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Parental anxiety about kids' end of term concerts/plays - is it just me?

(24 Posts)
WonderWine Tue 17-Dec-13 14:19:15

I absolutely HATE this time of year as my kids are into music/drama etc and seem to be totally over-committed to end of term carol services, school productions and performances.

DD has just finished a run of 6 performances of a school musical - lots of late nights, general 'drama queen' grumpiness, and me, running around checking that everything she needs is available, as well as ferrying her about.
DS2 is a chorister and has a solo in two choral concerts, so is all anxious and in need of constant reassurance.
DS1 has to do a reading, and also lead a music group in an end of term whole school assembly (900+ people).

I am internalising all their anxieties and feel so on edge... is it just me, or do all mums feel like this?

WonderWine Tue 17-Dec-13 14:26:25

Sorry - have just re-read that and realised it sounds rather smug i.e. 'how wonderful my kids are'
Didn't mean that - I meant they do nothing all year and then it all seems to pile into the last 2 weeks of term, and they and I are just so anxious and stressed, when everyone else seems to be winding down.

Lancelottie Tue 17-Dec-13 14:28:08

I much prefer concerts and musicals that mine aren't in, or are third angel from the left. Saves the angst!

Seeline Tue 17-Dec-13 14:29:51

I feel your pain! I always seem to get far more stressed than my kids when it comes to performances, exams etc.

prettydaisies Tue 17-Dec-13 17:48:45

Yes - I know exactly how you feel!!
DD is a chorister at our local cathedral so this time of year is manic anyway. She's also just been in a musical with school and is currently having an interview at Oxford. Younger DD played 4 different instruments at her school's carol concert last night and has just been in a play at church and she has various choir commitments with her church choir.
Thankfully as far as DS is concerned school rugby has now finished so it's only club and it's only cricket nets.
I was wondering what it would be like to have children who didn't get involved with things.
Hope you can relax soon.

NoComet Tue 17-Dec-13 18:09:12

It would be boring!
However, I would have warm feet.

One year we managed advent, concert, school carols, turning on village lights and a out door nativity, every last one seemed to be below zero.

It wouldn't be Christmas if DD1 wasn't singing in various things.

I just wish I didn't get more nervous than she does

ThreeBeeOneGee Tue 17-Dec-13 22:19:10

I just got home from one carol service and have another to go to in less than 12 hours. And that's just an example. I feel your pain.

ChestnutsroastingintheFireligh Tue 17-Dec-13 22:26:35

I totally get you!

Oddly enough now dd is at vocational school it's a lot less pressure - just one carol service - they arnt allowed to do outside performances

The year she did 2 months of panto was the worst.

cory Wed 18-Dec-13 08:37:48

I know the feeling. Dd's first performance for her BTECH tonight; I'm definitely more nervous than she is.

Lancelottie Wed 18-Dec-13 10:27:14

Is she doing level 2 or level 3 BTech, Cory? DS is keen to do BTech instead of Al-levels, and I don't know anyone in real life who has done that.

Theas18 Wed 18-Dec-13 10:37:06

Cripes yes!

Overcommitted and grumpy sums DD2 up completely at the moment!! As yet another chorister she gets no respite at the end of term either.... It all goes on till Xmas day.

DS is yr13 and doing lots of really big stuff as the senior player/singer with the added "this is the last year I do this" as well. Huge solos in the schools symphony orchestra and being almost unable to stand for his bow have earned him the epithet " nerves of steel, legs of jelly" ....and I can barely breathe when it's happening!

Boys carol service tonight. Sniffle.

However, it is amazing that they can do this, and it's setting them up brilliantly for what ever they do in life. Uni interviews, whilst never a walk in the park, are easier when you have sat and started a symphony in front of 400 people, or played solo infront of your entire school!

Good luck to all thoise taking this on vocationally- don't think mine will but it'll always be a big part of their lives which is great (DD1 has a uni choral scholarship completely unrelated to her degree for instance).

WonderWine Wed 18-Dec-13 11:42:53

Theas - yes, absolutely agree. I did singing/playing at school, and I can honestly say it is probably the most important influential skill I achieved for later life - all that harnessing the nerves and managing the adrenaline.
But now I am re-living through it all again with my children.

All will be over tonight after the last Carol Service, and then I will be glugging down a large glass of wine.

copanya Thu 19-Dec-13 09:04:11

Par for the course isn't it? Nerve-wracking as hell. That and the seasonal flu bug. Roll on Easter....

cory Thu 19-Dec-13 10:15:11

Lancelottie, she is doing a level 3 BTech in acting, as well as A-levels in drama and English lit and history. The plan is to apply to stage school, but trying to keep a few doors open just in case it doesn't work out.

