went to work in Tesco) but the best interest of your child should be more important then your ambition for them.

ASundayMorningNamechange Sun 17-Mar-13 21:19:46

Did you send this as a telegram OP?

HorsesDogsNails Sun 17-Mar-13 21:20:55

Do you actually believe that hair and/or beauty is only for thick people? If so, you are very wrong.

There is a huge amount of theory behind both subjects (and they are separate subjects btw) and both careers have lots of diverse opportunities. For an intelligent girl either hairdressing or beauty therapy offers the chance of self-employment, cruise ship work or session work as well as the chance to work in an industry with one of the highest rates of job satisfaction around.

Don't be so judgemental.

jird Sun 17-Mar-13 21:21:11

break her legs

Compromise: if she does A-levels first and gets reasonable grades then you'll support her in her hair/beauty training. Not all sixteen year olds know what they want to do, and if she changes her mind then the A-levels will have left her options more open.

ASundayMorningNamechange Sun 17-Mar-13 21:22:14

Sorry, not helpful. Tbh, do you stand much chance of changing her mind? Would it be better to support her in this and then gently steer her towards management courses afterwards? That way she could be involved in an industry she's interested in at a level you had envisaged. Alternatively, suggest she do a business course / a-levels at college and take part time beauty courses (my local college does one day courses in nail art, waxing etc; yours might be the same) with a view to setting up her own business after uni?

SirChenjin Sun 17-Mar-13 21:24:33


What would you prefer she did - something that would make her unhappy? You chose to spend that sum of money on her education, but no form of education provides a guarantee. All you can do is point out the other options that are open to her with her qualifications and suggest that she might want to look into them. She may very well end up earning very good money as the owner of a salon or salons, employing several people.

glaurung Sun 17-Mar-13 21:24:33

I'm never sure why people think the amount paid for an education should affect their career choices.

Some dc do brilliantly well at GCSE but don't enjoy academic study and choose other pathways and other teenagers like to wind their parents up so choose whatever might annoy them most (the latter often don't follow through with their plans, especially if their parents don't rise to the bait).

All you can do is make sure she's as well informed as possible (in a non judgemental way) about her options. If she changes her mind last minute she can apply late to sixth forms, or even start a year later.

Pendipidy Sun 17-Mar-13 21:27:00

Presumably you like to judge people...i presume you didn't have a 150k education judging by your grammatical errors and spelling mistakes.

Op you sound snobby and overbearing. Can't get over how nice people are being to you.

piprabbit Sun 17-Mar-13 21:30:27

It could be the first steps in a very successful and enjoyable career in a highly creative business.

At the very least she will always be able to earn her own knicker money - unlike me, who got a 'proper' degree and a 'proper' career for a 'proper' company and now find myself pretty much unemployable.

senua Sun 17-Mar-13 21:30:31

Hair and beauty? Quelle horreur
Why don't you persuade her to do journalism instead. Like her mother.

Owllady Sun 17-Mar-13 21:33:37


Coconutty Sun 17-Mar-13 21:34:28


nenevomito Sun 17-Mar-13 21:35:07

Sounds like a good old fashioned bit of rebellion.

Why not compromise and say that if she does her A-Levels and then still wants to do hair and beauty you'll support her, but it will give her more choice if she keeps her options open.

If that fails, tell her you'll cut her off.

Viviennemary Sun 17-Mar-13 21:35:31

I wouldn't be happy about this either. Spending a fortune on children's education comes with no guarantees.

pooka Sun 17-Mar-13 21:36:27

Ha ha!

Bunbaker Sun 17-Mar-13 21:36:36

Can she get a Saturday job or job in the holidays at a hairdressers salon so that she can see the reality of how much hard work it is?

MIL did a similar thing with SIL who wanted to drop out of school before her O levels (it was in the 1960s when the school leaving age was 15). She sent SIL to waitress in a pub. SIL hated it and MIL told her that this would be the type of job she would get if she didn't do her O levels. It worked.

ArtexMonkey Sun 17-Mar-13 21:36:48

Oh everyone is very funny tonight grin

The girl who used to cut my hair when I first moved where I live now packed it all in to do a biochemistry degree when she was 22.

People have a reeeeeeally long time to work out what they want to do with their lives and having a skill to fall back on is nowt to be sniffed at.

noddyholder Sun 17-Mar-13 21:38:00

I hope you haven,t told her you think her choices are stupid and idiotic

Beamur Sun 17-Mar-13 21:38:46

People working in hair and beauty apparently have some of the highest levels of job satisfaction....
But, before she commits one way or another, it would be a very good idea to try some work experience in this field first. It is hard work and can also be very low paid - especially at first.

Portofino Sun 17-Mar-13 21:42:03

I wanted to do a BTEC in Travel and Tourism and it wasn't allowed as there was no shorthand typing stuff included. I did the shorthand (never used since), typng is still a bit useful and am STILL a frustrated travel agent. I think I should be running Virgin Holidays or the like. Instead I am doing something I hate, She should get to choose how she wants to waste her life being an adult and all.

NinthWave Sun 17-Mar-13 21:46:23



Portofino Sun 17-Mar-13 21:50:23


What is the world coming to? It's a disgrace. You should lock her up and refuse her use of hair straighteners and make up until she comes to her senses. Something will have to be done. forthwith.

HorsesDogsNails Sun 17-Mar-13 21:52:29

Beamur not apparently, actually! I am a Nail Technician and I love my job - every day.... I am 42, educated and worked for 16 years in marketing for a large financial services company - would I go back to that? Hell no!!!

People massively under-estimate how difficult it is to be both skilled as a therapist and savvy enough to run a business.

GrimbleGrog Sun 17-Mar-13 21:53:03



GrimbleGrog Sun 17-Mar-13 21:53:37

ASundayMorning that was funny

Portofino Sun 17-Mar-13 21:54:25

Read Toast to see how your children can lead an "undesirable" life and make a success of themselves because they have the passion to do it.

nooka Sun 17-Mar-13 21:58:13

I'd be extremely unhappy if one of my children having performed very well academically wanted to jack it in and leave school at 16. I'd be worried about their future because I would imagine (I acknowledge that I could be completely wrong) that the majority of people who go down this sort of route do not have glittering careers but rather end up with fairly dead end low paid jobs.

I would be inclined just to say 'no', but knowing this might not be the best idea in the world would look to understand why the change of mind. It's not unusual to want a change of environment for sixth form. Is your dd happy at boarding school? Are her friends moving about? Is she feeling under a lot of pressure, or need more freedom, or be lined up for the wrong courses?

Fundamentally you need to understand whether she has a vocational desire for hairdressing, if this is some sort of rebellion, or if she is just unhappy with the status quo.

Beamur Sun 17-Mar-13 22:00:20

HorseDogsNails - I was being serious, not sarky grin

Hairdressing and beauty is a perfectly valid choice of career!

DS1 has expressed an interest in carpentry and cabinet making! But of course we are aiming higher, and suggest to him that he finds away of changing DNA of trees so they grow faster and produce more oxygen so that we can cut more down than we do today, and not affect the environment so much. This way he is at least doing eco friendly cabinets!

Cremolafoam Sun 17-Mar-13 22:06:25


HorsesDogsNails Sun 17-Mar-13 22:06:42

HorseDogsNails - I was being serious, not sarky

I didn't read you as sarky, I thought maybe you'd heard anecdotally and was backing you up as a living example grin!!

AuntieStella Sun 17-Mar-13 22:07:37

I think I'd be quite pleased if DD went into hair/beauty. It's always struck me as something you can fit round the different stages of your life quite well.

She wants to create monsters for the BBC (big Doctor Who fan) or run a mega chain of salons and become the most famous hairdresser in the world.

OP: I hope you fix your broken caps lock. And try not to worry. With good GCSEs your DD will be able to pick up the academic track again later if she wants to.

joanofarchitrave Sun 17-Mar-13 22:10:25

Talk to her, but FGS if you were expecting some sort of specific return on that money, you should have put it in a building society.

Relative of mine left school at 16 and trained in a (low-status) vocational career. Returned to school after 3 months having done an initial qualification and found it wasn't what she wanted to do after all. Stellar academic and professional success followed. Her parents never said a word against either decision, in fact I think they were positive and supportive both times.

I note the word 'expected' in your post. There you have it. IMO she's terrified and feeling under pressure. When approaching my uni finals I was all set to become a lock keeper (despite knowing 0 about boats and having the practical skills of a fairy). Take the pressure off. Talk about finishing what she's started (the GCSE courses). Ask her what's the worst that could happen at GCSE - she fails? So what? Life is long, school is a tedious necessity for most of us, that's all, and good things are round the corner whatever path she chooses.

EeyoresGloomyPlace Sun 17-Mar-13 22:16:37

What's so awful about hair & beauty?

Presumably she's doing well academically, judging by her predicted grades so she even if she doesn't like it she can try something else later on.

Or, she turns out to be really good at it, creates a career for herself that she enjoys and could even go on to owning/running her own salon. If you're that made of money perhaps you might even support her.

Don't push her, she'll only fight you. Its her life and she didn't ask you to spend an obscene amount of cash on her education.

lougle Sun 17-Mar-13 22:26:31

Is it sooo wrong to snigger? I can imagine that after spending £150k, you didn't expect your DD to pursue a practical skill.

Good on her.

Just think of it as a gap year working with the disadvantaged - does that make it feel better?

Probably the hardest working person I have known is my previous beautician. It was her business, she had a great eye for detail and while she wasn't rolling in money, it certainly gave her a nice lifestyle. My current beautician works from home to fit around her family life and it means that they don't have childcare costs. There are plenty of capable, smart people trained in hair and beauty, but to make a success of it they need to also be very hardworking. It doesn't look easy or glamourous.

I'd love to have a child who was trained in beauty and, ideally, massage.

OMG - the shame! Ask if you can get a refund. How dare she not go to Oxbridge? Imagine how much more useful a classics degree would be.

tiggytape Sun 17-Mar-13 22:30:48

Either she is following her dream - in which case support her.

Or she is rebelling - in which case let her get on with it. Forcing or coercing her to change her mind will either make her more determined to rebel or so resentful she messes up her A levels just to spite you.

She's got brilliant GCSE grades, it’s not like she's joining the French Foreign Legion, she can drop out of college if she feels like it at any time and do A Levels and a degree later in life - plenty of people do. She doesn't have to head off on a pathway at 16 and stay on it forever.

HappyMummyOfOne Sun 17-Mar-13 22:32:59

Her life her choice, you can guide but cant force her into anything.

Plenty go to uni then never use their degrees as they stay homme with children or change their careeer path completely.

Has the top boarding school taught your DD how to use upper and lower case letters appropriately?

Maybe she wants to live at home if she is looking at a local course. Maybe she misses you.

Chippychop Sun 17-Mar-13 22:38:03

OP you are not being snobby or pretentious or anything . For all anyone on here knows you may well have sacrificed your soul and sold your body to do it - who cares that's your choice not ours. Fact is you've got a bright daughter and you want her to use her talents/brains. Why not try and compromise with her... Sell her the benefits of owning her own business: beauty salon whatever and tell her she'd be better off long run owning and that you will support her in this but at the moment she needs to get the rest of her quals a-levels degree. Does she have a sat job sweeping hair? Maybe that will be put her off I'm sure it won't be enough of a challenge for her and like all teens will get bored of the monotony. Good luck

BooksandaCuppa Sun 17-Mar-13 22:44:30

1) It is proven time and time again in research that hairdressers and beauty therapists have the highest job satisfaction of any job.

2) I have straight As at GCSE and A level and a first in an academic subject and I have never earned as much as my hairdresser friend does.

3) Despite 1) and 2) I would maybe still try and persuade her to do some A levels alongside or before the Btec, just to keep her options only. She could do both at college.

tiggytape Sun 17-Mar-13 22:45:32

It doesn't matter what parents sacrifice for their children - there is no guaranteed return on raising a bright or well educated child!
And, when it comes to happiness, there's no rule that says one must work the limits of intellectual capability to feel satisfied or fulfilled in life. Plenty of people work in a job that is ‘beneath’ their intellectual capabilities because they feel strongly about it, enjoy it or simply don’t view a career as being of any importance in their life.

Ilovemydogandmydoglovesme Sun 17-Mar-13 22:45:38

Is the op coming back?

Yellowtip Sun 17-Mar-13 22:52:18

She hasn't even done her GCSEs but from an expensive top private school in the SE is predicted a mix of As and A*s. How on earth can you be so sure she has 'Oxbridge potential'? If I was her I might be sorely tempted to throw in the towel now and refuse to revise. Then my desire not to pursue an academic route would be a done deed. Be careful OP, especially with only weeks to go until the exams.

skratta Sun 17-Mar-13 22:58:21

biscuit Your DD is your DD. NOT YOU. Get it? As in, she has her own life, own skills, own desires....and own choice of career?

helenjackson2 Sun 17-Mar-13 23:06:20


Please stop shouting

twentythirteen Sun 17-Mar-13 23:12:22

It must be hard, but she's young. Whatever she does now is unlikely to be what she will be doing when she's 30. You might have to wait a bit longer to see the fruits of your investment in her.

edam Sun 17-Mar-13 23:12:23

Helen, you could turn caps lock off though. All those capital letters are very shouty. Kids rebel, or turn out to have different plans than you expected...

My sister went through a really scary rebellion from her mid-teens, dropped out of school and so on - she ended up going to university in her 30s and is now a qualified nurse studying for further quals (only her dissertation to do and she will be a nurse prescriber, go sis!).

twentythirteen Sun 17-Mar-13 23:14:40

PS, it's hard to read when you write in all capital letters. I think that's what people are referring to when they say you are shouting.

She could always decide that she wanted to do A-levels and go to university later in life. There's no reason she has to do it straight from school, and mature students often get more out of their courses than those who go straight from school. Life and work experience can make a huge difference.

Or she may love being a hairdresser/beauty therapist and lead a happy life as one. There's absolutely nothing wrong with it as a career choice.

You paid for an education for your DD; it doesn't mean you get to determine her future. Nor does choosing to do something vocational make that education 'a waste of money'.

Calm down.

helenjackson2 Sun 17-Mar-13 23:23:23

thanks will not write in capital letters in future.

TheSecondComing Sun 17-Mar-13 23:24:58

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

You can still use them at the start of sentences though. grin <-- lighthearted comment; not a dig.

landofsoapandglory Sun 17-Mar-13 23:41:08

She could have all the GCSE's in the world, at A* and not want to go to University. It isn't for everyone, it isn't the be all and end all of life. One thing is for certain people always want hairdressers.

DS1(18) has got 10 GCSEs at a mixture of A*s and As. He has just got 3 As in his January A level modules, and had places offered at 5 universities, but he isn't sure he wants to go. He wants to join the Army. He was going to his degree, then go to Sandhurst, now he is thinking of going in as a private and transferring over to officer training when he is eligible. He has asked me to go with him to find out about this. I'm not ranting and raving, I am supporting him. I want him to be happy, and if this is what is going to make him happy then so be it.

BoringTheBuilder Sun 17-Mar-13 23:44:58


GetOrf Sun 17-Mar-13 23:45:08

OOh portofino I really wanted to do Travel and Tourism BTEC as well. I had visions of trotting around greek islands in a green and yellow polyester two piece suit with a clipboard and a jaunty hairbow as a travel rep.

I still secretly hanker after it now.

