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Should I say something?
6

Wishingonastartoday · 07/07/2021 09:04

My friend and her dh are both Cambridge graduates. Their two older dds, also got in to Cambridge. Their younger ds is having a few issues at school and is giving My friend sleepless nights. ds is bright but has disengaged and his school results have taken a downward turn. I feel sorry for him - so much pressure to excel and get into Cambridge. I want to say to my friend “There are other universities/ options available - chill out!!” But don’t want to rock the friendship - not sure how she’d take it... what would you do?

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Edmontine · 07/07/2021 09:10

Mind your own, unless she actually asks your opinion!

Rehearse "I'm sure with your support things will work out in the end." Don't mention specific institutions, because even on this thread you can't help but sound a bit sniffy about their family 'tradition'. Of course there are other decent universities - she knows that.

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SarahAndQuack · 07/07/2021 14:13

What do you mean by 'pressure'? Do you mean, because the parents and older siblings went, the child just inevitably feels he ought to go, or is it more explicit than that?

My parents were super pushy with my brother about Cambridge; they insisted he go to open days and he had absolutely no interest in it at all. I know he would have been very glad to hear another adult mention to them that actually, other universities might be good too!

But I would imagine it's quite a tricky thing to bring up. Do you think your friend knows she's pushing it?

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Ohsugarhoneyicetea · 07/07/2021 14:15

Im sure she is already aware of that fact.

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Chilldonaldchill · 07/07/2021 17:51

I would say something personally.
But I would do something like "I'm so sorry it's so stressful for you. Why do you think he's being like this at the moment? Do you think he feels that he is being compared to his sisters? I wonder how you can make him feel that that's not the case". (Sounds patronising written down but I don't think it would in real life).
I have a younger child who often feels inferior to the older one. We have had to tell them many times very explicitly that there is no comparison going on and that we just want them both to achieve what's best for them as individuals.
They get it now but there was a definite moment where they could have disengaged because they felt that the older sibling couldn't be lived up to.

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MarchingFrogs · 07/07/2021 21:02

Any chance that you could initiate chat with the lad himself,, to gauge how he might feel about your intervention? Even a slightly disingenuous, So, what are your plans? type of thing?

Not much good as a tack, of course, if your friend has been seriously banging on to you about how awful it is that he might not get into Cambridge like his siblings etc and he knows that she has.

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Wishingonastartoday · 07/07/2021 21:54

Thank you all. I don’t think the pressure is that blatant - more along the lines of “your bright and gifted and should be working hard to fulfill your potential” with the unstated assumption that that means Cambridge - and the fact that the rest of the family studied there. She has said to me (I assume not to him) that she wouldn’t mind him not getting in if she didn’t think he was able enough.

I guess we can all be a bit crazy when it comes to our kids. @Edmontine I’m thinking that you’re probably right...

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