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To make dd go on a school trip

(81 Posts)
UterusUterusGhali Sun 22-May-16 00:49:23

Dd is just 14.

She is a wonderful girl, and good student. She struggles in certain subjects but is overall good in the subjects she is interested in.

She had MH issues. Self harm.

She has been invited to view oxford uni, as she has been predicted good grades. There are 32 in her year that have been invited.

She says she doesn't care or want to go, but I feel it would be a great opportunity. She also refused a "women in STEM" event that she was invited to, one of the few in her school.

She wants to be an architect, or possibly something in mental health.

I have signed her up for the oxford trip.


UterusUterusGhali Sun 22-May-16 00:52:14

Bit of an essay Soz.

I should add my dm showed NO interest in my academia, despite being in education, and my showing potential.

NapQueen Sun 22-May-16 00:54:26

But you aren't showing the correct interest. She is telling you who and what she wants to be.

You are not listening.

Baconyum Sun 22-May-16 00:56:42

Her education post 18 is her choice so I think yabu. Particularly given her mh issues (Oxford not known for being sympathetic to these). Ditto STEM. Yes the opportunity should be there for girls/women who are interested but nobody should be forced into an area they're uninterested in. You say your mother didn't take an interest in what you wanted to do, are you looking at architect/mental health career paths with your daughter?

yummumto3girls Sun 22-May-16 00:56:46

I'm afraid at that age you can't force her to be interested or want to go! Perhaps you need to back off a little, at 14 she has a few years ahead before needing to decide on her next steps.

AgentZigzag Sun 22-May-16 00:56:59

I think at 14 she knows her own mind.

I can understand why you might want to gently push her towards doing things that might make her feel uncomfortable but given you've said she has MH probs etc then you don't want her anywhere near the edge and maybe want to encourage her to feel safe and find her own ways of dealing with shit.

She's only 14 so plenty of time for her to decide what she wants to do, even if it turns out that she won't 'find herself' until she's in her 20s. Try not to put too many expectations onto her, I know you know that she can do anything she wants and is intelligent enough to carve out a successful career but she needs to do that in her own time/own way.

Have you signed her up for it without telling her and after she'd told you she didn't want to go?

It'd be a bit off if you did, she's not 5 any more and you don't necessarily know what's good for her better than she does (if I can say that without sounding harsh).

Canyouforgiveher Sun 22-May-16 01:02:30

*But you aren't showing the correct interest. She is telling you who and what she wants to be.

You are not listening*

I disagree with this completely.

She is telling you that she is struggling and has mental health issues. nothing more. She is still academic and high achieving - that is also worth listening to. You know this is difficult for her but you aren't giving up on her academic possibilities. She doesn't know yet what she wants to be as she is only 14 and has a lot on her plate. She needs you to support all of her, MH issues and academic strengths.

How she feels now isn't who she will be for the rest of her life. As mother, if my child had grades sufficient for an oxford entry at this age, I wouldn't let her just opt out without an effort on my part. I would also treat her MH and self-harming issues very seriously (I have a similar child except without the academic success).

OP, I would sign her up. I would also try to explore why she doesn't want to go. I wouldn't force her but I would support her as much as possible in going.

I also think you should approach the school and ask for help from the pastoral care/college guidance person.

OhYouAhole Sun 22-May-16 01:05:01

Yabu. It's something she needs to decide for herself I think and by forcing her to do it, she'll be less likely to have an open mind in terms of it. Tell her you've signed her up to it but that doesn't mean she has to go, but now the option is there for her

MyFriendsCallMeOh Sun 22-May-16 01:05:05

Why doesn't she want to go?

UterusUterusGhali Sun 22-May-16 01:18:15

Thus far AIBU. I can accept that.

Why doesn't she want to go? I don't know. I don't know why she wouldn't go on the STEM day either. She literally refused to get on the bus with that, saying it was a silly waste of time.

I want her to be inspired by the gleaming spires. Is that so bad?

MyFriendsCallMeOh Sun 22-May-16 01:21:00

You need to find out why she doesn't want to go if you want to get to the bottom of this. Talk and really really listen.

Baconyum Sun 22-May-16 01:21:12

Because you would have liked to go to oxford?

AnnieOnnieMouse Sun 22-May-16 01:21:23

it doesn't matter where you want her to be on 4 years time. What matters - really matters - is how you help her to get through those next 4 years.
Listen to her. Pushing her now could break her for ever.

UterusUterusGhali Sun 22-May-16 01:23:15

I want her to see that there is more for her than her current life.

I want her to use her intellect, but I'm very aware I'm living through her. sad

Canyouforgiveher Sun 22-May-16 01:23:58

Reading threads on here I sometimes wonder does everyone else but me have 14 year olds who are utterly in control of their own lives and futures, know exactly what they want to be and how to get there and require absolutely no support or encouragement to get out of their comfort zone or try things that seem scary or difficult?

Because I don't have those independent autonomous teens. I had teens who needed us saying "try this, you can do it, ok it doesn't matter if you don't etc" If we let them to themselves they might have been sitting at home doing nothing because they were a bit anxious.