Perhaps when I hit my mid life crisis (imminent) I will give up my bastard of a job and do a season as a chalet girl followed by a season as a Cosmos Holidays rep in Tossa de Mar.

GetOrf Sun 17-Mar-13 23:47:11

land my dd wants to join the bloody army as well, she is considering Sandhurst applications but really wants to go in as a private and maybe transfer later as well. I cannot think of anything more HORRIBLE personally. But I can't say anything. DD is 17, really wants to do this, and I can't put my foot down with this, I need to support her.

abbeynationall Mon 18-Mar-13 00:26:23

Op, same thing happened to me and my DF. Boarding school right from when I was 4yrs old right through to 4 yrs in Uni and a year post uni. Quite alot of money was poured into my education and with it came very high expectations. I haven't ammounted into anything which has deeply hurt my family.
He's become so bitter I cannot bring myself to talk to him.

All that, you can imagine has left me undone. I hate myself for what has become of my DF, but more than that, I hate myself that I haven't become successfull. Guess where my self confidence is? I don't think most of my peers have such thoughts hanging over their heads frequently or in the same intensity as me.

Please don't do it to your daughter . Don't lay a price on her that she has to pay back e.g that she has to work harder and achieve more just because of her education bill, the guilt will be there naturally after elapse of teenage years. Bite your tongue and reign in your expectations of her. Most of all don't remind her how much money you've spent . I'm sure the private school thing was more your Idea than her's and if you'd have wanted value for money, an ISA , would have been fine.

Sorry for the long post, you can tell it's a topic close to my heart.

GetOrf Mon 18-Mar-13 00:30:35

Abbey that is very sad. Don't say you havent amounted to anything - you may not have done what your family wanted, but that doesn't mean you haven't achieved, I am sure you have. You sound as if your self esteem is shot to pieces, you poor thing.

GetOrf Mon 18-Mar-13 00:31:05

Well that sounds condescending hmm It wasn't meant to be, sorry. blush

abbeynationall Mon 18-Mar-13 00:33:46

<cries buckets>

GetOrf Mon 18-Mar-13 00:37:44

Oh no don't cry.

You father chose to spend all that money on your education for reasons best known to himself. He didn't have to. And it was his choice. Just because he spent the money on your schooling as opposed to a porsche and golfing weekends (or whatever) doesn't mean that the responsibility of it should be on your shoulders. He is being monstrously unfair.

abbeynationall Mon 18-Mar-13 00:45:09

Posted early,
What kind words Get!!
I hope there will come a time when I will stop feeeling like an utter failure. I didn't ask for it for sure , so for it to come with conditions is just unfair! Ignore the crying, it catches up with me smetimes flowers

BadgerB Mon 18-Mar-13 06:30:42

All (well, most) 16 y.o. girls want to do fashion, hair, nails etc. because they see it as a route to being beautiful. Very important at that age. I agree with the several posters who have said compromise - get good A levels first, then you'll support her doing the BTEC she wants. She will probably tire of it quite quickly.

OP, I'm sorry to hear that your educational needs weren't addressed at school. I have a son with Aaperger's and I can imagine how tricky and confusing school might have been for you.

However, this is your daughter's educational journey, not yours (although I realise you are paying for it) so at some point you'll need to let her make her own decisions about it.

ExasperatedSigh Mon 18-Mar-13 07:12:29

All the hairdressers and beauticians I know are very happy and fulfilled in their lives. Including my friend who left a well paid job to pursue make up artistry and has built a very successful career in quite a short space of time, including work on various Saturday night entertainment shows. She's done this through hard work and total professionalism, both of which are great attributes in any working life.

I have a degree and good exam results but would love to be a hairdresser with all those flexible and varied options in front of me
rather than a SAHM who can't find a job.

Take the pressure off your DD and don't judge. The A levels compromise is a good idea.

BikeRunSki Mon 18-Mar-13 07:16:33

My parents had 4 children. My mum says she's always been quite dissapointed that she didn't get a hairdresser or a car mechanic, instead of all the postgrad degrees and professional qualifications we've got, which are largely impractical hmm.

Ladymuck Mon 18-Mar-13 07:24:11

Boarding school to FE college is quite a jump. Does she just want to be living at home rather than boarding?

SanityClause Mon 18-Mar-13 07:30:00

Helen, despite a lack of qualifications, you have obviously done all right for yourself.

You have earned enough to send your DD to boarding school (£30,000 pa?).

Lots of people don't earn £30k gross, let alone have a spare £30k left out of eir net to send their DC to boarding school.

So take yourself as an example for your DD (as well as your successful sister).

I think you've had lots of good advice on is thread about how you could compromise with your DD, but I wonder if she just misses home. Is there a good 6th form college near you that she could attend, or a sixth form she could join? There is always lots of movement at that stage in any school, so she would be unlikely to be the only new one coming in.

Good luck to you and DD.

Another who says that you should ask her to do A Levels first. That way she has a route to go into the higher levels of hair or beauty once she finishes A Levels if that interests her too. Chemistry and Biology would be pretty good ones to do, more biology though. She'd be using chemical processes in daily life and chemistry will give her a greater understanding of the chemicals she's using, how they work, what they do and so on, whilst biology is something she'll have to revise regularly if she goes into anything to do with the massage side of beauty. My Mum is a holistic aromatherapist with sorts injuries trainings and you could ask her anything about the body and she'll know the answer. It's fascinating! If I didn't have arthritic hands I'd love to do some of the massage based courses and aromatherapy courses, they go really into biology on those courses.

She can always change her mind later in life if she doesn't enjoy it too.

Needmoresleep Mon 18-Mar-13 08:23:22

I agree with the Pixie.

If you can try to work out what this is about. A genuine interest in hair and beauty? If so look at careers around it and ask her to think where she would like to be in 10 or 20 years time. Something more scientific like tricology, or owning her own business, or working on film sets. The discussion then is around what qualifications help in a competitive field. Your daughter has a comparative advantage over talented kids who leave school with few qualifications. She should use it.

I suspect there is an element of teenage rebellion. She is trying to assert her authority over her future. This is reasonable and indeed healthy. However it is not healthy for her to make short term decisions that may jeopardise that future.

The modern world is a competitive place. Few of our parents fussed and agonised over our education in the way we do. Sensible children are entitled to feel as if they are the sausage meat in a process designed to turn out good A*s and Oxbridge entries.

A friend's daughter, in a West London private school which expects to achieve around 50% Oxbridge entry, has said she has had enough. She does not want to go to either Oxbridge or London. She slogged to get into the school and for the 7 years she is there. She is getting great results, but now wants to take her foot off the pedal and spend three years on an attractive campus without the pressure and competition. Luckily her mum gets it.

Your daughter may be trying to tell you something. There is room to listen and compromise. I would aim for:
- an agreement to enrol for A levels, albeit in science or business subjects (economics, maths), or art or anything that would support career aims.
- work experience through the summer in a beauty salon. (She might find that it is not after all the career for her, and it is likely that colleagues will tell her that they wish they had stayed on at school.)
- agreement that she defers university entry till after a gap year or two, eg that she can go to beauty college after school, but with the A levels that would enable her to change track later.

Pushing against the "system" at this point is not uncommon. You are right to want to ensure that your daughter does not cut off her future for what might be a short term whim. My guess is that if you do listen and take her concerns seriously, she will come round to the idea of staying on. Leaving her known environment is a big step, and as long as she feels content that staying on is her choice she will probably accept that it is the right one.

LIZS Mon 18-Mar-13 08:31:21

Has she visited the FE college , ask what it is that is attracting her- the lack of uniform and "freedom" , the course it self , practical element , living at home, boyfriend/friends . Does she realise there are other options somewhere between ie 6th form at local state or private school, sometimes A levels combined with practical course sat FE college or in-house?

beautyjockey Mon 18-Mar-13 08:32:54

I did something similar when I was 16 and I have regretted it ever since.

I went to do a floristry course. It was hard, cold and dirty. Hairdressing isn’t much more glam. Sweeping hair, washing hair (especially in cold winters - hands wrinkled), the chemicals and any reactions you may have from constant exposure etc. The nits and lice, which are more common than you might think. Most of those who train don’t stick it and nearly all end up supermarket check out assistants. Most of my course mates ended up there.

The problem is that it is unbelievably difficult to get out and change afterwards. I know posters keep suggesting she can change her mind, but in reality it isn’t easy to make that change. She will have left school and can’t go back. Her options will be A level in an FE if she is lucky or night class.

I did my A levels by night class and was stuck working in floristry for nearly 10 years until I married and had a family. My A level grades were hampered by the teaching and classes I was in. This in turn affected my choice of university and course. My husband supported me through college because I couldn’t get any support elsewhere as an adult returner. I got a degree and went on to be a teacher but I regret the loss of those years now. Had my parents kicked my ass severely I would thank them for it. The problem is they were all about letting me make the choices and at 16 you don’t know what it is all about. I was an arrogant toad who thought I knew it all.

All I actually wanted was to be free of the school I was in and to not have to take any more exams for a year. In fact I wanted to stop at home and do nothing for that year. I wanted a boyfriend and I wanted to go out and do shopping and things but there isn’t a lot you can do at 16 but at 16 you don’t know that (don’t know what things I did want to do really with hindsight. I was just mad about a lifestyle I saw on TV and such) Just have time to slouch out and wait to be found and whisked off to some fantastic life. That isn’t realistic but most 16 year olds don’t know that. Doing a floristry course was the next thing (the beauty course was full otherwise I would have done that). I just wanted to be a girl and not be pressured to do more and more exams. A beauty queen, a singer, a model, they were all in my head.

I think the OP needs to kick her daughters ass and tell her she gets one bite at the cherry after which the way back is hard and the doors do not open in the same way again. Get her to take her A levels at least - and in school, not an FE. Then she has options.

GooseyLoosey Mon 18-Mar-13 08:47:51

I would not be happy if my dd did this.

I would be OK if that is where she ended up (I think), but would not allow her to shut so many doors at 16. She has time to pursue this career after she has her A'levels (and, preferably after university too).

Dh left school at 16 because he did not like the school environment and wanted his independance. He spent the next 15 years trying to reverse that decision and had to struggle through doing an OU degree whilst working - which was no fun and does not compare with the usual student experience.

At 16, dh was not capable of making decisions which affected the rest of his life. He simply did not have enough experience to realise the consequences of his decision. For this reason, I would, as far as possible, not allow my children to do the same.

tiggytape Mon 18-Mar-13 08:56:42

beautyjockey- I think in hindsight, it is easy to regret wasted years but if you could go back and tell your 16 year old self all of this, she'd probably still ignore you!
So the idea that wishing your parents had kicked your ass is probably not that realistic - you'd have dug your heels in all the more. If you hated exams at 16, being forced to do 2 more years of much harder exams totally against your will probably wouldn't have worked.

Going back to education later is often hampered by having to work at the same time but it does have advantages too. For example qualified teachers who are former TAs or Nursery Nurses are much more likely to know they are suited to the job and to find employment than those with less hands-on experience who are fresh graduates. Working also opens your eyes to the limits / opportunities on offer by going certain routes. It can be more motivating to sit 4 A Levels knowing you need them for your chosen degree than it is to sit 4 A Levels because your mum says you have to.

wordfactory Mon 18-Mar-13 09:00:43

I wouldn't be happy either.

Not because I've paid a lot of fees (htough I have) nor because I don't value hairdressing (I spend a fortune on mine).

I wouldn't be happy because I think it's too early to make such a decision. A decision not to do A levels and get a degree will close many mnay doors. Yes, you can go back, but it is very hard. Hard to get back into academia, hard to be out of step with your peers.

If you do A levels and get a degree you can still becoem a hairdresser...

INeverSaidThat Mon 18-Mar-13 09:04:44

Needmoresleeps is spot on. I would do the same. If after A'levels and work experience she still wanted to do hairdressing I would then be 100% behind her. It is a good career especially if you get decent training.
She may have given this a lot of thought and it would be silly to dismiss this. I would tell you are behind her but would prefer her to get A'levels (or similar) before starting herA'levels. If she doesn't agree I don't see what you can do other than force her........and that will not end well.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Mon 18-Mar-13 09:10:09

I would be unhappy too, and really insisting encouraging the A level route and possibly even a degree, with a view to doing the BTEC afterwards if that is what she still wants to do in 2 or more years time.

But OP - do you know that this isn't just a way of leaving her current school? Is she happy? Maybe she just wants to come home and sees this as a way of doing that?

I am sure there is more to this than a desire to cut people's hair and wax their bits.

noddyholder Mon 18-Mar-13 09:11:07

Why is it too early to choose hairdressing but not too early to choose A levels?

TSSDNCOP Mon 18-Mar-13 09:13:08

I think those advocating A levels in subjects that would support a business career or lead to University or to FE in Beauty, with a Saturday/holiday job throughout those 2years are the voices to listen to.

I totally understand where you're coming from regarding her wasting her education, particularly as your own was so disappointing. But it's time to take some deep breaths and knee bends and outfox compromise with her, whilst letting her think its all her idea. This is not the time to take a sledgehammer to crack a walnut.

I'm another one that blew it at 18 with stupid I know what I'm going to do and I'm going to do it choices. Subtle but directional parental support at this juncture can avert disaster.

beautyjockey Mon 18-Mar-13 09:16:30

I don’t agree. I am sorry. If my DM had laid the law down and explained the issue firmly I would have had to think about it. I wasn't stupid, I was following the crowd of friends I had at the time. The thing is, their parents made them return to school but they didn’t tell anyone, I was the only silly sucker who ended up leaving.

The point here is that it is rather easier to take A levels at 16/18 and even do a degree earlier and then transfer to some vocational course than it is to go the other way round. I would have not have chosen to be a teacher had my career doors been open by having the A levels first. Good A levels would have taken me into a top university even if I had pursued my stupid beauty ideas after them.

As GooseyLoosey has pointed out the adult experience of taking a degree even at a university as I did it (not OU) is not the same as when you are young and able to be a "student" There are lots of things to commend being a proper student and not being a vocational one in an FE. Had I gone on to take A levels at 16 I would have had more opportunity of enjoying my student years. I think I knew this almost immediately (within a term) of making my choice but at that point the window has gone. You may not believe that but it is true, getting back on an academic course especially in a good school is lost. When I was doing my floristry course there were many people on it who had done A levels, gone to art college and even university and then changed to a more practical career, but it was not as practical to go the other way round. That way round also left a lot of those doing it with more options like the option to return to being a graduate job later if they wished. I didn’t have that.

I do think parents have to give their DC direction. The laizze faire form of parenting is the worst. DC need to have direction and to have it explained properly. There is no satisfactory way back.

I would urge the OP to have that discussion and explain to her DD what the situation really is. If she needs evidence - show her mine and Goosey's posts.

My DC will not be telling me what they want. They already know what I expect and what the consequencies of rebellion will be. I have always told them to think first and act to cut off their exits when they are certain. They may also have seen me cry too often over the way things turned out for me and so they are indirectly "experienced" in that.

noddyholder Mon 18-Mar-13 09:19:03

But she doesn't want to do A levels!

noddyholder Mon 18-Mar-13 09:20:28

I was always artistic at school but my mother was keen to push me academically and so I did O levels A levels Uni etc and had to pursue an artistic career in spite of my education not because of it.

wordfactory Mon 18-Mar-13 09:20:49

noddy for all the reasons beauty has laid out.

Training to be a hairdresser will qualify you only to be a hairdresser.
Taking A levels will put you on the path to a thousand careers (including hairdressing).

