Almost daily diary!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

GCSE's and memories

Mum came to visit this weekend, we had our mothers day in March in the UK but it just happens that this weekend was the one she chose to come down. Tall Girl meets her at the door with a big hug. She loves her Granny very much, she really does and I am reminded of how much I loved mine - it is the same.

We sit about in the kitchen, keeping the door closed and the cooking warmth in. Tall Girl is supposed to be revising, her exams will all be over in 4 weeks and she's 'too the wire' revision wise. Small Sprog is dutifully doing his maths homework, all of us sit around the kitchen table as I start to fuss about Tall Girls lack of motivation to study.

"I can't even remember you revising" Mum said to me "you must have just got on with it"
"I did" I said. But really I wanted to say, yes, I got on with it because I spent the best part of 2 years shut in my bedroom listening to Pink Floyd and crying into my text books! No one offered to help me revise, no one  advised me to work hard and no one really had much to say to me between the ages of 14 to 16. My parents were definitely 'hands off' parents when it came to school work. But perhaps all parents were back then? Perhaps we interfere too much now that we are 'expected' to get involved in our children's education? 

Tall Girl gives me a glare when I mention revision for the third time that morning and says she is 'going to' do it! At some point I think to myself, in the next 4 weeks if I'm lucky. 

How will she remember me in this time of her life, I wonder later? As an interfering mother, constantly telling her to do well? Maybe. Will she be a 'hands off' parent because of her experiences now?

At work last week a colleague told me that her daughter, same age as mine, has tired to commit suicide 3 times and has now been sectioned. I am shocked. Later I mention it to Tall Girl who is not surprised.  I learn that it is almost 'the latest craze' for teens. "It's all over Facebook" she tells me "Loads of people my age are doing it, and self harming" I already know that she has several friends that cut themselves. And I wonder how it comes to that? 

With all this in mind being a parent is a hard line to follow, encouraging children to do well at school and pushing them over the line into stress and despair. But then I remind myself that I am not telling her she has to get straight 'A's, just mentioning that she needs a C in English!

When I was 15, I was alone in my room. I didn't have Facebook or the Internet. I couldn't research '10 best ways to kill yourself' as my friends daughter had done, though I do remember thinking, if necessary, pills would do. But I wasn't aware of others doing the same thing, there was no mass call to cut ourselves or tie a rope around our necks. 

I used to worry about children taking drugs, now I worry about them taking their lives...


Maggie May said...

I should think that Tall Girl would thank you later on for encouraging her to get on.

It is a terrible worry, though, that a child might listen to peer pressure to end their lives. What a sad state of affairs. Maybe there is so much pressure on children to do well today ..... Just shows that with all a modern child's education and choices in everything from birth, that there is still something really lacking in their lives.

Hoping that it is all worry for nothing because your two seem extremely sensible to me.
Maggie x

Nuts in May

Maggie May said...

BTW... Absolutely love your photos!
Maggie x

Nuts in May

Suburbia said...

Thanks so much Maggie and I'm so glad you like the photos :-)

Rob-bear said...

That's a scary thought, Sub: "I used to worry about children taking drugs, now I worry about them taking their lives..." Being a teen has not been easy, especially in the last century or so. Now, with the future seeming more bleak for so many, I am not surprised by these "calls for help." Keep being a good mom — I expect things will go fine.

Meanwhile, I keep enjoying your photography. Your composure and use of colour always strike me as being imaginative.

Blessings and Bear hugs!
Bears Noting
Life in the Urban Forest (poetry)

Furtheron said...

Too much pressure! My daughter is doing AS exams this month. She revised really hard this weekend. Probably helped by her boyfriend being on a football tour of Germany!

I just ask how it Is going what is she working on etc then I leave it there is no point me going over the top about it.

She will either do it and get good grades or not

Expat mum said...

I agree with you. After I finished my "O" levels, literally the last day of my exams, I went home and within about an hour I was shaking, feverish etc. The doc said it was just nervous exhaustion. My O levels stretched over 6 weeks and I studied for hours every single day, since I hated half the subjects and found them a real challenge.
My kids just don't seem to study like that but they also seem to have twice the stress. Not sure why as I don't get in their face about it. I think there's a lot more competition these days.

Rose said...

Being a parent of a teenager has never been easy, but it seems that it's even more difficult today. Worrying about a child taking his own life is the worst fear of all. I think being a "hands-on" parent is much better than being indifferent, but some parents put far too much pressure on their kids to achieve. Tall Girl and SS know you are there for them and will love them no matter what--that is the key.

Anonymous said...

Good grief that's alarming! Oh the bane of the internet in the hands of kids :(

Re Revision, I totally sympathise. Boy T is still only in year 9 and has a GCSE next month, it's a nightmare getting him to revise and I'm inclined not to nag too much because I will need to focus when the bulk of them are in view.

nick said...

I don't remember my parents putting much pressure on me about schoolwork. My father was always disappointed by my end-of-term reports but that was about it.

There's something horribly wrong with our supposedly advanced and enlightened country when so many children are self-harming and talking about suicide. Why do today's children feel so desperate and so fraught?