A Lesson In Parenting

We had my 13 year old niece Maddy stay with us last week.

I went from a somewhat advanced amateur parent of 4 year old twin boys to a totally out of her depth parent for the week to 4 year old twin boys and a 13 year old girl.

There was so much I just hadn’t expected.

The most unexpected though, was when my niece asked for my advice on her GCSE’s and career choices.


Here’s me, who for the last few years has been the black sheep of the family, left to flounder and defined by somewhat demeaning labels being asked by a girl with the whole world at her feet what she should do.

To say I felt honoured and humbled is an understatement.

These were conversations I thought I would have in 10 years with my own children, I hadn’t given them much thought to be honest.

I was unprepared and perhaps more honest with my responses than I would have been if I’d had time to prepare.

I thought back to my own school days and the so called career advice I received, it was rather general, pathetic, and ultimately not very helpful.

So I decided to buck tradition and tell Maddy to focus on what interests her rather than what is expected of her.

Because how many 13/14 year olds really know what they want to do with their life.

Most of us so called adults still don’t know!

Maybe I should have told her to knuckle down and go all academic in her choices, but I know she prefers the more artistic and creative subjects, from my own experiences I know I excelled at the subjects I felt more passionate about.

How do you deal with the unexpected questions from kids?!


  1. Unprepared and honest sounds pretty good advice to me!

    1. Thank you, I was blown away when she asked me!

  2. I'm waiting for the results of my GCSEs I chose the subjects that were expected of me and I hated every second I had to spend in those lessons, I wish that this was the advice I was given! :)

    1. Thank you Georgia, that's lovely of you to say.

      I'm sure you will get excellent results, and if not, it's not the end of the world, there are so many amazing opportunities open to you, best of luck x

  3. I think you did the right thing. It's great advice too, my parents fought for me to be able to take the GCSE's I wanted and not to have to take a technology subject as I was rubbish at making things and rubbish at cooking! It's one of the best memories I have because I really enjoyed my time at school, instead of wishing I was elsewhere.


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