Alibabaandthe40nappies Mon 18-Mar-13 09:20:51

noddy - because you can choose broad A levels, which will mean that all kinds of doors are open to you in the future. You don't close many doors by getting good grades in core subjects like English, Maths, History etc etc.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Mon 18-Mar-13 09:22:33


Noddy - so that is fine, you got where you wanted to. The crucial point being that if you had changed your mind at any point along that path and decided that you wanted to be a teacher, or a lawyer, or any of a myriad of other things - those choices would have been open to you because you hadn't closed any doors.

Wow, she's done so well with her GCSE's - that's a brilliant start !

I think I might encourage her to get a Saturday job in a hairdressers or even just the odd day if that's more practical ? A day of washing people's hair is quite likely to put her off I reckon ?

Look at the positives, it's good that she's started to think of possibilities.
My DD (13) has started to look in her school careers library and was recently researching some course options that I doubt will end up as her final choice, but I gave her some encouragement, as much for the process as the actual idea itself ? And DS (11) thinks he'd like to be a fire-fighter - again I applauded and encouraged the idea of wanting to help others. It's not impossible that he will continue to pursue this but I'm aware there are other options (and am a bit nervous at idea of my DS going into burning buildings on a regular basis shock)

Also agree can you talk to friends with interesting jobs/ careers and/or visit some Uni's on their open days ?

Cezzy Mon 18-Mar-13 09:25:01

There are lots of opportunities in this field, film theatre and tv make up and hair, wig making, travel, she could have her own business one day. You can achieve great success in any field if you have the brains and enthusiasm which she may well have from what you say. Oxbridge doesn't guarantee success especially if she isn't happy.

noddyholder Mon 18-Mar-13 09:29:04

Life isn't like that. I know lots of people who went back to education later when they were ready. If you force her down a route she is not into she will likely fail. Just because you think it is better to do things in the traditional way does not mean it is for everyone. My education wasn't wanted as such but I knew what I wanted at 16/17 and it didn't change.FWIW I think she is more likely to tire of the hairdressing and re enter formal education rather than the other way round as she will resent doing A levels and feel it is not her choice. It is a difficult age.

noddyholder Mon 18-Mar-13 09:29:51

ALl this concern is snobbery in disguise! grin Typical mumsnet!

beautyjockey Mon 18-Mar-13 09:37:31

You have of course done those things and knowall about it do you cezzy?
TV and film make up and such things are very hard to get into. Mostly those who do that know someone or have parents around the industry who get them in. Many start off by being runners and do not go to college and train with a BTec etc. It's OK if you know the someone.

Working on cruise liners or at Butlins or even running a business looks glam but I can tell you that it isn't. The hours are long, the pay awful and you are a servant and treated as one. You would be better employed as scivvy in Downton Abby at the turn of the last century. Especially running a business - you make about 10p for every £1 in the till realistically because of all the taxes and over heads. Hours are much longer too. Pay in these trades is very poor for the majority. It looks good on the surface but underneath it isn't.

Bikerunski your mother has a point! My dads friends were all electricians, carpenters, plumbers, and in those days people did personal favours and helped mates for free, or in exchange for another good turn. He never had to call any company or firm to fix anything in our house when I grew up, there was always a friend around! I told my dad I had very little use of all my academic friends! wink

My cousin is very lucky, her uncle is a builder, her second cousin a decorator, her brother in law an electrician, she has not ever paid even a penny.

I hope my sons will chose to become Doctors and Chiropractors! If not builders! grin

acceptableinthe80s Mon 18-Mar-13 09:40:54

Whilst it may not be the most worthwhile career it's certainly pretty lucrative especially if you set up your own business. I have a couple of friends in this field and they can easily make several hundred pounds a day and up to £1000 for a wedding doing make-up/hair. I went down the 'worthwhile' career route and my friends earn way more than me.
I think it's great your daughter knows what she wants to do, i didn't have a clue at that age.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Mon 18-Mar-13 09:46:36

Quint - we have nothing useful in a practical sense in our family. Not a carpenter or plumber or anything.

We do have a few Drs, and a lawyer which is handy, but the rest of us do things which are fairly lucrative but are no use to friends and family. grin

tiggytape Mon 18-Mar-13 09:51:53

If anyone watches One Born Every Minute - one of the lovely midwives on there is a former beauty therapist. Again not a typical route to midwifery but she got there (and she is still only young). Sometimes you have to find out for yourself what you want to do not be told to do what you're good at.

I totally agree with the value of A Levels in keeping options open.
But if a 16 year old is totally opposed to doing them - what good can come of forcing it?
People have said they regretted doing early vocational courses. I did my A Levels at the 'correct time' aged 16-18 and saw plenty of people regret those as well. Many students dropped out in the first year, stuffed them up on purpose so their Dad couldn't force them to become a Dr or failed because their heart wasn't in it and they basically didn't do the work.

If she is amenable to discussing the varying routes to her chosen career, than A Levels can be raised and promoted. If however she gets the sense that the 'get your A Levels first' is all a big rouse to keep her out of vocational training in the hope she'll come to her senses, she's likely to rebel all the more.

GooseyLoosey Mon 18-Mar-13 09:53:03

My dh "knew" what he wanted to do at 16. Unfortunately it was not what he wanted to do at 20 and by then, it was not so easy to change. All I am saying is that she should keep doors open for herself and not close them.

Dh is a professor now but even so, his earlier choices still affect his career as he is too old to become vice chancellor for example and he regrets that. He did not leave himself enough time to get to where he wanted to.

Wishiwasanheiress Mon 18-Mar-13 09:55:35

She's stupid and idiotic to do a course where

She can be her own boss
Open her own firm
Work in film tv etc (u sound shallow enough to think THAT'S VIP)
Manage family and career as she wishes time wise
Be creative and academic (finance management ffs)
Travel the world and maybe emigrate coz if I was her I'd be aiming at anything that got me away from ur crazy attitude

noddyholder Mon 18-Mar-13 09:56:00

Having a good supportive parent will help her keep her options open If she is forced down a road she doesn't want she would find it very difficult to approach her mum if she has made a mistake. Whereas if she feels supported and then realises maybe she should do A levels it won't feel like such a 'backing down' and we all know how teenagers like to back down!

noddyholder Mon 18-Mar-13 09:56:58

I know several tv and film make up and hair stylists and a few fashion stylists. All love their work which is more important to some than money.

helenjackson2 Mon 18-Mar-13 09:58:25

Thanks"Need more sleep for you kind and thoughtful words".It all started in December when Unbeknown to me DD went to a Open Day at the local Further Education College and started talking to these 3 Girls from the local "high school Secondary modern" . They said they wanted to do Hair and Beauty National 2 Yr Course but it was unlikely that would get the G.C.S.E Needed for that so would have to do the BTEC FIRST COURSE.DD was angry at the Education Systym had let these Girls down. She came back to me and said i wil show them and said she would do the BTEC FIRST COURSE . DD wants to change the world She is so Caring and kind. She went and told her House Mistress this she could not belive what she was hearing and when DD told her she was Serious said"NOT ONE OF OUR GIRLS IN THE HISTORY OF THIS SCHOOL HAS DONE SUCH A SILLY AND STUPID THING AS THIS" DDs House Mistress is Pulling her hair out trying to deal with this. I am aware that Girls in Hothouse Academic Schools can go a bit crazy one suggestion from the HEAD is that If DD gets 10G.C.S.E GRADES A A* she could have her one year GAP year and come back in a years time this could be a Blueprint for Academic girls Schools dealing with Depression Anorexia. What worries me though is that if she is doing a Course that is so easy for her will she be able to get back to the standard required for A levels.Meanwhile i keep getting calls from the A level Coordinator telling me that DD "WOULD BE THE BEST A LEVEL STUDENT THERE WOULD HAVE" I TELL HIM SHE IS NOT GOING TO HIS DAM FE COLLEGE TO DO A LEVELS"

Wishiwasanheiress Mon 18-Mar-13 09:58:49

My advice to ur daughter is IGNORE all those above that say you can't do this. If u couldn't it wouldn't exist. Try it and u might end up with ur own firm and training school in theatre/stage make up in LA

Work hard and it's possible. Sit still and well, ur just in your bedroom in ur mums house aren't u?

beautyjockey Mon 18-Mar-13 10:06:23

The real problem is that once you leave for the vocational route it is not easy to re enter formal education.

Getting into A levels is the worst case scenario if you leave at 16. The options left are not the best. Good schools are closed off and so FE or home study are the only places left. Then there is the cost and the fact you will be older, both those work against returning. It is not encouraged to go from vocational to academia.
Neither is it the same experience in university. It is the way the system works.

Get the A levels at the very least and it is possible to change route afterwards and still come back to university but you will have lost ground and it is unlikely you will achieve what you might want then. Until you have had to try and do it, you do not realise the obsticles. In theory it is possible, in practice, the doors just do not open.

Wishiwasanheiress Mon 18-Mar-13 10:07:17

Some of the posts here are nuts. Used to be a day where u went to Uni as u were interested in learning, in discussion and broadening ur mind not because u wanted a shot with Alan sugar tv prog or just to get a job.

The devaluation of our education is simply mind boggling to me. Blair et al really screwed it up to stop apprenticeships and make this the only route to success....

Ur daughter doesn't need a degree if she doesn't want one at this stage. What she will need is fire in her belly to work hard in her chosen route.

noddyholder Mon 18-Mar-13 10:07:43

Before she visited the open day what careers was she interested in?

tiggytape Mon 18-Mar-13 10:09:32

helen - if DD has gone to visit a FE College open day without even telling you, she is either very serious about this or possibly very unhappy at school. It is impossible to tell which really but it might inform how you handle her.

Does she know she has a gap year option? That might work well - if she is bright, she is not going to suddenly lose her academic ability by doing a BTEC for a year!

The dramatics of an hysterical House Mistress probably won't help and will make DD all the more determined. Not many 16 year olds respond well to being told their decisions are STUPID!

At the end of the day, you need to talk to her. She is 16. You cannot make decisions for her. It may be that she doesn't really want to do this course but is desperate to escape her school (going to an open day all alone must have been pretty daunting so she must feel very strongly to organise this and see it through). In which case maybe find somewhere else for A Levels that you are both happy with.
Or it may be that she is very committed to this course, in which case you will at least have to let her try it because you cannot force someone to do A Levels to a high standard when they don't want to. And if you make her stay and she does badly it will be even more de-motivating and a waste of time.

noddyholder Mon 18-Mar-13 10:12:37

Beautyjockey you are seriously ill informed! I know lots of people who have done just that. In fact apart from lawyers and doctors everyone else I know who are doing well in careers that they love entered them late. I did and am mortgage free and in good financial shape at 47. My best friend did childcare at local college and is now a top producer headhunted regularly. She did a btec and then a typing course and didn't really work in film until she was 30. The world is a changing place and I agree with those who say drive and determination are just as important. You could also look at it from teh other POV that if she does the traditional route she will have wasted years when she could be getting her hairdressing off the ground. I wanted to go to art school and wish I had

OK so you have a very clear idea where this idea came from and it's all about wanting to make things better for those 3 girls she talked with at the open day.
I think it's now down to you and her house mistress/ head/ pastoral teachers to talk through all this with her. It's very natural and good to want to change the world as a teenager, but adults need to help support and direct those energies and passions in good ways, and if possible steer young people along good paths and sometimes do our best to prevent them taking options they might well regret later.

I think just take things one step at a time too. First concentrate on her GCSE's (I realise now I mis-read your OP and she hasn't done her GCSE's yet, taking them this summer ? )
Then encourage her to stay on for A levels and choose which subjects she'd most like to do. Just say she can choose what to do after that at a later stage. I think definitely let go a little of the "Oxbridge potential" thinking, and maybe just think more along the lines of "she's very bright and doing very well at her school" HTH [smle] And yes, some thinking too on whether she is happy there ?
Maybe a discussion on where would she like to do her A levels ?
Also before she sits her GCSE's she may be feeling nervous, especially with the weight of expectation on her. She may feel differently once she does have them under her belt. Let her know too that it's OK if she gets some B's or even C's or even fails some, she could re-take if needed. I think she may be finding the expectations difficult to handle, as well as understandably looking to her Auntie as a role model ?

tiggytape Mon 18-Mar-13 10:19:29

Wishi - I agree that some of the posts here are surprising!
There is very little you can do (thankfully) at 16 that will wipe out your options for the rest of your life. And vocational training is not for the thick and disaffected - some people, however clever, are practical, creative and artistic types who'd never be happy doing anything else. Many practical careers are more lucrative than academic ones.

And if you make bad choices at 16, there are plenty of opportunities to change it. So many people who do A Levels come to hate the subjects they've chosen and start again. Plenty of people who do degrees never use them. Nobody says their time has been wasted yet a year's BTEC is the end of the world?

You can (and should) talk through every option with children that age but no matter how much hair tearing the school are doing, you cannot force someone to sit A Levels against their will and nor should you - it would be pointless. If it turns out DD is just looking for a way to escape boarding school then that's different and she can look for A Level courses elsewhere but if she is determined, what good can possibly come of forcibly keeping her at school?

The people who come back to education later on obviously cannot go back to their top boarding school but they have a huge advantage over most 16 year olds of knowing exactly what they want and what it takes to get there. That gets you much further than staying on at school because Mum said you had to.

beautyjockey Mon 18-Mar-13 10:19:38

Been there and done it. Tell your story to someone who hasnt.

noddyholder Mon 18-Mar-13 10:20:53

AH you sound like someone so dissatisfied and you are projecting that unto others. Not everyone fails and some people do make the right choice smile

Graceparkhill Mon 18-Mar-13 10:22:21

She may very well change her mind,especially if she feels able to make her own decisions.

I would be delighted with a daughter ( or son) doing what makes them happy. A friend's daughter did beauty therapy after 14 years of fee paying school ( funded by grandparents). It wouldn't have been the family's choice of career but they supported her decision.

She now has a thriving business, a loyal clientele and is financially self sufficient in her early 20s.

noddyholder Mon 18-Mar-13 10:23:16

You do NOT only get one bite of the cherry! You are very negative about your own life but that is not everyones experience

beautyjockey Mon 18-Mar-13 10:29:58

You should go back and read my first post. I didnt fail. I made a mistake and I regretted it. I also feel my parents let me down by not giving me the full facts before I made the decision. I was later able to go back and change it. I have a good career but it isnt what I would really have wanted and I wasted a lot of years even though I ran a successful business. I hated every day. I made money but it was hardwork. I pretended I did like it. I also know what the problems are in trying to go back.

beautyjockey Mon 18-Mar-13 10:31:19

You get one bite at the cherry for the academic route. You can have as many as you like with vocational courses.

wordfactory Mon 18-Mar-13 10:33:32

noddy whatever you say it is harder to go back to academia. Not impossible, but much harder. And why would any of us want our DC's lives to be ahrder than they need be?

noddyholder Mon 18-Mar-13 10:35:53

I am not disputing others stories but this girl doesn't want to do A levels! One of my sons mates has been forced like this and is going to uni in september to do a course he has no interest in All at the 'advice' of his parents.He admitted to me a few weeks ago that all he wants to do is be a chef sad

noddyholder Mon 18-Mar-13 10:36:31

Everyone is assuming that this girl will 'go back'!

tiggytape Mon 18-Mar-13 10:37:40

beautyjockey - yours is one story but so many people have the each opposite one. Thankfully for most people now, there is the option of many bites of the academic cherry!

