As a parent, your biggest desire in life is to see your children thrive, to do and achieve more than you ever could. And when you encounter roadblocks that threaten that desire becoming a reality, it’s difficult. Especially when it’s out of your control.
I’ve realised over the years that my children need to make their own choices. I can’t make them do anything but simply give them insight and guidance to help them make good decisions. Decisions that are right for them.
I say all this as I reflect on the frustrating conversation, I just had with one of my twin daughters, Taylor. I feel like it’s an echo of the conversations we’ve had over the years. Some things never seem to change.
It all started when I found her sitting on the couch in front of the television, covered in crumbs. She didn’t look like she planned to move from that spot any time soon and each day it was the same. So, I asked her “I’m happy you’re getting time to rest and reset after high school, but have you thought any more about your next steps?”
My question was met with a muffled response, something that resembled a grunt.
Naturally, I wasn’t satisfied with that answer and so I tried again, “How about I help you set up a meeting with a career counsellor to give you some direction? That could be useful.”
Well, that set her off. A lot of words were spoken but the message was along the lines of no one can tell me what to do, it’s my life and I get to decide how to live it. Stop expecting me to be like Shannon because I’m not. Why can’t you accept me for who I am?
I said nothing and gave her time to cool down. Of course, I love her and accept her for who she is but watching her do nothing with her life without a hint of moving forward; it breaks my heart.
So, here I am. Prompted by that conversation to reflect on the journey of my daughters to date. Yes, they are different people but how did their lives end up being worlds apart? There must have been a deciding moment or a series of moments that led each of them to where they are now.
Growing up, Taylor and Shannon were inseparable. I was never the mother to want to dress them in matching outfits, but they would always insist, right up to the age of eight. After that, their trajectories began to look different.
Sure, they both went to the same primary school. They were (and are) both intelligent people and did well academically. I now remember though, that as they approached their pre-teen years, they developed different friendship groups. Shannon’s hunger for learning grew and Taylor became more interested in gaining popularity than studying.
By Year 5, their different interests became even more noticeable. Shannon practically begged me to support her Selective High School application journey, as she wanted to position herself in the best way possible to get into her ideal course at her chosen university. As a proud mother, I was eager to support her. And I did.
On the other hand, Taylor had no interest in attending a Selective High School, even when encouraged. She was satisfied with going to the local public high school as that was where most of her friends would be. I didn’t push her any further, allowing her to make the decision she felt was right for her.
Shannon reaped so many benefits from studying at a Selective High School that Taylor could have also experienced. Things like:
Looking at how these benefits led Shannon down the path she’s on today, there’s no doubt in my mind that much of the credit goes to her attending a Selective High School. Now, she’s studying a course she’s passionate about at a high calibre university.
My dear Taylor is another story, but I believe she will get there eventually…
Note: the names of the sisters have been changed for privacy protection.
Is your child hoping to have a story like Shannon and like to attend a Selective High School? Or if you have a child like Taylor, where you don’t want to look back in a few years and say “I wish I pushed her more”? If so, Global Education Academy can help them get there.
To receive a spot in our Selective preparation course, the first step is to book a Selective Benchmark Assessment for your child. This involves a 90-minute assessment followed by a 30-minute feedback session with a teacher. It gives us insight into your child’s ability to cope with advanced courses and enables us to identify strengths, shortcomings and most importantly their untapped potential.
To book a Benchmark Assessment for your child, click here.