My 15 year old daughter is in grade 9 and we attended her Subject Choice meeting the other night. As I looked around the hall, parents were holding their breathe in fear and children were anxiously scanning the room for comfort. All the parents were listening attentively to the guest speaker about the different academic streams open to specific subject choices.
Being a teenager is hard, as my daughter often reminds me. Having no clue as to what the future will hold is scary. We need to be conscious of this as we enter into this discussion with our teens. The more control I wanted to have years ago when my son (now 18) had to choose, the more I wanted to exert control over his subject choice the more constricted he felt and rebelled. Three years later, I am not the same micromanaging mom and let my daughter choose her own subjects.
When the meeting ended she ticked all her own boxes, handed me the form and I smiled as it was exactly what I thought matched her personality, talents and interests. A confident teen knows themselves and will be more authentic in their choices from an early age. It gets convoluted when we, the parent try to manipulate the child to our fulfill our expectations and dreams .
On a final note, listen to their concerns, their fears about the future and share your subject choice memories. I remember my teacher telling my parents what I should do – Accounting and Physics (for smart kids) and they told me it’s what I will take. I wasn’t given a choice and was resentful as I hated numbers. So, be wise and let your child’s Authenticity rule this decision.
QUESTIONS TO PONDER
1. DID YOU KNOW WHAT YOU WANTED TO BE AT 15?
2. DID YOUR PARENTS CONSULT YOU OR CHOOSE YOUR SUBJECTS FOR YOU?
3. WOULD YOU CHOOSE THAT FOR YOURSELF NOW?
4. IN YOUR CURRENT JOB OR FIELD OF STUDY DO YOUR SUBJECTS MATTER?
5. AM I THINKING ABOUT MY CHILD’S CAPABILITIES AND INTERESTS?
6. DO I WANT TO CONNECT OR CONTROL MY CHILD WITH THIS DECISION?