If you had taken A Levels at the correct time, you’d have seen they are a waste of time too for a lot of people: In my 6th form there were some students who had their career path already mapped out, who had a goal in mind and strived for good grades. They generally did well but they were rare.
Most of us had just chosen 3 or 4 random subjects with no real clue what to do with them. Many in this group didn't do as well as they could have done because they were just going through the motions – doing what clever kids were expected to do but not really knowing why. Lots went on to do degrees in subjects unrelated to any particular career because they still hadn’t a clue what they wanted to do. It might not have been wasted time but it wasn’t really very productive either – many had to retrain or do totally different degrees later in life to get to where they wanted to be.
Others were people who actively rebelled - they'd been sent there to do 3 sciences and maths by their father to become a Dr and were determined they didn’t want to.

For people who regret early vocational training it might be easy to view A Levels as a magic gateway to all possibilities but for people who followed the traditional academic route of a Levels and then a degree, they've seen plenty of people for whom it was completely the wrong decision and it takes them years to put it right.
Having gone the purely academic route myself, I'd be very happy for either of my children to take a purely vocational route at 16 if that's what they wanted to do (if they were just trying to escape a strict school though, I'd encourage them to take a break or move for A Levels)

noddyholder Mon 18-Mar-13 10:44:44

My ds dropped out of A levels in year one. he then did a BTEC in a subject he loves. He has just had an unconditional offer from a university based on his portfolio 60 places 900 applicants and he is the first person from his 6th form to get on this course Lots of A level students didn't. There are different ways!

maiacam Mon 18-Mar-13 10:45:59

Why don't you suggest she does her alevels somewhere creative and co ed like Hurtwood House?

Needmoresleep Mon 18-Mar-13 10:46:49

Thank you for your kind comment.

The Housemistress' approach does not seem to be helpful.

Something is going on. Hopefully you can have a rational discussion with your daughter on a "meet her half way" basis. You are concerned, not because you have her future mapped out and have invested accordingly, but because you want her to be fulfilled and have a career that is right for her.

I suspect she is saying that she has had enough of being a prize racehorse groomed to jump the hurdles necessary to canter into Oxbridge and into a high-flying professional career. She sounds like a nice and thoughtful child.

It could well be that she wants out of a boarding school. She will not be the first 16 year old who wants out. If so discuss alternatives. Competitive sixth forms may be full, but within the private school network there is scope for schools to phone each other and find places for a child who wants/needs a fresh start. Especially for academic high flyers. Are you near a town with either good private or state academic sixth forms?

Time out, post GCSE, is not the worst idea but it would be difficult to then go back to take A levels within a school setting.

It could also be that she senses that she wants something other than an academic future and a career working long hours in an office. This is not an unreasonable preference. I have a friend who has built a sound business providing at-home beauty treatments to busy, often well-known, people, eg before red carpet events. Money is good and time flexible, she is her own boss, its suits her sociable personality and provides a channel for her drive and organisation. However she would not have wanted to stay in a salon working for someone else and getting backache. I suspect that long term the same will be true of your daughter.

I am not sure how best to turn down the heat and have a sensible discussion. However you could start by acknowledging that your daughter owns her own future and that you are pleased that she has started looking at options. Then start looking at ensuring that at 16 she is not setting those options in stone but keeping them open.

Might it be an idea for her to see a careers guidance councillor who can take her through options?

A decision to take a vocational course at 16 implies she is committed to that vocation. Work experience.....Even if you need to pay them, get her into your local beauty salon for a couple of weeks over Easter and for most of the summer. If she wants to change the world, she is unlikely to do it sweeping hair clippings off the floor. If she is prepared to graft and can see herself owning that salon or using the skills in a different context, then she needs to work back from there to see what qualifications will be most useful. Depending on the college and the quality of the teaching, a basic BTec may not be.

beautyjockey Mon 18-Mar-13 10:50:42

Noddyholder , you seem to be assuming this girl will not go back.

The thing is, if she is Oxbridge material, then it is morelikely she will regret her hairdressing decision in a few years, maybe even only a couple of years, and she will have nothing to fall back on. Many people getout of trades like hairdressing in a couple of years or so. Many of those I went to college with, hairdressers, florists, cookery, etc. gave it up. Those who came in "late" having got degrees first actually were the ones who carried on not the other way round.

If you get a degree fist, then you can always find a job laterbecause all the career changes are available. If you have to start again with taking A levels, options become very limited. That is the way it is. You can say otherwise until you are blue, it wont change it.

hellsbells99 Mon 18-Mar-13 10:56:12

Tell her to get a Saturday job & holiday job in a hair & beauty salon. When she realises how hard work it is for not a lot of money, she may change her mind. But as others have said, if it is what she wants, you cannot stop her. Just help to get the best qualifications, then the best experience, and then look to be her own boss.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Mon 18-Mar-13 10:58:47


Needmoresleep Mon 18-Mar-13 11:20:22

Further thought.

Having some form of beauty qualification would enable her to get paid Saturday work whilst at University.

So a deal might be that she finishes her A levels and does a good, researched, vocational course during her gap year. Then university with beauty as a sideline, or she sticks with the beauty. Going to University a couple of years late with experience of hard work and exposure to the real world is not a bad thing. She will appreciate the opportunity to study better, not least because it is her decision.

noddyholder Mon 18-Mar-13 11:21:01

Ok beautyjockey your opinion is the only one that counts hmm

beautyjockey Mon 18-Mar-13 11:26:00

If , as the OP suggests back a page, her DD is going to do first course rather than the diploma, she is wasting even more time. First course is worthless. Its the one most of the " hair and beauty" pupils take at my school whilst they are doing GCSE and getting day release for. The requirements for that are generally D, E, F grades at GCSE if that.

Its hardly challenging for someone who has GCSE A*'s predicted. Even the Diploma will be sub GCSE A, B C grades at level 3 (as my old floristry tutor always said). I know, I got distinctions at level 3 in floristry and it was just a joke academically for me. Even the practical side was not hard. It was hard work and tough but not difficult. Not challenging. Of course some kid who doesnt have a great brain would find it harder and many I knew with minimum GCSE did find it hard.

She should get her A levels first. Then she can gap year on the B.Tec if she still wants, and decide from there. She holds her university options open that way. Even if she doesnt do Oxbridge. That would be belt and braces approach to a career. Doing vocational first generally isnt a good idea.

One can always go on to a degree later if one has A levels. Going back for A levels seems to have more barriers in place than any other type of course and it just needs to be done first for the best chances.

lucysmum Mon 18-Mar-13 11:30:05

my lovely (male) hairdresser has a degree in civil engineering and I guess associated A levels etc. He just loves hairdressing. Maybe one day he will run his own salon, do something different - nothing is forever. There is more than one route in life whatever type of education someone has had. I was the typical swotty girl, went to uni, very conventional job. My brother messed around, didnt get on with school, had various jobs he didnt like. Eventually realised he couldnt work for someone else, went to agricultural college and now runs his own successful business. One of us went to private school but so what! Eduction for your children is your choice, what they do to fulfill themselves in later life is their choice.

fiftyodd Mon 18-Mar-13 11:38:27

I'm guessing from her grammar that the OP didn't benefit from a great education herself, so the daughter's direction after so much expense is a bigger disappointment than it might otherwise be.

Having said that, I'd be hacked off if my 16 yo dd did the same, and we're not paying for her education.

I have a relative who dropped out of school after GCSEs, became pregnant, and is now divorced from the father of her second child.

But, she went to uni in her 20s, did a law degree, and is now en route to becoming a barrister.

So, it's never too late - in the OP's shoes I would try to influence this young woman, but she is now old enough to decide for herself, and make her own mistakes.

Fluffy1234 Mon 18-Mar-13 11:39:49

I did really well in my O levels but decided I wanted a job and my own money. I got a job, hated it and then realised what I really wanted to do was study my favourite subject at university. So after a year working I studied for my A levels and then went onto to do the degree I wanted.
I don't think you can force someone to do A levels if they don't want to and I can't see how the fact you paid for your daughter to go to private school has anything to do with it as that was your choice OP.

Let her do it.

You'll recoup some of the £150 grand spent on education no longer having to pay for hair appointments and leg waxes.


TheRealFellatio Mon 18-Mar-13 12:39:26

I have a simliar situation with my middle child. It's frustrating to think they could so so much more with their lives and it's hard to keep your mouth shut when you think they have sold themselves short, but ultimately it is their life, and I couldn't be bothered to argue with him any more and to have him deliberately fail just to spite me, or to turn around in ten years time and say 'I am not happy in my career and it's your fault because you never let me do what I wanted to do.'

So. We made sure he had the opportunity to learn in a safe, nurturing, supportive and stimulating environment with small class sizes. That was our investment in him, and our gift to him. It is not for us to dictate how he chooses to spend that gift/investment. At least if he turns out to be unfulfilled at work, or just plain poor, he can never say it was because he didn't have any opportunities in life to make something of himself, or any decent parents to support him in that.

That's all we can do. The rest is up to him. And he enjoys his choice of course and is doing very well at it. It won't keep him in the style to which he has become accustomed, but that's his problem - not mine.

ATouchOfStuffing Mon 18-Mar-13 12:42:41

Abbey you sound like me -I feel a massive failure to my family too, mainly because they chose to send me to boarding school at 6 and I got expelled at 16 (silly reason) and decided not to go back for A' levels because I was proud and stubborn. They even --tried to bribe- offered me a bursary as my GCSE results were so good. I went off to live with my dad (not as fun as I had expected) and got CDD for A'levels where I had been predicted AAAA at my other school. I was labelled the black sheep of the family the moment I got expelled and admit to pretty much giving up there and then on any expectations for myself.
Please OP as others have said, try not to put pressure on your DD, the main thing is she is happy. I have a few things I would like my DD to do (live in London in her early 20's is one) but they are very loose and flexible. Another thing is she may decide after 2 years beauty isn't for her but use skills learnt there to do something else, or indeed return to education.

ATouchOfStuffing Mon 18-Mar-13 12:44:42

I admit is is a very fine line though between encouraging and pushing. You need to show her you think she is very talented at a lot of things, but don't talk about her 'wasting' anything. Try to see it as everything she does is gaining a new skill.

morethanpotatoprints Mon 18-Mar-13 12:50:37

I think you need to let them do what they want to do at this age within reason.
You can enrol on Btec and A level courses up to your 19th birthday so there is no rush.
I would be tempted to take her for careers advice at connections maybe? I am surprised that a private school isn't offering this, perhaps they presume all dc will take A levels.
I do know from 2x experience they will not thrive and work hard at something they don't enjoy be that academia or vocational. I have seen youngsters drop out of both type of FE course and move to the other.
My friend teaches childcare and reports that several A* students want to enrol on her course but are put off by careers advisers or parents. It seems a shame if its what they ultimately want to do.
Maybe your dd has a business mind and can see herself owning a chain of beauty salons.

ATouchOfStuffing Mon 18-Mar-13 12:59:22

I wonder if the school would do some after school classes, so she can see if she likes it in practice while she does her A'levels? I think my school was quite open to parental suggestions like this and the more activities they can add to their prospectus the better for them! Have a word with the head.

missmash Mon 18-Mar-13 13:01:20

Ha ha!! I read this and laughed!! You decided to spend your money on her education, you can't decide what she then does with it. Hopefully she has a good grounding to go on and be a success at college. There are one or two hairdressers out there who have done quite well for themselves you know. Live your own life and leave your daughter to get on with hers.

Floggingmolly Mon 18-Mar-13 13:06:14

If she's at GCSE level at the moment, you are more than a bit dozy not to have seen what way the wind was blowing.

AnnabelKarma Mon 18-Mar-13 13:39:46

I can see the OP's POV. My Ds1 is 16 and silmilarly academic . I would be saddened and disappointed if he chose to pursue a Btec practical course not through any snobbery at all but because it would be such a dreadful waste of his academic brain and his potential. I think this is what the OP is getting at.

Blossom8 Mon 18-Mar-13 15:05:31

it is a gamble but as other posters have mentioned, we have chosen for our children to go private.

I am paying my DD to go private from primary hoping to give her better opportunities later in life due to the challenging job market and competition. By no means are we rich, we are working class but I am willing to make a lot of sacrifices and work my butt off to give my DD the opportunities that she deserves.

If she decides later on by not going down the academic route and be a top lawyer or banker etc then so be it as long as she is willing to work hard and be ambitious in whatever career she chooses to follow. I rather she was happy, healthy and have a good work ethic and a close relationship with me.

blueyonder22 Mon 18-Mar-13 15:09:50

Whilst I am unsure how genuine the op is, the debate is nonetheless interesting. My personal stance would be to work as hard as I could to get her to finish her formal education, whilst not ridiculing or belittling her.

To those of you advocating that she be able to make her own decisions, remember she is only around 15, as she hasn't even taken her GCSE's. At boarding school she will be leading a fairly sheltered but academically pressured life. I am sorry but you don't really know what your future career will be at that age, most children change their minds. As fee paying or non fee paying parents we want to give our children all the opportunities, academic and non academic, to achieve and choose what they want to do as they get older. We want to open doors for children not close them. I believe that it is my responsibility to my children to encourage them to go as far as possible with their education. Then the choice is theirs. They can be doctors or plumbers etc. but they can choose anything. If they choose to leave after their GCSE'S a large part of me would feel I has failed them. I want them to be able to achieve anything and contrary to some posters that is simply going to be so much harder if she leaves after her GCSE's, no matter how you dress it up.

I went to boarding school and at that age we were all desperate to spread our wings and ultimately rebel and test the boundaries. We would have probably jumped at the opportunity to leave after GCSE'S, what 16 year old wouldn't!I remember after my GCSE's seriously suggesting to my mother that I would like to work in Mcdonalds as I was enjoying my holiday job there so much. Whilst there is nothing wrong with that, aside from the fact that I turned vegetarian at university, I know now that I would have hated giving up school to work there! I am eternally grateful to my parents for facilitating my education, which allowed me the choices I have had in my life. To those of you that say she can go back into education, yes she can, but it's so much harder and being a mature student isn't the same experience on so many levels.

Encourage her to get a summer job in a salon. Talk to her, not down to her but seriously I would be pretty firm. My line would be if that's what you want to do after you finish your education, then fine I will support you all the way.

ColinFirthsGirth Mon 18-Mar-13 15:33:16

I am sorry OP but thisw is really annoying me. There is nothing wrong with being a beautician or Hairdresser, you actually sound rather snooty. You decided to send her to boarding school not your daughter. I think she should do what makes her happy not what makes you happy. You can not live you life through your daughter. Just because you sent your DD to boarding school doesn't mean you can expect to have so much of a say in the career she chooses. I think you are being out of order.

Timetoask Mon 18-Mar-13 15:39:08

Blueyonder22 is spot on in my view.

