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To feel sorry for cousin's daughter?

(54 Posts)
Rakeitawaynwo Thu 22-Aug-19 17:03:26

Cousin's DD has always been clever, and for the last couple of years has been predicted 9s in all of her GCSEs. This has morphed into cousin telling everyone 'well you know, X will get all 9s', utterly and absolutely confident. I've thought a few times that it's giving the DD no way to possibly improve on expectations, the only way she has is down.

Results have arrived today and she has achieved a clutch of 9s, 8s, 7s and 6s. I think she should be very proud of her achievement. When I asked my cousin how she'd done, he tried to seem pleased and I said they were brilliant grades. Later (neither occasion in front of his DD) he admitted he was disappointed and surprised she hadn't got all 9s. His wife, trying to cheer herself and him up, said they were still mostly old As and they shouldn't be too downhearted.

AIBU to think that my cousin and his wife should never have put their daughter on such a pedestal that anything short of top grades in all subjects is a disappointment? I did say to them to try not to express any disappointment in front of her, but no doubt she'll pick up on it. I did straightaway.

herculepoirot2 Thu 22-Aug-19 17:06:20

Honestly? I think there is nothing wrong with being hopeful of high attainment when you know your child is very bright. I think it’s important not to convey disappointment.

whensa Thu 22-Aug-19 17:10:31

It's one thing to know they're "bright" and sit back and be hopeful but another to actually comprehend what the exams require and check whether she understands how to e.g. revise properly.

I would've been hopeful but wouldn't have given a "value" of what I expected, just that "she'll do well" rather than "all 9s".

HaudYerWheeshtYaWeeBellend Thu 22-Aug-19 17:10:57

If she was predicted all 9’s and has come away with lesser results of course they and their child is going to be disappointed.

They can still be proud of the results and be disappointed at the same time.

Also if the school has advised she’s would sail through her exams, and then knowing their daughter, I doubt they put her on the “ “pedestal”

Sometimes expectation doesn’t meet reality, but other times it does.

Witchinaditch Thu 22-Aug-19 17:11:11

They are great results they should be proud- can you send her a congratulations card so she feels good about what she got! Low self esteem can be rife at 16!

Coulddowithanap Thu 22-Aug-19 17:13:42

9s would be hard to get as isn't that just the top 5% of results out the whole country?

I think it is a bit mean of the parents putting that pressure on. Just aiming for As and above would be fine although still hard work for the child.

It's a 6 an A or high B (still finding this number system a little confusing!)

Rakeitawaynwo Thu 22-Aug-19 17:14:23

I don't think they were wrong to be quietly hopeful, hercule. I do think they were wrong to tell everyone she was sure to achieve top grades.

I don't think they're disappointed for her, because she got excellent grades. I think they're disappointed that they can't brag about the grades as they used to.

Rakeitawaynwo Thu 22-Aug-19 17:16:07

If she was predicted all 9’s and has come away with lesser results of course they and their child is going to be disappointed.

The child is over the moon. The parents are disappointed. That's why I feel for her. I think it's raining on her parade.

NameChange84 Thu 22-Aug-19 17:16:43

I’d agree with you that she was almost set up to fail expectation wise. Predicted grades are just that, predicted. There was guarantee that she was ever going to get 9s across the board and to boast in advance for years was extremely unfair to the girl. 9s were the expectation. She’s bound to know that and feel as though she’s not met her parent’s expectations. She’s done extremely well, much better than average but I can imagine she’s not happy with her achievements.

I was a straight A*/A Student. All my parents ever said was that the only expectation they had for me was that I would try my best. Whatever results I got, they’d be delighted. I went to an Independent School where I wasn’t given target grades or predicted grades. Unusual right?! Their ethos was that it wasn’t especially helpful. Instead, we were given very direct feedback as to what could be improved in mocks, homework etc. I think that approached worked well. In mocks, we were always told that they were only mocks and anything could happen. I feel like we were prepared for all eventualities rather than being saddled with unhelpful expectations of perfection.

mbosnz Thu 22-Aug-19 17:18:16

Poor kid. That's a lot of pressure to put on young shoulders.

As much as anything - sometimes everything in an exam paper goes your way - and other times, it really, really doesn't. And you never know what kind of a day you're going to be having physically and emotionally. Some days, the universe really does seem agin' you, and if it's during exam time - well. . .

Weathergirl1 Thu 22-Aug-19 17:18:52

There's one thing hoping for it, and another thing telling people that's what she's going to get though! I was a high achiever at school but we never told friends or family what we were expecting me to get - my parents just waited for the results to come out and show what I'd achieved. 🤷

We had a family friend with a DD a year younger than me. She was in a school that fed into a grammar at Y10 and all the friend would go on about all the time to my DM was about when her DD was going to go to the grammar (she used to find a way to bring it up the entire time e.g. complaining about having to buy new uniform for the last year at the feeder school...). Anyway it came as a bit of a shock to her I think when I changed schools near the end of Y9 out of a comprehensive and to a different grammar school as my parents had never said anything to them about how I was doing. After that she started panicking about whether her DD would pass the exam (she did) 🤦 Much to my DM's relief she also stopped bragging about her DD's academic credentials too.

