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managing GCSEs expectations

(15 Posts)
3isthemagicnumber Wed 24-Aug-16 17:24:10

Firstly, hugely sorry if this becomes over long and rambling.

Due DS1 results tomorrow.He is very chilled whereas I am less so but trying not to let it show.
He had a horrendous Year 11 only managing 42% attendance due to mental health .He has OCD and anxiety and last November he had such a huge crisis that he ended up in hospital following an overdose .He was able to return to school in January (though only very part time) then had a big (OCD) relapse end of February which kept him off pretty much for the rest of the year .
It had seemed unthinkable that he would even be able sit the exams but he did .This was beyond our expectations and we were, and are , so proud of him for getting to that point. To make it very clear THIS (and his continual improvement -aided by medication and CBT) is most definitely my measure of success and not what a bit of paper tomorrow says
He did some revision (in his view LOAAADS but not really ) and now genuinely believes that he will still come out with the same kind of grades -mainly A* and A's- that he was predicted before he was unwell .
This is my issue .I do not want to dampen his spirits or knock him down in any way but I can't see how he can achieve what he thinks he will after everything he has been through .However I do feel I want to try to prepare him and give him strategies for if things aren't as he hoped .I have been this doing gently whilst reinforcing again how much he has already achieved .
Am I just being negative ? He's been through so much and is finally coming out the other side that I guess I can't bare the idea of him feeling bad about himself again.

chocolateworshipper Wed 24-Aug-16 17:27:45

I have been through a lot of what you have been through. There is a large thread already with a lot of support - it is also within "secondary education" and is called "Parents of year 11 - the end has been and gone."

May I invite you over there as we are a very friendly and supportive community.

allloveknows Wed 24-Aug-16 17:30:11

Best of luck for your son tomorrow x

3isthemagicnumber Wed 24-Aug-16 17:43:31

Thank you .
I have been dibbing in and out of the Year 11 thread -such a lively supportive feel there -so welcome the 'welcome'
Hope all is happy and calm in your houses tonight smile

TheSecondOfHerName Wed 24-Aug-16 20:15:17

I'm sorry for what your son has been through, but so glad you posted. My son was ill from the Easter of Y8 to the Feb of Year 11. I'm also on the Y11 thread and another thread about Y11 in SN too.

My son was originally on track for all A* and A grades. By the end of Y10, we weren't even sure whether he'd be able to even sit GCSEs in Y11 at all. The school were mostly extremely helpful, allowing him to drop 3 subjects and have 1-1 help in some of the others.

Obviously the most important thing is that he is now well, for which I'm very thankful, but it's going to be weird tomorrow when he gets grades significantly lower than he would have got if he hadn't bee unwell.

TheSecondOfHerName Wed 24-Aug-16 20:18:36

I think you can only really wait and see what tomorrow brings, and then be there for him in whatever way he needs.

3isthemagicnumber Wed 24-Aug-16 20:29:08

I am so sorry to hear that you have been through a similar situation .We have only had 9 months of it (though with hindsight ...blah blah ) You have had to manage for years-au can only imagine how exhausting for you all that must have been .Glad to hear he has achieved beyond expectations too.
I know you are right .It Is what it is and that is what we need to deal with but you hit the nail on the head when you said it's about the managing of the feelings about what could have been .
I feel that too and then I have to remind myself that everything has changed since then but you can't help being a little wistful about it I suppose .
Hoping that whatever happens tomorrow it just allows all our children to move on to the next stage of their lives,whatever that may look like .

TheSecondOfHerName Wed 24-Aug-16 20:38:22

Originally DS1 was a definite candidate for going on to do A-levels, and (according to his teachers) a possible candidate for Oxbridge application. He has now decided that even if he gets the necessary grades (As and Bs) to stay on for sixth form at school, he would prefer to go to college and do a Level 3 diploma (equivalent to 2 A-levels but more vocational). The vocational course would be less pressured, less stressful and better for his mental health, but I'm finding it difficult to adjust to the massive change in trajectory. I also worry that once he's been well for a while, he will regret changing his aspirations so drastically. And don't even get me started on judgements and expectations of extended family and friends: "He's going to do WHAT?"

3isthemagicnumber Wed 24-Aug-16 21:55:10

Ah yes ,other people's expectations too .Weve got it both ways .MIL whontotallybdoesnt getbit and thinks if we'd just "cut the cord" he would buck his ideas up to my DM and Aunt ,both who suffer from MH issues themselves,who said we were cruel for even expecting/allowing him to sit the exams and we should just allow him to go off and work on on farm somewhere .
Ha-this is about a child who seemingly finds it too exhausting to pick up a mug or plate due to pure 16yr old entitled laziness !

TheSecondOfHerName Wed 24-Aug-16 22:08:33

It sounds as though you have supported him through a sensible middle ground, keeping him as well as possible while still keeping his educational options open.

The frustrating thing is that any adult who was this ill would take a few months off work to get better, but school doesn't work like that and it's difficult to put GCSE courses on hold.

yeOldeTrout Thu 25-Aug-16 13:00:54

Gosh, I was really confused when pp mentioned the yr11 "support" thread. And confused that OP found it supportive. I guess it works for you b/c your DS has worked hard in spite of his stressful problems? And is otherwise has similar aspirations as the others?

My DS is on such a different path (not going to 6th forms or likely to do BTECs), I can't get anything useful from that thread. We won't find out what GCSE results DS got until next week (at earliest), there's no rush & he only needs very minimal results for his plans.

My big irritation is that there is no such thing as a 6 month apprenticeship; something like that would be perfect for DS, but govt. banned them (minimum 12 months). Arrrrgggghhh. I'm stuck with a NEET for 6 months instead.

TheSecondOfHerName Thu 25-Aug-16 15:23:01

That's frustrating Trout
But good that he has plans for something to do after that.
What would he like to spend the next 6 months doing?

yeOldeTrout Thu 25-Aug-16 20:57:00

Thx 4 reply, DS needs to keep fit (aiming to go into army, intake = March 2017). He's looking around at jobs but struggling to find any he could imagine taking. Not very realistic kid, but not doing precisely nothing, either.

TheSecondOfHerName Thu 25-Aug-16 21:26:26

Is there any volunteering he could do, e.g. helping with army cadets group or similar?

yeOldeTrout Thu 25-Aug-16 22:26:24

He's a bit useless when it comes to helping younger kids.
The best volunteer opportunities are too far away on public transport, but (I) we will keep looking.

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