Tag Archives: teenagers

A Level results and mixed emotions

Today my eldest son did the nervous walk to school to find out his results and ultimately if he was going to get to go to uni or not.

I really feel for the kids today as they seem to be under so much more pressure that we ever were at that age at school. Pressure from the school, pressure from their peers and even sometimes pressure from their parents.

Neither my husband or I went to university, my hubby went straight from school into a job working in a photographic lab, then on to the MOD and from there into the Royal Air Force ( where we met) and then for the last 20 yrs he has been in the Met Police………….not a bad career for someone with virtually no qualifications. I left school and did a Youth Training Scheme ( YTS- remember those….I am very old you know) as a teacher’s assistant before joining the Royal Air Force, I then worked for the London Ambulance service for many years before having my boys and leaving work. When they got older I trained to become a Driving Instructor which I did before my illness took over……….again not too bad for leaving school with only 5 O levels, although I do have 2 A levels which I did at night school while I was still in the Air Force.

Today’s kids though have it so much harder I think. They are pushed from school ( especially from grammar schools) towards the university route from the minute they join, it has almost become the ‘norm’ to go to uni for everyone. I personally love the fact that apprenticeships are making a huge comeback and some kids are choosing to go down that route themselves rather than get into the debt that uni will inevitably land them in. Apprenticeships allows them to use and learn life and work skills whilst earning a wage and is a great opportunity covering a range of careers in all walks of life.

My son got his results today and was overjoyed to get what he needed to go to his first choice uni (Sussex). Some of his friends did not get the qualifications they wanted but still got places, but there were a few who didn’t get anywhere near what they needed and have spent the day in the ‘hell’ that is clearing. It must be overwhelmingly stressful and heartbreaking for them to be in that position, for some it’s almost like the end of the world where they can see no way out.

We were happy for my son because he was happy he got what he wanted. Either way we would have been proud of him regardless of the outcome. For us as parents, if he is happy then we are happy. We made it clear to him well before his exams that he could only do his best and there are always options if things don’t work out the way he wanted.

As super proud as I am, I am totally unprepared mentally for him to be leaving in less than a month! I purposely did not start gathering anything he was going to need as there would be nothing worse than all the excitement of getting everything organised to then not get the results he required. Yes that will mean a rush to get him sorted but I would prefer it that way, however, that means mentally I am totally unprepared for him leaving. I cannot quite believe he will be gone in such a short space of time. It will probably whizz past in a total blur and I will be left after the 12th September weeping into my wine that my baby has gone!

I will miss him terribly but I know he is so excited to go and I am very proud he got the results he needed. MASSIVE MIXED EMOTIONS.

I don’t know how I will cope initially, I know I will get used to it but the start will be very hard for me. He’s my first born, my baby and I just want to keep him close but I know the time is right for him to spread his wings and cope on his own in a fairly safe environment with lots of others in the same position ( I just do not think he even has a clue of what is coming!).

My heart goes out to all of those who were disappointed today and just hope they can see that it is not the end of the world, that these things happen for a reason and that there is always a way forward for them even though it may not seem like it at the moment.

If anyone has any tips for me as a parent, or to help me get him organised with what he needs ( if you have been through this yourself) please let me know in the comments- I will welcome all advice.

Our week in Yorkshire

Again this year a beautiful hot sunny holiday abroad eluded us, in fact if it wasn’t for my mum even our yearly UK camping trip wouldn’t have taken place this year! Finances have been dire for one reason or another these last few months however, with a very handy loan from my mum our camping trip was back on.

This year we decided to go further afield than our usual south coast visits and Yorkshire seemed to be calling us. We found a great campsite near Pickering on an actual working farm which we absolutely adored. The farmer and his lovely wife could not have been more friendly or helpful throughout our week and the view from our tent was to die for.

Told you it was fab!

Told you it was fab

Staying near Pickering meant we were visiting distance to Whitby, Scarborough and York , all places we wanted to take trips to. Normally before I go away camping I normally pre book tickets to what we want to do but this year I didn’t, we thought we would go with the flow and see what the boys wanted to do as they are now 16 and almost 14 yrs old.