She is really, really enjoying it: hard work but learning lots and having great fun.

Her friend is doing 3 BTech's in Performing Arts (singing, dancing and acting) and no A-levels at all; also enjoying herself very much, but dd was encouraged by us to be a bit nervous about putting all her eggs in one basket. Basically, I think the friend felt she wouldn't want/be able to go to university anyway, so she might as well get a vocational qualification instead.

We saw three performances last night from different groups. I thought there was lots of good work in all three. Hopefully, dd will get the good mark she is hoping for.

Lancelottie Thu 19-Dec-13 12:24:17

Thanks, Cory, that's exactly how we feel about putting all eggs in one basket! I don't think any of the sixth forms here do both BTech and A-levels, though; you have to choose one or the other.

DS is, I suspect, less of an intellectual than your DD, and he's mad keen to do the BTech.

I'm trying to research, help, steer, but not tell him what to do...

cory Thu 19-Dec-13 18:57:24

Dd's friend goes to a college that specialises in BTech's rather than A-levels, and dd herself decided not to apply to another local college because they only wanted her to do A-levels.

Yet another one wanted her to choose between Acting (BTech) and drama (A-level).

Fortunately, we have a college in the next town which prides itself on its drama department and has ties with the industry, and they told her very firmly that they expect her to do both if she is thinking of taking acting further.

What I have seen of dd's studies so far is that the A-levels are pretty hard work: I wouldn't expect somebody who didn't want to do them to do well tbh, unless they really were the academic type.

FirConesAtXmas Sat 21-Dec-13 08:56:28

Cora & Lancelottie, can I pick your brains?

My dd is only in Y8 so will be choosing options next year.
She loves dance and drama, does both outside school, and is taking Lamda and dance exams.

At GCSE she will have to take either dance or PE, so will likely do dance.
Then she can also choose GCSE drama and/or Btec performing arts.

So my question is would there be any advantage in taking both? If not, any thoughts on which would be better?

ChestnutsroastingintheFireligh Sat 21-Dec-13 10:52:32

At GCSE level I would advise doing the a actual gcse. At A level the Btec level 3 would be an option

Dd goes to vocational dance school & she's said she doesn't want to do GCSE dance because the standard if what they do in normal dance class & RAD will be higher & a few of the dancers opt to do GCSE drama instead

The school that she would have gone to had she not got in there doesn't even offer either subject at GCSE or a level.

FirConesAtXmas Sat 21-Dec-13 12:36:49

Firelight, thank you!
DDs school has a policy of compulsory GCSE PE/Dance, so DDs thinking is she may as well opt for the dance.

Sad to hear that some schools don't offer either. DDs school is not particularly big, but they do offer a good range of performing arts, and masses of different choir, orchestra, jazz combos as extra curricula activities.

However, I imagine it's all very amateur compared to what a specialist dance school can offer. Dd gets the chance to take part in a residential dance workshop at Elmhurst each Easter. The facilities are amazing! I'm guessing your dd must be extremely talented, good luck to her, and what an incredible opportunity for her. fsmile

ChestnutsroastingintheFireligh Sat 21-Dec-13 16:11:50

Compulsory GCSE PE is dds idea if a total nightmare!!!! (She doesn't have to do PE at all at her current school but I guess the 9 hours of ballet plus 7 hours of other dance per week is enough excercises)

The school she would have gone to us stongbin music & drama but it was academically selective & only offered serious academic subjects at GCSE & a level)

ChestnutsroastingintheFireligh Sat 21-Dec-13 16:12:35

Dd loves drama & music as much as she does dancing.

FirConesAtXmas Sat 21-Dec-13 16:29:11

What a shame! sad
Surely your dd is proof that it's possible to be academically able, and still have creative talents that can also be nurtured.
I fully expect my dd to take 9 "serious" academic subjects alongside the dance and drama GCSEs
I guess that's the advantage non-selective schools have, the chance for students to take a variety of qualifications, and a broad range of GCSEs.

ChestnutsroastingintheFireligh Sat 21-Dec-13 16:49:00

At both her current school & the school she would have gone to they take 9 GCSEs maximum.

At her current school the compromise is no triple science only double.

Lancelottie Mon 23-Dec-13 16:50:23

DS has just admitted that he submitted his sixth form application last week via school, placing the BTech college as his first choice, so there's no point my worrying about what he should put on it any more.

I'm swithering between being impressed at his independence and a bit sad that he possibly thought we'd prevent him having a free choice if he did it from home.

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