Fluffy1234 Mon 18-Mar-13 15:41:45

Blueyonder I found on my university course a lot of the students who came straight from actually dropped out of courses. Some said because it wasn't what they wanted to do. I think it can be an advantage to go to university slightly later on in life. It was for DH and I because we both knew we really wanted to study not just because it was the expected thing.

exoticfruits Mon 18-Mar-13 16:03:48

It seems that OP chose a top girl's boarding school ,not to give the good education, but because she had decided on the end result she wanted. It always seems silly, if not dangerous to me to map out a child's life. They are not you and they may be nothing like you. If you want a future conservative, vegetarian, atheist, Oxbridge educated lawyer then by all means try and influence that BUT always bear in mind that you may get a labour voting, Christian, farmer who goes to agricultural college to breed sheep for the table.
Good for her-hope she goes for the dream. If it doesn't work out she can always go to university later or change later.
I'm not at all sure OP is genuine from her posting style-but even if not -you need to realise that you get to choose your own career and path in life.
Don't pay out for education if you expect it to give an academic path or you think that your DC 'owes' you. A good education is never wasted.

It isn't necessarily going to be 'harder'if someone leaves school with good GCSEs studies a vocational course, goes out and works and then decides they want to go to university or whatever. It is a diffent path, but there is a lot of support now for adults who want to start higher education and many of those who went to university as mature students do really well. As a lecturer, I do notice that the mature students are often among the most committed and serious in my classes. They haven't just trudged along from school to university because it's 'the done thing'; they've really chosen to take a different direction in life. And mature students often bring a lot of skills that 18 year olds straight out of school tend to lack, which can prove invaluable in many degree.

And it's also absolutely fine if someone decides that they want to be a hairdresser or beauty therapist and not got to university ever. Hairdressers and beauty therapists are useful members of society and apparently have great job satisfaction. Going to a posh boarding school does not make these jobs 'beneath' one.

Wishiwasanheiress Mon 18-Mar-13 17:01:23

Beauty jockey, great name, shame post was so down on absolutely everything. I did do life the other way. I still altered it all later and redid things successfully. Much of both my routes became unfortunately down to gumption.

helenjackson2 Mon 18-Mar-13 17:06:38

Thanks Blueyonder I have just got off the phone from my Sister and she has said that DD should come and work for her for 2 weeks over Easter. My Sister is convinced it wont take 2 weeks for DD to change her mind and if DD wants to go down the BTEC ROUTE I Should make sure that at least its a 2 year NATIONAL COURSE THAT COULD LEAD TO MANAGERIAL POTENTIAL AND TAKE SOME ACCOUNTS COURSE.

Kez100 Mon 18-Mar-13 17:59:53

I am a big fan of vocational BTECs when a youngster knows what they would like to do and agree that to incorporate accounting and management is some way (and not as the included course units) for an able and academic individual would be sensible.

Lighthousekeeping Mon 18-Mar-13 18:31:13

Please don't arrange for your sister to make it as difficult as she can in the hope that your daughter will be put off.

ShipwreckedAndComatose Mon 18-Mar-13 18:46:17

If this is about injustice is there any mileage in trying to convince her to try change the system through leadership?

Ie a career in law and/or government.

For which she would need decent A levels and degree.

LynetteScavo Mon 18-Mar-13 18:54:13

Have you talked to your DD about earning potential, ie how much a lawyer earns, compared to a beautician? Has she thought of how she will get herself a mortgage onbeuaticians wages

I can't help thinking your DD is doing this to wind you up.....how about calling her bluff by going along with her plans?

noddyholder Mon 18-Mar-13 18:56:28

Not everyone wants to be a lawyer or a doctor etc. We would be in trouble if everyone did. It is really insulting to all the people who are happy with who and where they are in life.

PoodleChops Mon 18-Mar-13 19:14:42

As someone who did the GS academic "sausage-machine", through to a Russell Group uni, then had a child who had stellar GCSE's and wanted to do hairdressing, I hope I can add genuine experience of a similar situation to the thread?

In YR11, my eldest was determined to do hairdressing - her teachers were appalled. I counselled DC to at least try the 6th Form route for a year and then see how they felt. My DC agreed but after amazing A/S results and a genuine shot at a Russell Group uni, they were still determined to go down the hairdressing route. Again, their tutors were dismayed and voiced their disbelief and disappointment that I was so supportive. We supported that wish because as parents, what else could we do? We had no desire to force them into the wholly academic route like I was forced to do - it didn't make me any happier. DC got a place at college but then managed to get an apprenticeship, which is pretty rare in this day and age and quite frankly, the better route into hairdressing, than a course at college.

OP, I know it's hard but all you can really do is be a mother and support your child in their desires and be alongside them for the tears and cheers along the way. We have to allow our children to choose their own path and at the end of the day, allow them to grow through their "mistakes" and triumphs.

I have no doubt that DC will pursue more "A" Levels when the time is right, as they have that sort of mind, in the same way that I will pursue my hairdressing course when the time is right for me wink

MTSgroupie Mon 18-Mar-13 19:18:25

My DD is privately educated but even if her education didn't cost us £15k pa and she went to a state school, I would still be pissed off big time if she said that she wanted to be a hairdresser.

A trainee/junior starts off by making tea and sweeping up hair. Then she gets promoted and gets to wash people's hair. After a while she actually gets to cut hair for near minimum wage at the hairdressers on your local high street. If she gets a job at some posh Chelsea hairdressers frequented by A List celebs then Wow! But come on, call me a snob but doing a hair tint on some granny on your local high street hairdresser is not something I want for my DD.

exoticfruits Mon 18-Mar-13 19:28:57

But where would we be without hairdressers?! I do hate this attitude 'it is all right for other people's DCs but not mine'. We certainly need them more than we need lawyers-it is the ones with the law degrees that can't get jobs.
I don't think that people have the least idea that you can have a good degree from Oxford at the moment and be working in a coffee shop! She has lots of years ahead to change tack if she wants and economically it makes more sense to be a good hairdresser and then go on to other things rather than to get a good degree from a good university and end up a sales assistant in a department store while you try and find a starting point in your career.

You need to support the DC that you have instead of plan the future of the one you wanted.

tiggytape Mon 18-Mar-13 19:29:17

But come on, call me a snob but doing a hair tint on some granny on your local high street hairdresser is not something I want for my DD.

I never thought poking around with someone's manky feet (or any other body part), working 70 hours a week, getting abuse from patients, the potential to be sued, thrown up all over on a daily basis and burn out by 40 sounded ideal but apparently quite a lot of people want their children to be Drs!
Lots of jobs, including careers, have considerable downsides for those who aren't interested in them!

I agree with Poodle totally who said:
We supported that wish because as parents, what else could we do?

cherrycarpet Mon 18-Mar-13 19:33:18

Well there you go.... You've hoisted your expectations on your DD and it hasn't paid off. Good for her - she knows her own mind. You sound judgemental and patronising. If you're foolish enough to spend that much money on 'education' then you've only got yourself to blame. IMO you sound like a pretty awful parent.

MTSgroupie Mon 18-Mar-13 19:34:11

Ermmm one person is saving lives while the other perms your hair. Hardly an argument.

PoodleChops Mon 18-Mar-13 19:36:55

exoticfruits and tiggytape, I couldn't agree more, or have put it better myself. grin

blueyonder22 Mon 18-Mar-13 19:39:24

"economically it makes more sense to be a good hairdresser and then go on to other things rather than to get a good degree from a good university and end up a sales assistant in a department store while you try and find a starting point in your career."

I am sorry but that is such a silly broad sweeping statement. Nothing in life is all or nothing.

PoodleChops Mon 18-Mar-13 19:42:38

MTSGroupie said: Ermmm one person is saving lives while the other perms your hair. Hardly an argument.

Maybe so, maybe not but thank goodness there are some parents out there who can look at themselves in the mirror and know they've allowed their children to be themselves, rather than being extensions of their parents' desires and ambitions.

tiggytape Mon 18-Mar-13 19:46:33

Not all Drs save lives. Those who focus 100% on optional / vanity facelifts (as opposed to reconstruction work) might make a lot of money but probably aren't directly saving anyone from anything much. And yet a lot of parents would feel prouder to have a surgeon rather than a hairdresser in the family.
Maybe it is a money / earnings thing or outright snobbery but either way, it doesn't actually matter what the parent thinks. It is up to the child to choose and at 16, a parent can force the issue but not without consequences (the most likely one being that the child will drop out of A Levels or stuff them up on purpose).

If anyone fancies the reverse psychology option though it works very well. I have just asked DS what he thinks about this situation (he is 12) and he is firmly of the opinion that OP's daughter is ruining her life and should be frog marched in to take A Levels and put all stupid ideas of hairdressing right out of her head. I've spent the last 20 minutes with him 'selling' the virtues of the vocational path I never took and he thinks it's a rubbish idea!

nomoreplease Mon 18-Mar-13 19:46:35

Give her some money to start her own business. My hairdresser had that opportunity and at 24 owns her house (small mortgage) and car.

She happy, mega busy and gets to meet loads of different people and do something she loves every day.

noddyholder Mon 18-Mar-13 19:47:11

The world needs both though. And not everyone has the desire to be either! This is all about the 150k spent and the expectations caused by that.I was privately educated exams coming out my ears and uni. And in the 2nd year I blacked out and woke up 5 days later aged 19 on a life support machine needing an organ transplant and changed forever. I soon ditched the traditional route and decided life was for living and pursued a completely different life. My mother was still saying I could go back when i was 40 She thought the career I carved out for myself was temporary even though I have been doing it successfully for years Life is not one size fits all

morethanpotatoprints Mon 18-Mar-13 19:49:42

My ds2 is due to complete A levels soon, he is bright and has always been bright form day one.
His heart isn't in it he is depressed and can't wait to leave. He had no pressure from us to do it, quite the reverse. Every family member tried to talk him out of it, but he was adamant.
He won't get good results, in fact he will be lucky to come out with a couple of AS and A2 lower passes.
They will do what they want irrespective of what you want them to do. I wish he knew what he wanted and had done a BTEC or an apprenticeship at our local college, but its not want he wanted. Thank heaven he doesn't want to go to Uni.

noddyholder Mon 18-Mar-13 19:51:18

morethan I know a few boys like that. My ds is not sure he wants uni he is 50.50 but is going to go and see if he likes it. He can always leave Nothing is written in stone To be happy and not stressed is everything

PoodleChops Mon 18-Mar-13 19:51:28

MTSGroupie said " But come on, call me a snob but doing a hair tint on some granny on your local high street hairdresser is not something I want for my DD."

I may be a snob about many things but I'd never be a "snob" or contemptuous about my children's well-thought out and reasoned career choices wink Such an attitude has it risks and quite frankly it wouldn't be a risk I'd want to take

tiggytape Mon 18-Mar-13 19:54:53

And as an academic child, the more exams you pass, the more stuck you can get. Parents tell you to get A Levels to 'keep your options open' so you get A Levels with good grades.
Then it is a 'waste' of such brilliant A Levels not to go on to do a degree.
So you study for a degree and do well.
Then any job you actually fancy is suddenly 'beneath you' or 'waste of your qualifications.... all that hard work and such a brilliant degree just to become a... hairdresser' or whatever else you decide to do and always wanted to do!

If a child is creative as well as academic, it can be a real curse if school and family push the academic route 'to keep options open' when really they mean 'until you come to your senses' and will be equally devastated when you complete the education they want only to use your 1st class honours degree from a RG uni to do something they see as a complete cop out!

edam Mon 18-Mar-13 19:56:30

I think whatever job you do, having control over it is the important thing that is associated with health and contentment. So, if you want to be a hairdresser, be your own boss - once you've learned the trade and got some experience, set up on your own (or have a really nice boss, I guess). Workplace stress is far worse for people at the bottom of the heirarchy who are done to rather than those at the top who have choices.

(Middle management is particularly shit because you are done to by the top bods but have to take the flak for implementing their decisions, and don't have the camerarderie of the shop floor, IMO.)

noddyholder Mon 18-Mar-13 19:57:50

I knew I wanted to do interiors when I was about 15 but no they knew better.

morethanpotatoprints Mon 18-Mar-13 20:01:04


It worries me to see him so depressed but am thankful we didn't push him down this route. I could never live with myself if this was down to us.
I think too many parents put the emphasis on career and earning potential when these may not be what their dc want in life.
I know my ds will be good at something, in fact the obvious is staring him in the face and he can't see it. He has aspergers diagnosed at 17, one of his talents is a fantastic knowledge of football trivia. Who did what and when. He is doing A level media and has a lovely voice. I and anybody who knows him think he should be a reporter or journalist.

exoticfruits Mon 18-Mar-13 20:03:39

I think every parent should be given this poem at birth!

On Children
Kahlil Gibran

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.

exoticfruits Mon 18-Mar-13 20:05:07

It never works-I know lots of people who were pressurised to follow the parent's ideas and they generally break out in mid life-sometimes in a very painful way.

noddyholder Mon 18-Mar-13 20:07:56

Morethan he will find his way especially with a parent like you smile I am not sure uni is for my ds tbh as he is dyspraxic and also a real home body and hates any sort of pressure BUT he is hugely social and so I think that appeals to him. He is brilliant at film making and editing and I have no worries about him.I am supportive but deep down care not a jot about what he decides in the end as long as he is happy and healthy Those matter everything else is an extra

ShipwreckedAndComatose Mon 18-Mar-13 20:10:06

I do completely agree, exotic!

I do also think it's important for the op to understand what is motivating the choice so that she know best how to support.

my gut feeling would be to have a mature and calm discussion about it with dd to ensure that dd has thought this through and for her to explain her feelings behind it. if she can calmly do that then she should be supported through it.

And she can always return to education later (eg the OU).

noddyholder Mon 18-Mar-13 20:10:48

exotic smile spot on x

exoticfruits Mon 18-Mar-13 20:17:10

I remember a friend's DH saying that he left a very expensive private school and he wished that his parents had talked to him properly about options and futures but it all hinged on 'how can you do this to us when we have spent so much on your education'-to which he gave the sort of response that most spirited 16 yr old would give! (and did do very well in later life-had his own company and sold out to retire early)

Talkinpeace Mon 18-Mar-13 20:22:17

What if your DD does not want to be a manager or have accounts experience.

What if she just wants to be incredibly good at doing hair and rolls eyes gets picked as the hairstylist of choice to some movie star and jets the world at their expense sending you postcards ....

morethanpotatoprints Mon 18-Mar-13 20:37:39

You are completely right and thanks for the lovely comments.
None of them are our children, they are lent to us for a while.

I can't take credit for this as it was my adoptive mums reply when anybody said "Oh she's not yours"

MTSgroupie Mon 18-Mar-13 20:38:27

A well thought out and reasoned career choice??? Are we still talking about working at Toni and Guy giving some granny a tint job for near minimum wage?

And grin at the poster who thinks the DD will have the last laugh if/when she becomes a hairdresser to the Hollywood elite.

beautyjockey Mon 18-Mar-13 20:43:25

I may be a snob about many things but I'd never be a "snob" or contemptuous about my children's well-thought out and reasoned career choices

But from what the OP says this isnt a well thoght through and reasoned career choice is it? It seems to be a strop and strump based on some perceived injustice to others she has witnessed.

I cut my own hair so hairdressers never get rich from me. Most are minimum wage slaves most of their lives. Even if you earn well, its a hard life washing hair and messing with colourants. Like in all things a few make it big, most do not. I can earn the same in a more pleasant way as a simple teacher. Had I dont things right, I could be earning twice as much in another career field.

The thing about all those degree holders washing cars and serving coffee or even washing hair is that one day when the economics change or they change their minds, they can move on to anyone of a number of higher paying careers without back tracking to do it. Hairdressers are hairdressers today, tomorrow and until they retire.

Hairdressing does not give the flexibility to change careers ( unless you consider moving to cleaning and sweeping which is part of hairdressing).

