Parenting: Rowing in the Middle of a Stormy Sea
A bit dramatic? Nah, I didn’t say: Cast adrift without oars or Mars Bars in the middle of a dark, stormy sea. Which is what parenting teenagers feels like.
I grew up in a boarding school where I did not see my parents from March 1 to November 30th. So, I managed my own time, made my own decisions, my own mistakes, and took the consequences. As I have done ever since school.
So I don’t really have much precedent for parenting someone through a year of important exams, which is also the year in which they decide to have fun. And more fun. Actually, truth be told, I don’t particularly care about the examination results, which my daughter divines. I am more concerned with the impact on her self-esteem, and of course, on university admissions, because I take the view that if you have to go to university, you might as well go to a good one.
So now, I am truly middle-aged, truly a parent. I remember refusing to study hard for my first public exams, saying that the results were a lottery. I feel so old when I advise my kids to study for anything other than the joy of it. And there are A level choices. Should they do made for the joy the subject gives you, or for uni/career? Again, I only chose subjects for the joy they gave me–but now I am a parent. Sigh.
So, in fact all I can do is pray for wisdom. Which is a very good thing to pray for.
Oh, and massive aerial support.
And slowing down. Listening. Looking. Basic relational skills, and not easy ones!