Saturday, 4 October 2014
We haven't really got any plans for this weekend, which is quite unusual for us. My 15 year old daughter said she just wanted to revise today. She has some assessments next week and her mocks are approaching. Apparently her mocks are quite important as it will reflect on her college application. She wants to go to a college which is over subscribed and are quite picky about a students credentials.
It got me thinking about kids today. Sometimes I look at my daughter and wish I had been a bit more like her; driven and focused on the bigger prize. I was rather lazy and preferred the winging it at the last minute approach. But sometimes I feel that her work load is too much. Is there something valuable in having a 'good enough' approach to life? Or is it just me?
I don't know. I know she doesn't get too stressed about it all, I know she gets a huge boost when the good results come back her way to reward her, and I know that she has ambition. As a parent it is a bit of a tricky one isn't it? We have to balance taking an interest in their education with showing them there is more to life than study - grades - future. It is OK to live in the present and just see what will happen. I hope I get the balance right.
'Education' to my parents was not important. Leaving school at the earliest opportunity to get a job and learn a trade was their ambition for us. Both me and my brother did that. My sister was an anomaly, she was naturally academic and thrived on it. She got herself through college and university on her own back, she did the work, she filled in the forms, she visited the Uni's on her own, she made her own course choices. I remember the day she went to Uni, she bought herself a huge rucksack and her train tickets, a quick 'seeya later' and was off. No tearful goodbyes, no helicopter parents 'settling' her for the weekend. My parents were happy for her, but were very much bewildered by it all. So sometimes I think maybe my daughter is more like my sister than like me, I should stop worrying about her constant swotting and let her get on with it. And see what happens.
And then there is the expense of it all. This seems to be what all parents of teenage children are talking about. The cost of university. Who will pay? Is it worth it? I don't really want her to be burdened with £50k of debt at the start of her adult life and at the same time I don't want to hand it to her on a plate because I don't think it will teach her financial responsibilities. It's a dilemma, and as usual something in the middle is probably the way forward. My plan, which will inevitably change, is to pay off the mortgage so I can at least pay her living expenses whilst she is there. She may need to borrow money for her fees which she will pay back later.
Anyone else in the same situation?