Some people need to stop their inverted snobbery and get real about life chances.

PoodleChops Mon 18-Mar-13 20:47:09

MTSGroupie said "A well thought out and reasoned career choice??? Are we still talking about working at Toni and Guy giving some granny a tint job for near minimum wage?"

Now where did I say i was specifically talking about hairdressing in that statement of mine that you've lifted? I was talking about any well-thought out and reasoned career choice that my children may make.

I'm proud to declare that I love my children unconditionally and for those hard of understanding, that means I impose no conditions - I'm proud of them matter what they do. I feel sadness at parents who can't say the same - but most of all, I feel sadness for their children.

MTSgroupie Mon 18-Mar-13 21:20:59

Poodle - You are obviously a better parent than me. If I had a highly academic DC and at the age of 15 they decided that they wanted to train for a near minimum wage job sweeping floors, making tea and washing hair then I wouldn't be as supportive as you [insert sarcasm emoticon]

PoodleChops Mon 18-Mar-13 21:27:34

Poodle - You are obviously a better parent than me.

You're too kind. All I am, is a parent who has been there, done that, got the t-shirt and learned from it.

exoticfruits Mon 18-Mar-13 21:38:19

If I had a highly academic DC and at the age of 15 they decided that they wanted to train for a near minimum wage job sweeping floors, making tea and washing hair then I wouldn't be as supportive as you

I would recognise that the quickest, easiest way to get them to realise was to let them do it. People learn by their own mistakes-not other peoples. You can have a year or two out and then go back-at least then they are keen and motivated. It is utterly pointless going to university because your parents want you to-much better save the money. I can't think of a single adult who was channelled into what their parents wanted turning around and thanking them. They have all made changes in mid life.

MTSgroupie Mon 18-Mar-13 22:22:16

Poodle - if your DS for example decides that delivering pizza part time a couple of nights a week pays enough for him play video games and go drinking with mates while he lives at home, would you -

a) tell him that it is cool if this is what he wants to do with the next few years of his life.

b) light a fire under him and tell him to get a proper job so that he can independently support himself.

tiggytape Mon 18-Mar-13 22:33:30

The two aren't really comparable though are they? A fulltime college course leading to a recognised qualification and a fulltime and quite demanding job that earns enough (in time, like most jobs) to enable an independent life versus sponging off mum and dad with no plans to do otherwise.

Although if it came to it, if faced with a child absolutely determined to deliver pizza and point blank refusing to do anything else, as a parent it is still a stark choice - accept it for the time being and hope they come around or chuck them out / make their life a misery. What else can you do - drag them to school by the hair and sit all their exams for them?
If rational talking through of options results in a child totally determined to pursue the job / course they've chosen, as a parent you don’t' really have too many options but to accept it and be 100% supportive so that when / if the shine wears off they don’t feel they’ll lose face by changing track.

I am a good many years further down the line than OP’s daughter and there is still fallout amongst my friends from the people who were forced into degrees, jobs and careers that they never wanted to do. A lot of them now are retraining to do more artistic or worthwhile (and terribly paid) jobs but guess what – their parents are still mortified!
Except instead of moaning how terrible it is that little Fred wants to throw away 4 perfectly good A Levels / a wonderful degree / all that potential, they are moaning that Fred as a successful accountant is a complete idiot to jack it all in and become a Health Care Assistant even though Fred hates accountancy and has been telling them that since he was 16!

MTSgroupie Mon 18-Mar-13 22:34:13

Various posters have suggested that the DD continues with A levels and try for a Saturday job at the local hairdressers.

That to me is a better idea than sitting back and waiting for the DD to be one year into a BTech, go into a work placement and realise that working at her local high street shop isn't the same as working at some Chelsea establishment frequented by WAGS.

tiggytape Mon 18-Mar-13 22:42:02

It may be a good idea MTSgroupies but OP's DD doesn't want to do A Levels right now.
She has, totally alone and unaided, sought out a college that does the course she wants and attended an Open Day all without telling her parents or school. So either she is very serious about this course or she is very serious about not doing A Levels at her current school. Not many 15 or 16 year olds go off alone and explore FE options just because they're being a bit stroppy or rebellious - that's quite a big step especially for a girl from a school where nobody else seems to do this.

You cannot make someone sit A levels even if you think it is their best option. You can talk it over with them. You can offer to look at alternative 6th form provision. You can explain the pitfalls of returning later to education. But ultimately, it is impossible and futile to force a teenager to study for quite difficult exams over a 2 year period if they are determined they don't want to.

OP has lined up work experience in the holidays so maybe this will help both sides come to an understanding about what is best and what will work.

cory Mon 18-Mar-13 22:48:31

My very bright nephew eschewed the academic route to train as a carpenter instead and started up his own firm immediately after college. 5 years later he is saying it was the best decision he ever made. It is obvious, talking to him, that he is being stretched and challenged, perhaps more so than by doing the obvious degree in modern languages or history that we might have expected him to do.

Dadowado Mon 18-Mar-13 22:51:21

Let her do it. She may well find fulfillment and happiness. If she does not enjoy it she could apply for university but only if that is her wish. For all you know she could become the next hairdressing magnate or really enjoy working in a small, local salon. It is impossible to tell if this is really her choice (and it is a perfectly valid one) or if she is rebelling against you. Payment of £150k in school fees guarantees nothing.

You can lead a horse to water but you can't make it go to Oxbridge.

MTSgroupie Mon 18-Mar-13 22:54:08

tiggy - a hairdresser and a Health Care Assistant aren't comparable either. One perms hair while the other .....

And no one is suggesting chucking out a child that decides to be a pizza delivery guy. I am merely making the point that to some parents a DD becoming a hairdresser is like a DC becoming a pizza delivery guy to another parent.

I don't understand why in one instance the parent gets supportive posts about a DS that is not fulfilling their potential while in another the parent is being called a snob because that parent feels that her DD is not fulfilling her full potential.

But delivering pizza is not the same as being a hairdresser I hear you say. Well, perhaps the pizza guy will go on to own his own franchise store and from there his own chain. Its just as likely an outcome as the one about how the DD can go on to own her own salon.

cory Mon 18-Mar-13 22:58:01

How many career options does a string of failed A-levels, or a failed degree open up to you? Speaking here as a university tutor who regularly has to comfort sobbing students whose failure can usually be put down to the fact that they had no interest in the course, no personal reason for wanting to do it, but applied because it was expected of them. Being bright and getting onto a course is no guarantee that you are going to do well on it. And if you don't do well, there is no particular advantage in having started it.

Dadowado Mon 18-Mar-13 23:02:28

Also, no need to use capitals throughout. Reading it is like being shouted at!

tiggytape Mon 18-Mar-13 23:08:14

One of my 'opt out' friends who had the great career and is now finally doing what he always wanted to do (artisic, ad hoc and badly paid) still had his parents try to intervene. His mother said..... could he not just hold on to get the pension!!

Seriously! Half a lifetime spent in a job he hates that his parents basically 'made' him do from A levels onwards and they are still moaning that he s wasting his brains and should think of his lovely pension fund that's only another 2 or 3 decades away!

tiggytape Mon 18-Mar-13 23:13:11

He became a photographer by the way so I'm not sure how that rates on the flakiness scale - presumably above a pizza man, below a Health Care Assistant and maybe on a par with a hairdresser - or maybe a bit below as the employment prospects are worse?

Pendeen Mon 18-Mar-13 23:17:16


Means absolutely nothing. Honestly. Few Oxford (or Cambridge) colleges are fooled by 10GSCEs. The currency is truly devalued.

"Potential" is worthless, without an offer.

Give her some leeway in this...

JacqueslePeacock Mon 18-Mar-13 23:23:40

Actually, GCSE grades are thought to be the best predictors of performance at degree level at Oxbridge. Much more so than A-levels for some weird reason. So they are considered quite highly by Admissions officers.

Pendeen Mon 18-Mar-13 23:26:54

Actually..., not at all

Most have been shown to be almost useless when trying for Oxbridge places.

Icelollycraving Mon 18-Mar-13 23:28:25

I haven't read all the thread so apologies if I've missed something. I was very bright at school but not academically focused. I studied hair & beauty & have been in the industry for 21 years now. I am a manager for a beauty brand & I love my job.
If she is doing it to rebel,she'll be enjoying all the fuss.
It is not the career you should be ashamed of right now.

mumeeee Mon 18-Mar-13 23:48:29

Let her do what she will enjoy and if that is a BTECH in haie and buety let her get on with it. Sit down and talk with her about her options and ask her if that is what she wants to do. Give her advice but don't make choces for her.

JacqueslePeacock Tue 19-Mar-13 01:19:10

Pendeen, I don't think so. I have worked in admissions for Oxbridge colleges.

JacqueslePeacock Tue 19-Mar-13 01:23:08

Especially in Maths, apparently - I've just checked the study. I've no idea why this should be so, and Maths is nowhere near my field. Anyway...none of this is helping the OP, so apologies for the diversion!

exoticfruits Tue 19-Mar-13 07:49:42

DS's girlfriend started in 6th form, decided it wasn't for her. Her parents, sensibly, said 'fine, get a job'. She worked for a couple of years and decided that she wanted more from life so went to college, got her A'levels and now has a good degree from a RG university. This was highly sensible of her parents- had they forced her to stay on the result would most likely have been mediocre A levels, mediocre university and mediocre degree. You can take a horse to water but.............. So it is silly to try.

SoupDreggon Tue 19-Mar-13 07:54:17

I would insist she do the A Levels and tell her she can then choose to go to Uni or do the BTEC afterwards. This gives her more options in the future.

exoticfruits Tue 19-Mar-13 07:59:21

I see that you cross posted with me soupDreggon- but it was very lucky for my example that her parents didn't do that.

SoupDreggon Tue 19-Mar-13 08:07:33

Not really. You can't tell what the result would have been. She could easily have performed well and had the same result confused

LIZS Tue 19-Mar-13 08:13:58

I'm with Soup . At one stage I decided I wanted to do the NNEB Nursery Nurse training but stayed on at school, hated lower Sixth but got good A levels in Upper 6th. By which time I applied to Uni instead. I'd have been awful working with children ! At 16 it is important to keep options open. She can still do hair and beauty after AS/A levels or IB, probably to a higher level.

Have some experience of FE colleges and frankly I think a former boarder from an elite school would struggle with the transition. Plenty of 6th forms also offer vocational subjects.

IndridCold Tue 19-Mar-13 08:24:49

Firstly, absolutely nothing wrong with a career in hair and beauty if that is what you really want to do.

However, if you look at OPs post on page 5 it would seem that her DD wants to do this course purely as a show of loyalty towards some girls from the FE college that she met, who wanted to take a better beauty course but couldn't because they didn't have good enough GCSEs.

Sacrificing her own prospects on the altar of educational equality at this age, while worthy, seems to be to be a big mistake. If she genuinely wants to help change the system for the better she would do better to continue with A levels and degree, enter the system and try and improve it that way.

If the OP's DD is bright but is only taking this course to make a political point, I would think she will be bored stiff by the end of the first term.

MrsHoarder Tue 19-Mar-13 08:26:49

DB wanted to leave school after gcse and follow a vocational training route. My parents banned him from doing so, he had a breakdown, quit college Anne it took him 2 years before he got a minimum wage job. So be careful how far you push your DC

tiggytape Tue 19-Mar-13 08:32:12

I am really curious about this notion of 'insisting' she does A Levels.
How does a parent insist on this? By threat, force, nagging, threatening to cut them off...? And how do you make them stick at it especially you can no longer cram for A Levels at the end of 2 years but instead have to work consistently for throughout? Do you then have to employ the same nagging/ threats / force to the next 2 years to get them through it?

And if she gets say 2A*and 2A's, is OP (or anyone advocating making her stay) really saying that they'd then be fine letting her do her beauty course at that stage or is it just a big rouse to get her to do what her parents want and she'll immediately be pressurised into applying for uni?
My experience with many friends was very much the latter - the more they toed the line academically, the more their parents couldn't conceive they'd ever step off of it and onto a vocational path for the next step if their education.

Which is fine if this is a silly phase but if it is what she wants to do (and plenty of exceptionally clever people actually want to do vocational or creative jobs) then what good will it do except cause huge resentments and leave her either with excellent A Levels and a sense of having failed her parents by refusing to use them or terrible A Level results and 2 years wasted when she could be cracking on with what she's aiming for.

IndridCold Tue 19-Mar-13 08:37:38

tiggy yes, but this girl seems to want to do this course to make a political point about unfairness in educational opportinity, not because she really, really wants this as a career.

LIZS Tue 19-Mar-13 08:39:42

I can understand if she has been at the same school for 5 years that she may well feel oppressed and want out . What she doesn't seem very well versed of is the range of alternatives. If I were the op I'd be using the Easter holidays to review what else is on offer (although in some cases it may already be too late to register). I suspect if she were asking to do a Art Foundation course that might be better viewed than Hair and Beauty , but am with those who suggest level 1/2 course would lose its attraction very quickly for some with a good clutch of GCSEs. You could even ask to go in and meet tutors at FE college to talk through the courses and advise.

tiggytape Tue 19-Mar-13 08:48:16

That's true Ingrid. But she met these girls at the FE Open Day that she'd already chosen to attend - she won't have had those girls' expereineces in mind when she took the decision to explore FE options without telling her mum even if they subsequently had a part to play.
The fact she was looking around at 6th form colleges behind her mum's back seems to suggest its not a complete whim.

IndridCold Tue 19-Mar-13 09:13:27

You are right tiggy, but in that event she would be better doing the 2 year National course, the one which is unavailable to her FE friends, rather than the BTEC.

I think there is a real jumble of motives here (getting out of that ghastly sounding school possibly being one of them!) and I think this girl needs help in clarifying exactly what her end aim is or she risks messing up her own opportunities for the sake of teenage rebellion.

I agree with you there is no point forcing A levels on someone. I think OP needs a calm, two way discussion to find out what's really going on here before anyone takes any decisions.

exoticfruits Tue 19-Mar-13 09:16:05

I don't for a moment think the results would have been the same. You can insist they do them but why on earth you think they are going to make an effort I don't know! Why would you?' I am here because my mother wants me to be here' is never going to work. It doesn't at university either - my DSs and nephew have been shocked that students don't turn up for lectures! It explains it if they are there for the parents.

SoupDreggon Tue 19-Mar-13 09:47:09

^I am really curious about this notion of 'insisting' she does A Levels.
How does a parent insist on this? By threat, force, nagging, threatening to cut them off...?^

By negotiating. The deal wod be that they got graded consistent with their ability and then they can decide whether to go to uni, do the vocational course or something else. After the vocational course they can decide whether to carry on in that business or go to uni and use it to pay their way... many more options. IMO it is easier to carry on studying than to take a break and go back to it - not that the latter is impossible.

And if she gets say 2A*and 2A's, is OP (or anyone advocating making her stay) really saying that they'd then be fine letting her do her beauty course at that stage

Yes. That's why I said it.
With A levels behind you there are more options. The child will be 2 years older and an adult. I would also have suggested they get Saturday job in their chosen business so they would have had 2 years to see if it is really what they want. Obviously I would encourage them to go to University and point out the pros and cons of each choice but, at that point, they are an adult.

exoticfruits That all depends whether you deal with it well or handle it in a crap manner. It also depends on the child.

tiggytape Tue 19-Mar-13 09:59:01

Soup - I can totally see how that works with a pupil who is floundering a bit, not quite certain about what they want and rushing into options that might not be suitable.
But I don't see how it works for a child who is totally determined not to do A Levels - as in dead set that they want to do a vocational course and have already set the wheels in motion without even consulting their parents.

