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To be 'disappointed' with DD2s attitude about achieving 7 or 8 A* at GCSE.

(85 Posts)
smokepole Thu 05-Feb-15 17:50:24

DD2 yr11 has been told by numerous teachers including her form tutor, that she is capable of getting between 7-9 A* in her GCSEs. DDs attitude is I only need 3 A* 'its to difficult to get 7 or 8' 'I want a life'. DD told this to me as well as her form teacher, who told her that she is capable of going to any University she likes!. Her response was I am not going to just sit in for the next 2 and half years studying and not having a life.

She has quite randomly decided she wants to do English @ 'Lancaster University' all the way from Folkestone !

I am a caught between being disappointed and being very proud , because this is a girl who her 'Grammar' school who would rather that she left in year 7 due to difficulties with Dyspraxia.

I guess this is a thread for other Mums to show disappointment, pride or a bit of both ....

Preciousbane Thu 05-Feb-15 17:54:54

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mytartanscarf Thu 05-Feb-15 17:55:42

Oh gosh she is probably saying is so that IF she doesn't achieve all that she can shrug it off! It's a lot of pressure!

I'm not sure how old she is but in year 10 I randomly decided I was going to go to Exeter because it was coastal hmm I didn't in the end!

Armpitt Thu 05-Feb-15 17:56:50

WTAF is she choosing a degree course in now for?

RufusTheReindeer Thu 05-Feb-15 17:58:54

Ds is supposed to get mainly As in his GCSEs

The 6th form he wants to go to only needs him to get Bs, although he is working hard I think that's taken a bit of the pressure off him

I am happy about that but I would also like him to do the absolute best he can...

fredfredgeorgejnr Thu 05-Feb-15 18:00:58

She sounds pretty on the ball... YABU.

DuchessDisaster Thu 05-Feb-15 18:01:32

What is this life that young people feel they need?
OK, I am long in the tooth, but during school years I went to school, the odd birthday party, music lessons and festivals (as a competitor), Saturday job in 6th form to pay for driving lessons and that was it.
What did I miss out on? As far as I know, most of my peer group were the same. I don't understand what this "social life" is.
If she is a bright girl, it would be a shame not to take advantage of the opportunities on offer or to make the most of her abilities.

drudgetrudy Thu 05-Feb-15 18:02:34

Don't be over-invested in her academic success-you may mean well but it can become a recipe for mental health issues and resentment.
She probably wants to do well anyway but is preempting the possibility of not doing as well as expected.
She will change her mind about degree courses over the next couple of years-but question whether she is telling you she wants to go a long distance because she is stressed.
Ensure that she feels valued whatever her results.

thewavesofthesea Thu 05-Feb-15 18:09:25

I got 7 A*s and 3 As in my GCSEs. I got 5 As at A level too. Although I was pleased with this, I can't say I was a happy 16-18 year old.

No one cares what I got at GCSE now and although my A levels helped me get into a very competitive course, I certainly didn't need all 5 of the a levels! I was very much pressurised into doing them, by myself as well as a pushy college.

I think your daughter's attititude is healthy. Having a life is so important! I wish I had known it was okay not to be perfect.

DeliciousIrony Thu 05-Feb-15 18:12:18

I wouldn't worry about her choice of degree course just yet (although there is nothing wrong with doing English at Lancaster) - if anything, it's a good sign that she's actually thinking that far ahead and considering her options, which is more than a lot of year 11 students. Her final choice may well change in the next couple of years.

It is a lot of pressure on GCSE students at this time of year, and being told that she is capable of such good results can feel like such a burden of expectation. I think the important thing is to let her know that you'll be proud of her whatever she gets, and the main thing is to do her best.

Marmiteandjamislush Thu 05-Feb-15 18:13:25

YABVVU and a bit snobby re Lancaster. I have given papers and attended conferences there, it is a great uni, with brilliant staff. It's her life and her choice, if she doesn't think A*s are the be all and end all, then they're not. Actually, most employers look for candidates with good grades and life experiences with transferable skills, so your daughter is actually very astute.

BarbarianMum Thu 05-Feb-15 18:13:57

Nothing wrong with English at Lancaster, or with studying a few hundred miles from home. Maybe she's just expressing her desire for distance from you cause you're giving her a hard time right now grin

Honestly though, I had no life through my teens I chased and got high grades. But now in my 40s I look back and think maybe I did miss out a bit. Certainly I hope my kids don't get as stressed by it all as I did because it's really not life or death.

drudgetrudy Thu 05-Feb-15 18:15:46

Very sad to want to show "disappointment" about a girl who is doing so well despite having had to overcome a difficulty.

Question your own motives OP.
This is said kindly-perfectionism can lead to problems.

MetallicBeige Thu 05-Feb-15 18:24:59

I thought you were moving to the grammar school promised land Manchester op?

I think she sounds great, give her a break fgs, it's apparent from other threads you are over invested in an almost obsessive way. Calm down and let her live her life, she's obviously on the right track.

IDismyname Thu 05-Feb-15 18:30:05

I know of a teenage girl who excelled at GCSEs - she had the best results her (high achieving all girls) school had ever had in a pupil.

She has battled with mental health problems all through her 6th form, only scraped through her AS's, and lord only knows what A Level results will be.

She is a shadow of her former self.

And all because she had a pushy mum who took her to the brink too young...

smokepole Thu 05-Feb-15 18:31:15

Marmite. I know Lancaster is a great University. I visited a friend there a few times who was staying with "Her Majesty" !

