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


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.

breatheslowly Thu 21-Mar-13 20:21:53

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!

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