And my experience of parents who push the A Level route because their child is so bright or because vocational courses are limiting / too easy / unsuitable is that they don't suddenly become enlightened parents when their child is in possession of 4 great A Levels. In fact, they are worse because they refuse to understand how a bright pupil with 10 GCSEs and 4 great A Levels could want to cut hair instead of take up the great RG uni place on offer.

If OP was genuinely prepared to let her start A Levels then drop them if she hated them or pick up the beauty course straight afterwards, it may be a discussion they could have but most parents I've seen who use the 'get your A Levels and degree first' do so as a way of putting the kibosh on what they think are unambitious career plans. They have no intention of ever being supportive of what their child really wants and are playing for time - but maybe that's not always the case.

MTSgroupie Tue 19-Mar-13 10:13:37

I'm guessing that the DD doesn't have a burning interest in all her GCSEs. Yet she is predicted top grades in all of them. So I'm a bit hmm at the posters who are suggesting that the DD might fail her A levels if she gets pushed that way by the mum. Not having a burning interest in all her GCSE subjects doesnt seem to have had that outcome.

tiggytape Tue 19-Mar-13 10:24:24

A Levels are very different to GCSE.
Generally a top student can get high GCSE grades with only moderate effort - not to do down anyone who strives for high grades and works hard - just pointing out that A Levels are more intense, a much higher level and less spoon fed. They are more reliant on tapping into the student's love of the subject and their drive to do well in a way that GCSEs aren't.

SoupDreggon Tue 19-Mar-13 10:27:15

The OPs child if she exists doesn't have a burning desire to be a hairdresser.

She wants to prove a point.

exoticfruits Tue 19-Mar-13 10:36:29

I am fascinated by the control parents think they have over their DCs choices in life. I can't think of a single example where it has worked. It may appear to work but it is always interesting to see what happens in later life.

MaureenMLove Tue 19-Mar-13 10:43:32

I haven't read the whole thread and I'm probably about to repeat stuff that has already been said, but never mind.

Ihave just spent a very difficult and stressful 6 months with DD (Yr12) She wanted to do Btech at college. I insisted that with 11 A*-C, she should at least give 6th form a chance for a year, then do college, if she still really wanted to. She is one of the oldest in the yr, so already nearer to 18, than 17.

It has been hell. I should have let her get on with it, but in my mind she was a bright girl that would have done well at 6th form. I was wrong. She is a bright girl, with a bright future in front of her, but not via 6th form!!

Please don't force your DD to do something that you think she shold done. It's time to start letting them make their own decisions at this age. I feel terrible that I made DD do 6th form. DD can make her own mistakes, if you think they are mistakes. She is however, still young enough to make mistakes that can be corrected before it's too late.

MrsHoarder Tue 19-Mar-13 10:45:05

Soup, did you read my post above? My parents thought this strategy would work and it ended on a suicide attempt.

Its always possible to do a levels at evening courses or do them one year behind if the young adult wants, pushing too hard against their aims because of sacrifices they didn't ask too be made risks backfiring.

My parents aren't toxic or uncaring, just didn't realise how much pressure they were heaping on DB.

fussychica Tue 19-Mar-13 10:49:45

Well at least judging by the wanted signs in several local salons she is inlikely to be unemployed, unlike many graduates.

bangwhizz Tue 19-Mar-13 10:57:26

In the town where I live there is a weekend/evening hairdressing school which some kids do along side their A levels.It costs quite a bit I think but I guess it is always useful to have another string to your bow.Maybe you could investigate if there is something like that where you live?

MTSgroupie Tue 19-Mar-13 11:23:44

My hairdresser left school with little in the way of qualifications. Her options at the time was to work in Woolworths, the assembly line at the local factory or become a hairdressing trainee. She chose the latter.

It was the best choice of those available at the time. She is now at the age of 40 doing a book keeping course in the hope of changing careers. Cutting someone's hair while they moan about their DHs has long lost its appeal smile

In threads about private education posters often make the point that they don't want their DC to be educated in a bubble of wealth. I think that this is what they have in mind.

Outside of the bubble, hairdressing is a near minimum wage job where you spend a number of years just sweeping up hair, making tea and washing hair. Inside the bubble on the other hand it's some glam job where you get to rub shoulders with glamorous and beautiful people.

SoupDreggon Tue 19-Mar-13 11:39:07

MrsHoarder, yes I did read it. That is extremely sad but it is not necessarily a typical response to the situation.

I am fascinated by the control parents think they have over their DCs choices in life.

And I am fascinated by the way people seem to think solutions one-size-ft-all.

blueyonder22 Tue 19-Mar-13 13:25:20

For every example of children having been 'forced' to finish their education, there will be as many of those wishing their parents had encouraged them to continue their education. I haven't read a coherent argument that would convince me otherwise. I would love my children to go onto university but it is not essential. I will however encourage them to finish their a levels because then they have more options available to them. They really won't if they left after GCSE'S. You all make it sound so easy just popping back to university or evening classes should they so wish to change their mind after a few years. Finance, circumstance, obligations and family life may just not allow that.

My dh left school with no formal qualifications. Nonetheless he carved out a successful career in music. He says starting out now he would never have had the opportunities he had then as all the positions go to the 'suits' (his term for graduates). He now runs a small music company with 6 members of staff. The industry is admittedly fairly 'glamorous' but the pay is consequently poor. When he looks to recruit, from basic admin up, he doesn't look at anyone's cv who hasn't got a degree. I think this is a shame as he will of course miss out on some real talent. He argues that with so many applicants he has to start somewhere. Of course he is wrong but that is the reality out there. I want my children to stand a chance of doing what they want, so will encourage them to finish their education and then the world is their proverbial oyster. For me success is not commensurate with salary, I would not push them to work in the city, practise law or medicine but if they want to they can. For me that is key.

DolomitesDonkey Tue 19-Mar-13 13:33:11

I went to a naice grammar school in Kent. One of my classmates left at 16 to do hair & beauty. She is now very wealthy and from what she shows - very happy and has in fact just last weekend returned from yet another long-haul first class trip. Plenty of business savvy there!

exoticfruits Tue 19-Mar-13 14:27:10

There is a lot to be said for having a gap and doing exams and university later. I can't see why we need to channel everyone down such a narrow tunnel. She can do it later, if she wishes-or she may be perfectly happy with the choice.

And I am fascinated by the way people seem to think solutions one-size-ft-all

My very point is that they don't-but I am talking about the young person-and not the parent. As the adult you can be very rational and talk about options but the very idea that you insist they do A'levels and they say 'yes, mother' and then work their socks off is laughable! If you can't persuade around to your way of thinking -there isn't much point in 'insisting'.

exoticfruits Tue 19-Mar-13 14:29:45

I will however encourage them to finish their a levels because then they have more options available to them

Encourage being the word. I think any sensible parent would encourage. It is if you insist that you hit the dodgy ground.

cory Tue 19-Mar-13 14:32:21

I deal with a fair few students whose parents have insisted they go to university. Deal with them typically means explaining that they cannot hope to keep up if they do not manage to muster any enthusiasm, showing them why they have failed the last exam and occasionally reporting them for plagiarism. The parents obviously thought they would be fine if they could only be persuaded to go to university. They are not fine.

As for "she is only doing this to make a political point", how do we actually know this? The girl is at boarding school, the mother has very strong views on what constitutes a proper career, how do we know what communication between them is like?

My FIL thought dh was making a hopelessly stupid and romantic choice when he decided to become a field archaeologist: they ranked in those days somewhere between road menders and representatives of the hippy convoy, the job was totally insecure (still is) and extremely badly paid.

Poor FIL did everything to make his son see sense and go in for a proper job like his brother. 30 years later dh is still happily employed in archaeology and his brother has been out of work more times than I care to count.

More to the point, dh wasn't making a silly romantic point because of his immature political views as FIL thought; he really knew what he wanted and has stuck to it since.

cory Tue 19-Mar-13 14:39:38

But FIL's reaction was very similar to the OPs. And so was my mother's when I wanted to move to the UK (which in her eyes offers a far inferior lifestyle) to marry a young Englishman I had met on holiday. "You are only doing this because of X, Y, X, not because you really want to"

As it so happens, dh is still in the career that he really wanted for itself and I am still married to the man I really wanted for myself. Neither of us wanted to prove anything at all: we were just totally serious about what we really did want out of life. And yes, it might not have panned out, but we both knew we had to take the risk.

This doesn't tell us anything about the OPs daughter- but possibly, just possibly about how a parent might react in that situation.

When your child makes what seems like a loony decision to you, something you don't see why anyone should want to do, it is tempting to tell yourself that they can't actually want something that seems so alien to you, there must be some ulterior motive, they can't really really mean it.

exoticfruits Tue 19-Mar-13 14:54:13

It is often a complete waste of money too. I have a friend who wanted to work with horses. Her parents 'insisted' she did something sensible first-'to fall back on'. She did the something sensible and then went off to the depths of the country to work with horses, married a local farmer and has lived happily ever after with her horses-she never 'fell back' on the something. Her DS, however went to Cambridge and has a glittering academic career, so no doubt her parents are happy. The friend also had an expensive private education that she 'wasted'. She also refused to wear dresses-all in all she wasn't the DD her mother wanted-BUT why should she have been? You give birth but you have no idea what you are getting-they are yours to influence and encourage-they are not yours to plan their life, when they may not want anything remotely like you envisage.

MrsHoarder Tue 19-Mar-13 15:38:39

And I am fascinated by the way people seem to think solutions one-size-ft-all.

I'm fascinated by the level of control people are trying to exert over nearly-adult offspring to make them follow the "ideal" path of a-levels. Once they're past GCSE age its time to realise that they could legally leave home if they want and to trust in your parenting thus far in choices as much as you can. Obviously discourage dossing all day or illegal activity but if there's a productive route they want to follow they should be supported, not pressured into doing something else.

Make sure they don't close doors by all means, investigate and discuss the costs of sitting A levels as an adult should they change their minds, but ultimately its their life and their choice.

But I'm looking at this from an angle of the damage emotional pressure can do. And telling your DC that you spent the cost of a house on their education and they are wasting it is a lot of emotional pressure for a teen to handle.

exoticfruits Tue 19-Mar-13 15:48:04

* And telling your DC that you spent the cost of a house on their education and they are wasting it is a lot of emotional pressure for a teen to handle*

And nothing to do with them-it was your choice.

outtolunchagain Tue 19-Mar-13 17:29:03

This scenario has happened with two families I know . In one case the girl fled back to her day school after one week at college and in the other she didn't make it past registration,where they asked her to confirm that she had maths and English at F or above before reaching the conclusion herself that this was not the right path for someone with10 As and A*s.

One is now at a top art school , the other sits a levels this year .In both cases the parents were very supportive,they didn't cajole or force and they made it clear they would support their child's decisions . They let their children make their own decisions, and yes they were there to help them pick up the pieces .

Maybe this is just that she wants to come back to day school , perhaps a local sixth form college or day school would be a solution .

Schmedz Tue 19-Mar-13 18:07:54

My friend was Head Girl at a super selective grammar. Wanted to quit after GCSEs to go and study acting but parents insisted she did A-levels. Lots of pressure from school to go Oxbridge route. She studied a performing arts degree and is working on the West End and abroad now.

Importantly she says she thanks her parents every day for insisting she finish her A-levels. It is much harder to go back to studying after working or to combine work with studying (fees can be high for FE). She is grateful that she has the good qualifications for the future, even if she never uses them, she thinks it is good to have them under her belt. Knowing her chosen career path may potentially have a limited lifespan possibly is different to hair/beauty career potential.

Given that even graduates have problems gaining work, those 2 extra years of schooling are a short amount of time to spend to ensure you have covered all your bases.

sweetiepie1979 Tue 19-Mar-13 18:43:37

Stupid and idiotic? That's a bit harsh! Let her do it, it's her decision I'd be as supportive as you can. You sound very snobby miss Helen. Get over the money you spent on her education there was no guarantee she was going to do what you wanted her to. And get off your high horse about hairdressing I'm sure your post has managed to insult a lot of people on here. Have to stop there, I'm fuming at your post!

timeforachange12 Tue 19-Mar-13 19:30:08

HI this is Helen jackson i lost my password so i created a new name. people on this forum asked how i was affording a Public School Education for DD. The truth is I could not It was MUM AND DADS ESTATE I SAY ESTATE IT WAS A 4 BEDROOM HOUSE IN KENT BOUGHT IN RIGHT TO BUY COUNCIL HOUSE IN THE EARLY 1980s BUT BECAUSE OF HOUSE INFLATION WAS WORTH 425k. DDS Head at Primary School told me that DD was very bright and would fly though the 11+ she did she got 420 Kent test that should have been good enough place at G.S but not for Sister who said the best for DD and said lets put 200k in a bank account for DDS Education i Agreed.SO off we went to every Boarding School in the South East DD Taking the Entrance exams passing the lot we were offered academic scholarships everywhere. Sister said we wont ask for anything so did not take scholarships.So off to School went DD Years7,8,9,10 Top of the year then she came home last Summer and i thought DDs not the same but i dont know why. When DD came back from the Fe College she said to me i have met three Girls who are like me but they have not had the chances i have had. They are now friends of DD and are very nice. One day watching DD playing Lacrosse A parent came over to me and started asking me "WHAT SCHOOL DID DD COME FROM" When i said a State School She said "SHE MUST BE BRIGHT" Assuming that DD was on a full Scholarship when i told her that "WE PAY FULL FEES" SHE SAID I DID NOT KNOW WORKING PEOPLE COULD MAKE THAT MUCH" Regarding The OXBRIDGE POTENTIAL COMMENT THAT WAS NOT Me DDS HOUSEMISTRESS . DDS House Mistress Telephoned me and said it was my fault the Hair and beauty BTEC BECAUSE OF THE PEOPLE SHE KNOWS WHEN SHE COMES HOME TO ME.

PoodleChops Tue 19-Mar-13 19:30:45

cory said "My FIL thought dh was making a hopelessly stupid and romantic choice when he decided to become a field archaeologist: they ranked in those days somewhere between road menders and representatives of the hippy convoy, the job was totally insecure (still is) and extremely badly paid.

Poor FIL did everything to make his son see sense and go in for a proper job like his brother. 30 years later dh is still happily employed in archaeology and his brother has been out of work more times than I care to count. "

You made me smile a very knowing smile thanks
Funnily enough, last night I was going to cite archaeology as it's something I know about, too. I hear a lot of "minimum wage" "sweeping floors" on this thread - blah, blah blah ad nauseum. Archaeology is something you can do at degree level at UCL (albeit the Institute of Archaeology) - heck you can even do a BSC in Archaeology, note: not your common-or-garden BA wink But and here's the rub, as Cory has said, you can be really badly paid and most Field Archaeologists are on short-term contracts. The wage is barely above minimum and in fact, hairdressers after two years, earn more than a degree-toting archaeologist with a host of A* GCSE's and "A" Levels. And you still get to do what some feel are crappy tasks - every single day, like clean out the on-site portaloos and dig through ancient "shit-pits". Your chances of returning to it after having children are severely hampered as you often have to chase employment all over the country. Added to that your unit may decide to send you to a site 50 or 60 miles away, maybe more. On the wages you get, paying for childcare is crippling. But hey, you gotta degree!
BTW - archaeology is in my blood; it's my passion but an academic qualification isn't a passport to money and escaping crap tasks, in the same way as doing a vocational course doesn't consign you to low wages and a life-long career of menial tasks - both are generalisations.

