I’m not quite sure when I became old enough to be the parent of a teenager. Let alone the parent of a teenager who is about to embark on his GCSEs. Oh. My. Godfathers.
My baby boy is in the process of choosing his ‘options’ for his GCSEs and of course, I can’t quite get my head around the whole thing. My little first-born. My only son. It only felt like yesterday that I was bringing him home from hospital and
But it’s true.
This feels like such a huge milestone. And I’m not all that good with huge milestones if I’m being completely honest. It’s always so bittersweet. It’s that whole amazing pride thing that I get from seeing them grow into Real Live Humans that I have managed to keep in (just about) one piece up until now but at the same time, I’m left wondering where the hell my baby has gone.
As parents, we have always tried to strike that really hard balance between not being so completely laid back that they get away with blue murder but not those incredibly pushy parents either. I hope we have been somewhere around the middle. Although I do worry that as I don’t have a pushy parent bone in my body that maybe I have been too laid back. I honestly don’t know. Our motto has always gone along the lines of we only ever expect them to try their best. We just want them to try their very hardest and their good, is good enough for us. And we truly and honestly mean that. I remember my son starting school and beginning to learn how to read. I used to shrink away from the many pushy parents comparing what reading level their little protégée was on that week and would quietly marvel in the simple fact that he was beginning to read at all and of course the absolute joy that he took from it.
But let’s be honest here, I’m sorry but with your eldest child you are quite simply making it up as you go along. I just can’t help but worry that all of my parenting fails for the best part of fourteen years are about to catch me up somehow. Maybe I have got it all completely wrong giving him nothing more than gentle encouragement and praise for all of these years. Maybe I should have been more pushy. I don’t know. I’m not even sure I would know how to be a pushy parent.
At this huge milestone, I want to be able to guide him but at the same time I hope that he will be able to make his own decisions too. But at the moment, I am struggling not to take over completely through the complete fear of how him taking the wrong options now, will impact on the rest of his education, nay life. But I know that I have to trust that he is able to take these options for himself, albeit with support from us at home and of course from his teachers at school.
This parenting lark doesn’t get any easier the older they get, does it? Give me sleepless nights and a teething baby over this any day!