My job as a parent is to show them that being a bit anxious shouldn't stop you participating in whatever you want.

My 19 year old college student needed my advice and guidance today.

14 year olds need their parents to help them and encourage them and offer them possibilities - not to say "ah well, you know best yourself"

MyFriendsCallMeOh Sun 22-May-16 01:24:18

It's not U to want the best for your child but it is U if she wants something different for herself.

Mooingcow Sun 22-May-16 01:26:02

I think at 14 she knows her own mind

I'm not sure that's true.

But she sounds wonderful; why not do some sneaky spire inspiring?

Could you take her yourself for a few days? Watch Brideshead! Engineer some time for her with real live students?

UterusUterusGhali Sun 22-May-16 01:26:52

baconyum I refused to take a scholarship to the local private school and I essentially fucked up my education.

I'm terrified dd will do the same.
I want to be the antithesis of my mother.

AgentZigzag Sun 22-May-16 01:30:35

'I want her to be inspired by the gleaming spires. Is that so bad?'

You can push opportunities towards your DC but you don't get to decide what inspires them.

You can talk to your DD about what inspires you but you shouldn't expect your DD to feel the same.

She's her own person and it's while good to support and guide her there's a fine line between that and pressurising her to do what you think she should be doing.

If you're feeling like this when she's 14 how are you going to cope with her maybe telling you she doesn't want to go to university and decides instead to be a hairdresser or work in a call centre or any number of other jobs out there that might not fit your 'dreaming spires' future?

UterusUterusGhali Sun 22-May-16 01:33:08

canyou yes that's how I feel but I don't know if my upbringing is messing up my thoughts.

I know that actually she prefers It, but won't ever admit it, when I put my foot down.
Example; a party when there was booze and older kids. She jumped in the car when I insisted on getting her. The pretend protestations melted away.

Baconyum Sun 22-May-16 01:38:28

Oxford and the like isn't the only way to use intellect. You offer opportunities encourage them to be brave but you don't push or force or insist that's pretty much a way to guarantee putting them OFF!

I expressed a vague interest in a particular career, my father loved the idea and went ott pushing me that way and it stopped me from doing it.

I've also seen this with other teens (I've worked with teens in various capacities) at this age there's definitely an aspect of 'if you want them to do x tell them to do the opposite'!

You also seem to have an idealised view of Oxford! This is unfortunately common. Oxford, Cambridge etc have carefully cultivated an image of them being 'the best' but they're not the best for everyone.

AgentZigzag Sun 22-May-16 01:39:51

'14 year olds need their parents to help them and encourage them and offer them possibilities - not to say "ah well, you know best yourself"'

Offering possibilities and encouraging them to do things they hadn't thought of or might feel uncomfortable with are totally different from singing your DC up to things behind their backs when they've made it crystal clear they're not interested (for whatever reason, unless you don't think how your DC feel is important).

When I said that she knows her own mind, I meant that she knows how she feels and what she likes/doesn't like at this moment in time, rather than she's got a clear idea of what she's going to do for the rest of her life.

Why can't she have an opinion on the trip and for it to be taken seriously?

Damselindestress Sun 22-May-16 01:52:09

I wouldn't put more academic pressure on a child who is already struggling with MH issues and self harm TBH, self harm can be linked to stress. Not going on this trip doesn't preclude her from taking an interest in Oxford in the future if she decides that's something she wants to aim for but she doesn't sound ready to think about it right now and signing her up for the trip against her wishes could send the wrong message that you are ignoring her feelings. I think in the short term minimising stress for her and managing her MH issues is the most important thing rather than determining her academic future. Maybe going to Oxford is all too much for her to think about right now. And if she wants to be an architect or have a career in mental health then the STEM event wasn't really relevant to her goals. Maybe she would be more engaged with something that reflects her interests.

Canyouforgiveher Sun 22-May-16 01:55:21

Why can't she have an opinion on the trip and for it to be taken seriously?

of course she can. and in reality the OP can't force her on the trip so it is ultimately up to her.

but that doesn't mean the OP can't push it a bit. Because I wouldn't want to be the one to turn around to my 22 year old who is saying "why didn't you push me more when the school thought I was oxbridge material and now I have a diploma from a polytech when people not as bright as me are graduating from Cambridge?" and offer "well you were 14 so you knew your own mind" as a response.

But then my 15 year old doesn't want to brush and floss properly with her braces on and I push her - she is not capable of seeing the long picture at her age (and like the OP's daughter she has MH issues-) so I don't just let her off neglecting her teeth)

It seems to be a received wisdom on MN that 14/15/16/17 year olds are adults, know their own minds, can manage their own futures.

That is not my experience. Actually my experience is that it is the teen years that they most need you to intervene, help, guide, advise.

And my experience is also that teens let off to mind themselves have much harder lives than my teens who have our support and interference and help.

Beeziekn33ze Sun 22-May-16 02:03:04

Does she have a friend who is going and will help her enjoy the trip?

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