Lighthousekeeping Tue 19-Mar-13 20:06:24

this post is a wind up, isn't it? It's a p take. All the typical DM references re Buy to Let houses, the implied North South divide etc. all in capital letters. Why is it important to know the sister is in Sunderland or wherever? Seriously, it has to e a joke.

BoringTheBuilder Tue 19-Mar-13 21:06:38

MORE FOOL YOU OP, if had the chance to go grammar school or have scholarship but didn't accept for pride and chose to pay full fees. If you daughter is so bright she will do well in whatever path she chooses and specially if she is doing something she is passionate about. It doesn't sound you chose a good school after all since the headmistress is so negative, intolerant and discriminates you and your dd so openly. I guess your dd is fed up with bully from her UC colleagues and don't want to be seen like them and that is why chose friendship with those other girls...

BoringTheBuilder Tue 19-Mar-13 21:32:46

And you didn't need to get another account, could just get a password reminder and keep the original nickname.

Yellowtip Tue 19-Mar-13 22:45:33

Of course it's a p take.

exoticfruits Tue 19-Mar-13 22:46:44

I should always go with my instincts in the first place and not waste time.

sweetiepie1979 Tue 19-Mar-13 22:48:15

Who asked OP? I can't see anyone who asked. Weird!

Lighthousekeeping Tue 19-Mar-13 22:55:39

It is quite funny, though.

Kez100 Wed 20-Mar-13 10:33:15

I think it's probably a wind up, given far more detail, but it does open a great debate on happiness versus money plus control of children versus good parental guidance and it is interesting to read where different people pitch the importance of each of these.

Coconutty Wed 20-Mar-13 17:47:59

Yawns loudly.

timeforachange12 Wed 20-Mar-13 21:13:30

I only read broadsheet Newspapers,Daily Telegraph, Guardian and Sunday Times.

timeforachange12 Wed 20-Mar-13 21:17:08

Well Done Mumsnet, They still Haven"t Worked it Out on 11 Plus Forum yet.

How is this still here? Wasn't it obvious it was a wind up when the other (DD jailed) one turned up with the same features?

ilovesooty Thu 21-Mar-13 00:13:46

The discussion is interesting. The motives of the seemingly rather strange OP really don't matter: she's really a total irrelevance.

TheRealFellatio Thu 21-Mar-13 04:43:38

One day watching DD playing Lacrosse A parent came over to me and started asking me "WHAT SCHOOL DID DD COME FROM" When i said a State School She said "SHE MUST BE BRIGHT" Assuming that DD was on a full Scholarship when i told her that "WE PAY FULL FEES" SHE SAID I DID NOT KNOW WORKING PEOPLE COULD MAKE THAT MUCH" Regarding The OXBRIDGE POTENTIAL COMMENT THAT WAS NOT Me DDS HOUSEMISTRESS . DDS House Mistress Telephoned me and said it was my fault the Hair and beauty BTEC BECAUSE OF THE PEOPLE SHE KNOWS WHEN SHE COMES HOME TO ME.

Okaaaay...........Er, assuming all of the above is absolutely true, which involves taking a bit of a leap of faith, (has anyone spoken so patronisingly about 'working people' since before the first world war? hmm) I will make the following points:

1) Sometimes scholarship students from modest backgrounds do feel like a fish out of water at very top end schools. Even if no-one is directly nasty to them they can often feel that they are an object of curiosity, their accent is not the same, and whether that feeling of being patronised and treated as the poor relation is real or imagined, it will have a profound effect.

They may either adapt to blend in, and end up feeling a bit embarassed by their own parents, or they might go the opposite way and reject what they see as awful elitism, and become inverted snobs who are determined to buck the system as a way of sticking two fingers up at the school and everything it stands for. Which sounds a bit like what this girl is doing.

2) You say your daughter insists on doing the 'first' Hairdressing course for the ones who don't get sufficiently good GCSE grades to do the Level 2. Level 1 courses are designed for people who need help with functional skills in English and Maths, and who would not even cope with starting on Level 2, which only requires 2 GCSEs at D grade as it is. The level 1 'normally' requires 2 GCSEs at grade G. In other words you have to show that you did at least turn up for school at least three or four times since you were 14 and knew how to hold a biro. But the 'normally' means there is room for manoeuvre even with that criterion. Anyone who as attended school regularly and still only has the ability to scrape 2 grade G's is functionally illiterate and innumerate, quite probably has an SEN and/or is somehow socially and economically disadvantaged.

I think it highly unlikely that any decent FE college would evenallow your DD to enroll on that Level 1 course. It is simply inappropriate, and deprives another young person )who may be vulnerable and have had a difficult relationship with school) of that place. Make sure she understands that the education system has not 'let these girls down' by setting entry requirements to the Level 2 course - quite the contrary. The level 1 course is designed to help and support those kids who would otherwise drop out of any kind of education/training altogether.

She would be cutting off her nose to spite her face by insisting on doing Level 1; twiddling her thumbs while her classmates are coaxed, cajoled and supported into actually turning up, and getting to grips with the most basic functional numeracy and literacy skills, in order that they will eventually cope with Level 2. It is a totally wasted year on her part.

3) The reason your DDs housemistress is so horrified, is that as a pupil from a humble background (albeit privately educated with no bursary) she will be viewed quite favourably as an Oxbridge candidate. The school wants and needs as many pupils to go to Oxbridge as it can get. They'd hate to see one slip through the net for entirely self-serving reasons, but I will assume they have your daughter's best interests at heart as well.

TheRealFellatio Thu 21-Mar-13 04:44:07

Bilmey that was an essay and a half. Sorry.

Snog Thu 21-Mar-13 06:04:17

Let her follow her own star and be supportive

bangwhizz Thu 21-Mar-13 11:58:24

Jackanory Jackanory!

MyChildDoesntNeedSleep Thu 21-Mar-13 11:59:46

I know we've ascertained this post was a wind up, but I have a friend who feels that his parents let him down when they let him give up his A Levels to go and work in a shop. He wishes they had encouraged and advised him. No questions were asked and he was simply left to it.

While I don't think you can force a child, expensive education or not, I do think guidance and encouragement taking into account the child's abilities and interests is essential.

BoringTheBuilder Thu 21-Mar-13 14:06:23

I always felt immensely let down by my parents, I was allowed to drop out of a fee paying school and go to the state school simply because I said I wanted a easier school life when in reality they should see this as a cry for help. Also I had absolutely no advice regarding careers and etc. My older sister didn't need so much support so my mum thought I would cope the same which I didn't. I was let down.

tiggytape Thu 21-Mar-13 18:46:31

Poor parents - so if your 16 year old clearly says they cannot cope with their high pressured school or want to pursue a vocational occupation and you let them go ahead then you are letting them down and doing them a great disservice.
But if you make them stick with the academic route, you are undermining their choices and possibly pushing them down a path that will lead to a breakdown or unhappiness or outright rebellion.

I think all any parent can do is talk over the options and then support whatever decision is made. If it turns out to be the wrong decision then that is hard but it is also hard for parents to balance putting a child under too much strain with wanting them to maximise their opportunities.
Just as many people here regret their parents pushing them too hard as not pushing them enough which just goes to show perhaps that there isn’t an easy answer when a child announces they don’t want to do what they were expected to do.

JOJOHNSON23 Thu 21-Mar-13 19:46:25


Just had to get your attention OP! smile

I am your daughter (not literally!) I had a private education from 5-16, my secondary school was a highly academic selective girls school. I did extremely well in my GCSE's and have, to this day, what I consider to be an above average intellect. BUT, to my detriment I decided in my 16 year old wisdom that I wanted to do a BTEC in Beauty Therapy! My Mother allowed me to choose my own path and I went ahead spending two years at college. I left got a job in Beauty Therapy, hated it, took A levels at night school to get a Uni place, went to University but I always felt 'behind' as I'd basically wasted 4 years of my life 16-20. I have never fulfilled my potential and I wish, almost every day of my life, that my Mother had insisted I finish my A levels and go straight to University. It is my one and only regret - I'm 40 years old and it is literally my only regret.

My own children are at an independent Prep school and I have always made it clear that their educational path is Prep school, Senior then University. After that they can choose for themselves but they need to complete their education in order to make an educated choice.

In answer to your question, I don't know how you can 'make' her do A levels and a degree, that is entirely dependent on your relationship and how good your communications channels are. I know my girls will follow the path I have set out for them as they know I only want the best for them and will ultimately support whatever they choose once they are in a position to make those choices with clear and sound judgement.

Good luck, you are just being a good parent by wanting the best for your child.

BoringTheBuilder Thu 21-Mar-13 19:49:29

tiggytape are you talking to me?? I think I wasn't clear enough on my post. Sorry. 1st of all, it was not in this country so the system is completely different. In my country the state education is ultra rubbish, in fact more often than nothing the teachers doesn't even turn up to the lessons. Also I wasn't 16 but 12. And there was no talking about options/me getting help or explanations about the implications of my choices in my future. Me being the rebel of the family, I was trying to get attention more than anything else. Now that I'm 36 I realised that what I really needed was someone to sit down with me, and talk to me, inspire me, explain to me. But no. My mum was 'following' the Summerhill book, giving me all the freedom I wanted and letting me do whatever I wanted. But for me it felt like not caring. However I'm glad I had a good education at least at primary level.

If we've all ascertained that this is a wind up, why is it still here?

Yellowtip Thu 21-Mar-13 21:35:38

So Jo, your kids are still at prep. Good luck with your life plan for them then....

cory Thu 21-Mar-13 22:34:21

Jo, I see a fair few children whose parents have made it clear to them that their path is prep school, then senior, then university. That is why I keep a box of tissues in my office. It is as far as I can understand the main reason why my department needs to have a plagiarism officer. It is a major cause of failure.

Not all 18/19yos are mature enough to cope with university. The ones that don't cope either emerge with a fail at the end of the course or are thrown out for cheating before that. By this time they will have wasted a lot of money, made themselves very unhappy and not acquired anything that will help them find employment.

tiggytape Thu 21-Mar-13 22:37:47

BoringThe Builder - no not as such - especially since you were 12 when you made that decision - that is very different and probably one you shouldn't have taken alone or at all.

It was just a general observation in response to posts expressing totally opposite points: so many people involved in higher education or who themselves were forced into higher education see the pitfalls of being pushed there against your will whereas many others post to say they wish their parents had pushed them more despite not knowing how that would ever have panned out.
By 16 it is a grey area and possibly one that there is no right answer to. Whilst some 16 year olds are rebelling or opting for an easy life, others will have genuine and fixed ideas about their futures that need to be respected. Either way though, there is limited benefit into pushing someone who is on the verge of adulthood into doing something they don't want to.
I think anyone planning to do this until their children are 21 is very optimistic indeed!

I come from it from the point of view of someone who did the whole higher education / degree route and I would honestly not mind at all if my children did not want to follow that path. It doesn't have half the advantages that people imagine it does (unless you have a very specific career in mind and stick to that plan). I've seen loads of friends regret doing it including those who have masters degrees and many post graduate qualifications. It only buys you options if you are interested in the type of options it opens up. If you want to pursue artistic, creative or vocational jobs it can be more of a hindrance than a help (people judge you as over qualified for jobs you'd love to do to the extent that people end up dumbing down their CVs)

TheRealFellatio Fri 22-Mar-13 05:16:30

Can someone tell me how we have ascertained this is a wind-up? What was the reference to an 11+ thread and a jailed daughter? confused

MTSgroupie Fri 22-Mar-13 07:37:35

Don't know about over people but it was when the OP said that her DD was going to enrol on the basic hair dressing course reserved for those with barely any GCSEs as opposed to the more advanced hair dressing course. Why? As a protest at how the education system failed two girls that the DD met at an open day hmm

This is either a wind up or else the DD is a champagne leftie in h

MTSgroupie Fri 22-Mar-13 07:38:13

... leftie in the making.

cory Fri 22-Mar-13 08:00:10

Or else the mother wasn't listening properly to what the dd said, being busy with her pearl clutching.

MyChildDoesntNeedSleep Fri 22-Mar-13 13:16:40

Fellatio the OP came back a page or two ago and basically said ' ha ha thickos...wondered how long it would take you to twig'

exoticfruits Fri 22-Mar-13 13:43:33

It always shows who reads the whole thread.

BeckAndCall Fri 22-Mar-13 16:52:14

And the jail reference ws to another thread started at the same time, also in capitals throughout, where the OP wanted to stop her 12 year old son following her useless DD 16 to jail..... That one ws deleted pdq

TheRealFellatio Fri 22-Mar-13 18:25:06

Really? I missed that! Thanks. I must admit it was a bit suss, but you never can tell.

expatgal Sun 24-Mar-13 18:24:08

Well to be honest, I cannot deny that I would be a bit worried also. I guess she needs to have some idea of what would potentially follow in terms of financial gain and lifestyle for herself and her future family, if thats important to her. Yes some hair dressers and beauty therapists are extremely financially successful, but the reality is that the vast majority are extremely moderate salaried members of society. I guess we cannot plan our childrens lives, however, we as parents want the best for our kids however we see it, right or wrong. We want them to be financially secure as well as happy. Perhaps we want it all. As long as she thinks thats ok for her we cannot comment but I am guessing that she may not know how tough it can be out there and parents will naturally continue to worry for their kids so to berate a parents worries in such a way i think is unrealistic and rather holier than thou - is that how you spell it?

gobbin Wed 27-Mar-13 10:34:00

If this is a wind up then what a waste of time - people reading, thinking, posting.

If this a wind up then what a very unpleasant, attention-seeking person the OP must be.

Why? Just why? Silly b***h.

exoticfruits Wed 27-Mar-13 13:17:38

I don't think it matters-some useful points were made.

LouiseAnastasia Sat 30-Mar-13 21:24:43

I think you should let her try it. She might decide after a while it's not for her and she'll change her mind to something which will please her, and you. If she enjoys it then let her be.

Personally I often think it doesn't matter if the OP is genuine or not.
I always feel I'm writing for everyone on the thread and not just the OP.
Obviously sometimes it matters - if anyone becomes upset either by anything said or by the dishonesty involved.
And sometimes you feel you've invested your emotions and energy where there was in fact no real cause for concern.

speedology Fri 05-Jul-13 20:00:15

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

Saxie Fri 05-Jul-13 20:09:15

I know of a well known hairdresser who lives in a very beautiful multi-million pound house. He was obviously clever and entrepreneurial. I think that we should stop being snobby about careers and appreciate that rewards and excellence can come in many different ways but everyone needs to have the passion and drive which Oxbrige won't necessarily give you.

goinggetstough Fri 05-Jul-13 20:14:53

Zombie thread!

paprikash Wed 28-Aug-13 20:22:27

I think that saying oh let them be what they want to be at 15, aren't I wonderfully supportive, is in fact lazy parenting. I could think of whole countries (such as the one where I grew up, where education is mostly free) where that would just never fly.

cory Wed 28-Aug-13 20:28:30

We are hair and beauty treating a zombie here.

<dramatic actor's voice>

MNers, would you want your children to grow up in a world where zombies have to wear scruffy hair because there is nobody to treat them?

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now