Namenic Thu 22-Aug-19 17:19:07

Yes - I would feel sorry for her. Exams are always a risk and there is no certainty. Parents should understand that and prepare themselves, relatives and child for that. I guess maybe they trusted too much in the grade predictions. Maybe schools should give more warning and education to parents that these are just estimates and can vary quite significantly from final results.

Rakeitawaynwo Thu 22-Aug-19 17:26:35

Maybe schools should give more warning and education to parents that these are just estimates and can vary quite significantly from final results. Yes, maybe they just didn't fully comprehend that they were not 'probable' grades just because they were predicted grades. My cousin has also spent years saying 'when X goes to Oxford', and, 'if X joins the police (for example), she'd probably be Chief Constable by the time she's 30'.

He is a intelligent man himself at the height of his profession, and yet I cringe for him when he makes these remarks. Maybe this will make him reassess and let the girl relax.

herculepoirot2 Thu 22-Aug-19 17:28:42

I don't think they're disappointed for her, because she got excellent grades. I think they're disappointed that they can't brag about the grades as they used to.

This seems a little more about your dislike of your cousin than anything else.

I agree, they shouldn’t draw attention to their expectations of heir daughter. Nothing wrong with having them, though.

herculepoirot2 Thu 22-Aug-19 17:28:58

*their

SnuggyBuggy Thu 22-Aug-19 17:28:58

I sometimes wonder how helpful these estimates are

Rakeitawaynwo Thu 22-Aug-19 17:30:46

I don't dislike my cousin. I love him dearly and we're excellent friends as well as family. I adore him, his wife and their DD, but sometimes my toes curl when he brags about achievements she has not yet achieved. I felt sorry for her today.

MigGril Thu 22-Aug-19 17:31:21

I don't think everyone understands yet that there should be way less 9's handed out then the old A* that's he whole point of them changing the system. So anyone achieving a 9 is actually really, really good.

I mean looking at todays figures out of 580,000 taking GCSE results only 837 got all 9's. That is way less then 1% and a lot less then the old A* system and it's the whole point as University where complaining they couldn't tell the difference between students anymore as there where to many achieving similar grades.

So my point her parents probably didn't understand the new system possibly the school haven't explained it well enough. They shouldn't have been giving such high predictions or her parents where getting the wrong end of the stick. Telling everyone what your child will get before they actually get it is cruel. As anything can go wrong on exam day, which can then effect your final make.
They need to understand that their children has done really well and celebrate that.

Weathergirl1 Thu 22-Aug-19 17:31:22

OP just seen your update that he goes on about her getting to Oxford 🤦 - dies he actually have any experience of either Oxford or Cambridge?! I went to Cambridge and I know a lot of very talented people who didn't make it to either - it's definitely not a given even if you're bright and isn't necessarily the best place for everyone! Blimey, he very much sounds like he's living out his dreams through his child, poor girl.

Rakeitawaynwo Thu 22-Aug-19 17:34:22

And no, they absolutely should have expectations and aspirations for their daughter, I didn't dispute that. It's telling everyone she was sure to meet these expectations and being visibly disappointed when she didn't. I could understand if they'd said 'well, as long as you pass we'll be happy', even if they secretly would love her to get all 9s (what parent wouldn't), giving her some way of being able to exceed their voiced expectations and think she's made them proud, but they gave her a target it was almost impossible to meet, and told all of their friends and family and anyone else who'd listen she had it in the bag.

herculepoirot2 Thu 22-Aug-19 17:37:22

I could understand if they'd said 'well, as long as you pass we'll be happy'

That’s something I would say to a child of average ability, not a very bright child, because it would be a lie and I would be encouraging her to sell herself short.

Actually, I wouldn’t say that. I would only ever say, “As long as you do your absolute best I will be happy.”

But for a child capable of 9s I would definitely not encourage them to aim for 4s and tell them I would be happy about it.

Rakeitawaynwo Thu 22-Aug-19 17:38:33

So my point her parents probably didn't understand the new system Yes, I think this. They both perked up a bit when they realised they could say 'well, she got x amount of As really'.

Weathergirl, he never went to university, but has done well for himself anyway. He has no idea how the university system works. He left school and began working at 16.

Rakeitawaynwo Thu 22-Aug-19 17:40:20

But would you visibly express, albeit probably trying not to, to a child capable of achieving 9s that not getting a straight run of them is disappointing?

herculepoirot2 Thu 22-Aug-19 17:43:33

But would you visibly express, albeit probably trying not to, to a child capable of achieving 9s that not getting a straight run of them is disappointing?

Well, if I was trying not to, I’m not sure what else could be expected. 🤷🏻‍♀️

Rakeitawaynwo Thu 22-Aug-19 17:47:03

Well, if I was trying not to, I’m not sure what else could be expected. Not telling everyone in advance about the 9s she would definitely achieve in advance of her actually achieving them, I suppose. I think that's where the disappointment is, having to tell everyone who enquires that she fell short of the 9s she was definitely going to get.

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