So we ended up climbing the 199 steps up to Whitby Abbey, hired a motorboat that we drove up and down the river in York, taking a speed boat trip across the bay at Scarborough and indoor go-karting outside of York that I thought the boys would not survive!!

But there were loads of things me and my OH wanted to do that we knew the boys would not be interested in but instead of dragging them round moaning we took the easy option and gave the boys the control. This meant EVERYONE enjoyed the week.

We also spent our evenings playing cards and Yatzee inside the tent which was great to spend time with the boys without the distraction of all their gadgets that were left at home. although they probably wont admit it I think they secretly loved it. Have I mentioned my tent???? No??? I LOVE MY TENT!! cannot recommend it enough- its a Vango Amazon 600 which is now 4 yrs old but still going strong ( one of our best buys ever!)

Our camp set up- our tent is huge and awesome- enough said!

Our camp set up- our tent is huge and awesome- enough said!

Next year my eldest will be 17 so I’m not sure he will want to come with us, although he said he probably would but you just never know. I sincerely hope it wasn’t our last camping trip as a family.

So here is a few of our Yorkshire moments:

a fabulous steam train we travelled on for our day in Whitby

a fabulous steam train we travelled on for our day in Whitby

'The Shambles' in York

‘The Shambles’ in York

Me and the OH on the motor boat in York

Me and the OH on the motor boat in York

Resting outside Whitby Abbey after climbing 199 steps!!

Resting outside Whitby Abbey after climbing 199 steps!!

Ice creams at Scarborough beach

Ice creams at Scarborough beach

 
The Purple Man in York!
The Purple Man in York!

The Purple Man in York!

F1 indoor go-karting

F1 indoor go-karting

So all in all a great week in Yorkshire and somewhere that my OH and I will definitely be revisiting when the boys are off doing their own thing in Ibiza ( over my dead body LOL).

 

Where did you go on hols this year?

 

 

 

 

Age certificates for films

Now don’t get me wrong I am ALL in favour of this sort of stuff. I am that completely mean mum who doesn’t approve of underage playing of age 18 video games and inappropriate TV programmes……………even though my eldest is now 15 he still laughs at my ‘total shock’ face!

However, tonight it was a different story. I took my eldest to see The World’s End at Showcase in Bluewater. This was a treat just for him away from his pain in the arse younger brother, something for him and me to do together. He is a really good kid and looks after me well with my illness and I wanted to treat him.

When we got there though the ticket girl asked if he had any ID. At first I was shocked at this although part of me did understand, even though he stands at 5’10 and has the token facial hair and spots that go with his age. Now I know what your all thinking, some kids are older looking than others blah blah blah. But I am not that type of parent. I play by the rules. I realise why the rules are there after being married to a policeman for almost 20yrs!!

However, I REALLY do think my son looks his age now. He has shot up in size and demeanor and it really did not cross my mind to even think about ID. Yes the small print in the T’s and C’s say that people may be asked for ID however after he has had access before there I haven’t ever worried.

Tonight though something in me just clicked and I felt determined to push the point!!!

I asked to speak to the manager who just told me he would not go back on a decision the clerk had made!!! Surely as a manager he should have people skills, be able to listen and if necessary override a lower member of staff. I appreciated what he said about the cinema being fined if they were ‘spot checked’ by the council and so I offered to call home and get his passport number and Oyster card number that are traceable and legal documents that could be easily checked should the council ask. The manager even stated that he probably was 15 but now ID had been asked for he could not let him in without it!!!

SO NOT F**KING IMPRESSED!!

Really would a parent stand there and try and argue his case if he wasn’t the required age group? Would a parent offer to ring home for legal document reference numbers that are checkable? Would I offer my name and address and telephone number plus leave my driving licence to back up the surname and parent/child relationship???

In my mind- NO I WOULDN’T.

So why could a decent manager not see this- he did understand and agreed he looked 15 but because the ticket clerk had asked for ID he would not go back on that decision!! SPINELESS in my mind, a cop out from someone in a management position.

So I returned furious, after taking their names I have already sent an email to the General Manager and requested someone gets back to me.

OVER THE TOP? Yes probably, however, my teen is a good kid, we teach him right from wrong, he looks out for me and does lots for me due to my illness, so as a young carer he should be treated better I think- he does look his age so this did nothing for his self confidence!