DD2 will achieve far more (even with 5-6 C grades than what I thought she might of at 11). Its just that she is capable of doing brilliantly by any ones standards and we all want them to achieve their best.

350 Miles though is a long way especially for a very 'immature' (she is a young 16 year old presently ) young woman. It is also a strange choice as she had massive 'tantrums' when I was looking to move to Trafford earlier this year ...

LynetteScavo Thu 05-Feb-15 18:31:22

I think your DD is right...she does need a bit of a life.

What good are 8* at GCSE, or 5A* at A' level if you are miserable and do nothing but study.

My DS is capable of 10 A at GCSE. He wont get this because he does nothing. He spends hours doing nothing. But it's his choice. He will achieve what he needs to study A' levels at the school of his choice.

I'm proud he's academically able. I despair because he could do better if he put in some effort.

Now here's the scary bit...he recently announced he may not want to go to uni.....which would mean he would stay living here with us. shock

My conclusion is that this is the age at which we stop being able to make our DC succeed/fail. Until now we chose their school, helped with homework, made sure they knew everything they needed to get good SATs results. And now it's up to them. They can revise as much or as little as they want, and can set their sights on the uni and career of their choice. I find being forced to let go is hard.

JaceLancs Thu 05-Feb-15 18:34:56

I would consider why her uni choice is so far away
I know mine was for other reasons than the educational and social opportunities sad
I never went back smile

partialderivative Thu 05-Feb-15 18:36:31

I made a complete mess of my A'levels. But I had a fantastic time as a teen in London at the time.

I'm doing alright now, and have never really regretted my useless years.

seaweed123 Thu 05-Feb-15 18:41:52

Hmm, I would say yanbu. A few years of hard work now could mean the difference between a fast track to an easy life, or a young adulthood which is much more of a struggle.

I had "no life" at that age and pretty much studied non stop. But I had a first class degree and a good graduate job by 20. It meant having that bit of extra money to enjoy when I was in a position to make the most of it. I certainly don't regret it.

BackforGood Thu 05-Feb-15 18:44:18

Of course a 16 yr old needs a bit of a life.
Of course someone in Yr11 should be doing their best to achieve the best results they can.
I don't see them as mutually exclusive

(I have a dd in Yr 11, and have been through it all before with ds, who has a very different character / personality from dd1).

Why not get it all mapped out on a piece of paper, the fact there are 7 days in the week, 24 hrs in the day.
Block out sleep time, school time, and a reasonable amount of meals / ablutions/travel/ type time and show her just how many zillions of hours there still are left. this can then be divided between study, just "chilling" (however she likes to get her 'down time') , and "having a life". There's still time for planty of each.
All she has to see is that - if she wants to go out in the evening, then she'll probably have to be working when she gets in from school. If she wants to blob in front of the TV / FB / other screentime when she gets in, then she will probably need to work in the evening. If she wants to sleep until lunch on Sat / Sun, then she will need to think about finding hours elsewhere to do other stuff.

MrsPiggie Thu 05-Feb-15 18:50:49

She seems pretty clued up if she's thinking of English at Lancaster, it's a department with a very good reputation in Linguistics. Anyway, she's probably just rebelling a bit, it doesn't mean she won't put any work in, she'll be fine and may very well get more than 3A*s.

zeezeek Thu 05-Feb-15 18:51:34

You can't make them do what they don't want to do and, at that age, they always know better anyway.

Just relax. She sounds like a really bright girl who has a grasp of where she wants to go and what she wants to do.

As others have said, your GCSEs are only important in this particular time and place as a means to get into your A-level course (apart from English and Maths of course). Then your A-levels are only important to get into University. In about 10 years time no-one will care whether she got 2-3 or 10 A*'s and, if they do, then they aren't someone who should be in your daughter's life!

Let her be young. Let her have fun alongside her work and, most of all, be proud that she is a mature enough to realise that there really is more to life than getting A*'s in everything.

Oh and btw, I've known a lot of "hothoused" grammar school children whose parents make sure they got into a prestigious Russell Group university and who drop out after a term because they can't cope and are completely out of their depth. I've also known students who have achieved A*s in everything at GCSE and A-level with the aim of getting into Medicine (I work in a medical school so know this - but guess you'd see the same for Vet Sci or whatever) and then not being accepted because they have not had "a life" and have done nothing except take and pass exams since the age of 16.

So, tell her teachers to sod off (because they only care so that their results look good) and tell your daughter you are proud of her!

TheCraicDealer Thu 05-Feb-15 18:54:38

At the age of 16 your daughter has realised that you need a work/life balance. I'm ten years older than her and still figuring that out.

Those projected grades sound great, but they're not creme de la creme material. If she wanted to do medicine or apply to English at Cambridge I'd be worriedly her attitude, but for the vast majority of courses it won't matter. They generally only revert to looking at GCSE's beyond the required English and Maths for the most oversubscribed of courses.

Your daughter is realising that she can reach her goals and still have a life. And they're her goals, not your's. You've had your life, this is her's. As long as she's not applying to a course in meth production at the school of life I think you should butt out and unclench.

sashh Thu 05-Feb-15 18:57:14

Who would she be getting those grades for?

I don't think Lancaster is a random choice, I think it is getting as far away from home as possible.

I think you need to ask yourself why she would want to be that far away.

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