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Is it right to make our children study for GCSE'S?

(94 Posts)
coolmom420 Mon 06-Jan-14 21:06:29

I have a 15 year old daughter who is in year 11 and has exams coming up. My approach to parenting is quite laid back; I don't force her to do anything, and I make her feel happy and secure. I haven't ever pressured her into studying for exams in high school, as I feel that she is old enough to figure out what she wants to do herself. She is a smart girl, and does get good grades without studying, and I have told her that no matter what her GCSE grades are I will still love her, because grades aren't important to me. She also spends about 10 hours a day on the internet, on twitter, tumblr, and other sites. I never annoy her, I always let her do her own thing, as I am not that kind of parent. She never acts spoilt, and is a very well behaved girl.

I was just wondering what your attitudes to studying/homework and internet usage where? All ideas will be completely grateful. :-)

adoptmama Mon 06-Jan-14 21:10:39

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

NatashaBee Mon 06-Jan-14 21:12:07

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ButICantaloupe Mon 06-Jan-14 21:17:03

She also spends about 10 hours a day on the internet, on twitter, tumblr, and other sites. I never annoy her, I always let her do her own thing, as I am not that kind of parent


coolmom420 Mon 06-Jan-14 21:36:33

I just don't like to make her unhappy, as I know school does stress her out and honestly I hated school when I was a kid, I know how she feels. She isn't stupid. She will pass her exams. When she gets home from school it's time to unwind and relax, not stress over school.

morethanpotatoprints Mon 06-Jan-14 21:42:09

Hello OP

I am interested in your philosophy and saw your post on not limiting screen time.
I don't think endless study is good for children and hate the way schools encourage them to take so many, especially as more than 5 aren't necessary.
How does she manage 10 hours screen time in addition to school?

pointythings Mon 06-Jan-14 22:42:38

I think there's a balance to be struck.

In an ideal world, children who were more or less a certainty to do A levels should be able to skip GCSEs altogether. That way they would get more teaching and learning time instead of endlessly doing exams.

However, we don't live in an ideal world, and GCSe results do matter because they define the future choices our DCs have. So I will be limiting screen time, and I will be encouraging study, because I have two very intelligent DDs who need to make the most of their futures. Their focus will be academic, but that is unimportant - no matter what your talents are, you will need to shine at 16 if you want to progress in that area.

Endless study is bad, and I would definitely encourage leisure time - if only because leisure time refreshes the mind and makes the study that does happen more effective - but the entirely laid back approach does not sit well with me.

princessalbert Mon 06-Jan-14 22:44:25

How does she get in 10 hours of screen time in a day?

sashh Tue 07-Jan-14 07:21:52


Are you in fact a 15 year old and this is how you wish your mum would behave?

noblegiraffe Tue 07-Jan-14 07:24:35

Heaven help her when she is faced with something where she does need to put some work in,

TantrumsStoleSantasBalloons Tue 07-Jan-14 07:28:28

Oh come on. I have a 15 year old dd.

The only way she could spend 10 hours a day online would be if she went to school, came straight home and didnt eat or sleep. She is at school for 7 hours a day.

Does your dd not go out with her friends, go to the cinema, go shopping, have any other interests other than 10 hours of Internet per day?

that would concern me tbh

Lottiedoubtie Tue 07-Jan-14 07:41:24

Yes they need to study.

In ten years time she will not thank you for being the cool mum.

You don't need to go overboard BUT what you are describing sounds ridiculous.

peteneras Tue 07-Jan-14 08:30:22

I haven’t heard of such a ridiculous question like that asked in the heading for a very long time. Worse still, the message that followed was absolutely out of this world!

curlew Tue 07-Jan-14 08:34:07

"I don't think endless study is good for children and hate the way schools encourage them to take so many, especially as more than 5 aren't necessary. "

I'm not sure about this thread, but just in case anyone is reading this and picks up this point, it is not necessarily true- IT DEPENDS WHAT YOU WANT TO DO NEXT!!!!!!!!!!

wordfactory Tue 07-Jan-14 08:34:09

OP, you're not cool nor are you fullfilling your duties as a mom.

You have essentially stopped parenting and are expecting a pat on the back (or a tennaged high five).

Grow Up.

Shootingatpigeons Tue 07-Jan-14 10:00:31

Well given both my DDs when they were 15 took great glee in challenging every boundary I put in place, I hate to think what they would have got up to if I had not imposed any boundaries. At the end of it all my older DD after years of saying I was sooooo annoying, the strictest mother in the world etc. etc. admitted that she would have hated to have been one of those girls whose parents let them do what they wanted. It didn't make them happy.

Seems a bit tragic of your DD is in front of a screen until the wee small hours, has it occurred to you it might be a sign she is not happy? Or that what she is doing on there might make her vulnerable, do you have any idea what she is actually doing on there?

As parents it is not our job to be cool, popular, or to avoid upsetting or antagonising our offspring. It is our job to be the sad losers that make them feel loved and confidant by protecting them and guiding them and giving them the skills and opportunities to lead fulfilling lives and having respect for themselves and others. Leaving them vulnerable to making mistakes that may affect the rest of their lives isn't being a cool parent, it's being a selfish lazy one.

IndridCold Tue 07-Jan-14 10:10:13

I really hope this op is a joke, if not it makes me feel profoundly depressed sad.

plco1223 Tue 07-Jan-14 10:13:36

op, you may be relaxed, but the real world doesnt work that way. Employers want qualifications to evidence a persons intelligence and work ethic. They also want work to be done in a timely manner. Ten hours a day surfing the social media isnt acceptable in the vast majority of jobs. Perhaps you need to rethink your parenting strategy. Are you trying to make things easy for yourself, or preparing your dd for real life.

TheNumberfaker Tue 07-Jan-14 10:14:53

What shooting said

meditrina Tue 07-Jan-14 10:19:30

If you really think that the 'need' for GCSEs is limited to having 5, and tht 15 year olds are indeed mature and experienced enough to make decisions that will limit their prospects sharply, then your approach is just fine.

antimatter Tue 07-Jan-14 10:40:52

what does she want to do after GCSE's?
what are her predicted grades and how well did she do in her mocks?

ouryve Tue 07-Jan-14 10:47:58

Your her mum, not her best friend. Being relaxed is fine, but there's such a thing as taking it too far. She's not going to be able to leave school and spend 10 hours a day faffing about online, for the rest of her life, so why allow it, now?

coolmom420 Tue 07-Jan-14 16:20:20

She got A in maths A* in English B in science A* in religious studies A in history C in spanish A in ICT for her mocks. She usually wakes up at 6am and surfs the net for an hour, gets ready, goes to school, at 4 she begins again, which leads her to 1am. I see what she does online. She is a happy girl and goes out with her friends at the weekend ect. She always tells me if something is wrong.

titchy Tue 07-Jan-14 16:25:12

How dull for her. Guess she'll be happy enough working in McDonalds though - clearly neither of you have much in the way of aspiration!

Wolfiefan Tue 07-Jan-14 16:28:37

5 hours sleep a night?
No HW at all?
How is this preparing her for life outside school? Some work ethic! Work is competitive. More and more young people are getting good grades and then going after the same college/work places.
Doesn't she get into trouble for not doing HW? Colleges will ask for references and simply won't take a kid who can't be arsed to work.
BTW what about all the other grades?
Do your job as a parent.

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