Rant over- do you agree or not, don’t mind if you don’t but would love to know.

Schools out- Summer Bucket List!

I have read a few posts lately about the impending school holidays. Love them or hate them they just won’t organise themselves!

I have found it much easier and more fun to organise when the boys were a lot younger. I envy  all of you with the 5-10 age group as there are LOTS of things you can do that cost NOTHING but a bit of time and planning- park picnics with friends, days at the beach, walks in the woods/ forests, kite flying…….and the list goes on.

However as they get older I find it becomes far more costly and a trip to the park is literally like you want to end their lives as they know it- SOOOOOOOOO uncool!!! Being able to get away with a ‘special’ trip to the cinema over the hols is now one of the main things they want to do……………….and money just does not grow on trees, whatever anyone tells you.

So I now find myself with a 15 and 12yr old, both boys ( and both mine- I didn’t just kidnap them off a random street), and the thought of trying to organise and keep a budget of any kind over the summer is virtually non existent.

However I will not be outdone, I will sort summer the summer hols, it will not break me *cough*. So here are a few things that I definitely want to include over the holidays, both for the kids, as a family, and some ‘just for me’ selfish ones thrown in too.

* Cinema trips- 1st to see Worlds End with the eldest ( as he is 15!) and 2nd to see The Internship with the 12 yr old (not my choice)

* Fishing day- this is already arranged with friends so I can say with confidence that this will happen- next wednesday to be exact!! ( I’m a fishing addict and proud LOL)

* See the Brainiac Live show that is showing at Bluewater and also up London hoping at least one of them will accompany me.

* Organise a huge swim day at a fun pool for both boys and whatever friends they want to bring. I have a 7 seater car so the more the merrier LOl

* Try the ‘Up at The 02’ experience, requested by my youngest- at £25 a ticket I have emailed them from my blog to see if they want a reviewer!! Cheeky I know but if you don’t ask you don’t get LOL- If not I will bite the bullet and let OH and youngest go.

* Take a trip on the new Greenwich cable car- with kids would be good but if they turn their noses up at it then just me and the OH!!

* A mammoth game of Monopoly as a family- this tends to go for hours and I can keep the arguing to a minimum by providing fizzy drink and sweets and snacks.

* Camping- we have actually booked this and are going for a week in Aug to the Isle of Wight!! I cannot wait

* Have some girlie friends round on a sunny evening to drink copious amounts of pink wine, talk crap and eat rubbish! ( even better get a take away)

* I would love a PJ’s day! Just for the sake of it, a lazy, not going out past the door, watching dvd’s all day just because I can!!

* A trip to my Mum’s in Plymouth- on my own LOL like that will ever happen!!! But you never know stranger things have happened as they say! My eldest is getting to go next week for a week on his own- to say I’m jealous would be the understatement of the day.

* Have friends round for a chilled out BBQ, everyone chipping in, kids off playing football out in the park and jugs of Pimms to enjoy for the adults.

* Get the pool up for the boys- I am nagging the OH as I type- he hates putting it up as It is huge- but may encourage youngest to invite his cronies round for the day!

* Sit in a lovely beer garden on a sunny afternoon enjoying a mega cold beer or G+T- this one with no kids and don’t really mind if it’s with girly friends or OH!

* Would love a day down at Dymchurch beach- a bit of a trek for us but worth it if you get the weather and time the tides right LOL

* A poker night! Ok maybe it’s not great to teach your kids to gamble but we love a game of Texas Hold’em in this house. We invested in a poker table with drink and chip holders!!

* A HUGE water fight while the weather is still hot, with friends as much more fun the more people you have- and we are lucky to have a huge park outside our back gate!! I feel a panic buy of water bombs coming on!

* Get to watch through the series 2 of The Killing in peace! I know I am behind on this but lets face it with it being subtitled I cannot exactly sit on Twitter and FB  iron or knit while watching it LOL

 * Become an expert in beating the teenagers butts at Swingball! One of the less energetic sports I can do LOL Just bought a new retro metal ‘old style’ proper one- BRING IT ON KIDS!

At the moment that is about it but I’m sure I will add some or change some along the way. Still hoping to get the teens dragged along involved in someway in at least some of my list, but only time will tell.

So wish me luck and let me know what’s on your list.