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Proud dad...

My son who is turning 16 before the end of the year has been appointed as a prefect in his school, a position which should continue until he leaves for university when he's 18.
He is in a highly competitive and selective school after winning his place there through exams when he was aged 11.
Most of the other parents are well off doctors, pilots, architects [insert impressive profession] but I am not, although I've always been a committed parent actively helping and encouraging him with his studies.

He's a big tough lad, and also captain of his rugby team, but with a kindness and moral understanding that he actively promotes in school life, a defender of the weak if you like.
When the head of the school asked him why he would make a good prefect his reply was along the lines of "Sir, a nerd prefect can only stop the nasty things people do in school. I've got more respect and backup in my social circles than the position of prefect has. Outside of school 'prefect' counts for nothing and that's where I can make a difference. I've been stopping bullying ever since I've been here and I'd be good at the job of making school a nice place."

I totally love that even in a really snobby and social-class fixated school, the son of a working class man (I was plastering walls today) can gain acceptance and positions of responsibility through his own academic study and strong moral code Smile

7 blog comments below

Sounds as though you have a great son there. Mature beyond his years. What plans does he have after he has graduated from school?
deanhills on Sat May 25, 2013 3:47 am
Damn impressive. You've a right to feel pride, you and he are certainly doing things right Smile
Ankhanu on Sat May 25, 2013 3:57 am
Cheers chaps.
I think having a deep and honest relationship with my son is where I'm lucky. He tells me that most of his friends parents don't realise a fair amount of their child/parent relationship is basically fake because they can't talk to them about 'stuff'. I listen to him and I'm always calm, open and honest.
We haven't been cross, angry or even moody with each other for years, wow, many years now. But then I don't do the whole freak out parent thing if he makes a life mistake, I talk, listen and help fix things, it's my job Smile

When my lad is doing homework it's always in the living room and I switch TV/music off so we can both devote time to it without distractions. I actually enjoy it as I remember subject topics which I learned myself years ago. He isn't bored and miserable forcing out some rubbish work on his own in his room, and I'm able to help straight away if there are any areas he wants extra support with.

Right now he's not sure what he wants to do and he's got a while to choose because he'll be taking his GCSE exams next year for Maths, English, Chemistry, Biology, Physics, French, Computer coding, Philosophy, Business studies, and Drama. (Drama might sound the odd one out there but being able to act in life and speak in public is a useful skill to have) He can then choose 4 subjects to study at advanced 'A' level for 2 years before considering a university degree.

We were chatting the other night and he wants to take Philosophy as one of his 'A levels', telling me that I shouldn't be surprised because of all the years he's listened to my moral preaching in every story I ever come out with. Yes he was teasing me and it did make me laugh.

Of course if he was really honest he would love to be a pro rugby player but he knows that a nice collection of academic qualifications is important to have in the bag in case that doesn't happen.
I've never been a "You must do X or Y" parent though, my approach has always been "If you do X or Y then you can make wonderful things happen in your life"
watersoul on Sat May 25, 2013 4:14 pm
That is fantastic! Great to hear about someone who actually cares about being a parent (mine did not) and is rewarded with good child to be extremely proud of.
standready on Sun May 26, 2013 1:11 am
Cheers standready, as I say to my son, he didn't come with an instruction book so I make it up as I go along and just try to build an environment of mutual respect and understanding.
I felt totally alone and not listened to when I was young so I'm passionate about keeping good communication lines open between me and my own lad. It appears to be a beneficial tactic.

I've been busy this long UK public holiday weekend though, my closest friends are trading away at a music festival with their clothing market stall so I'm minding their house, pets, and teenager as well. Our children have known each other since being babies so they view each other as almost siblings anyway.
That always makes me smile because I view my mate as a non-biological brother with 22 years of trust behind our friendship.

Just popped back to my home for an hour or so break though, and also let them have their non-parent in attendance time to talk teenage stuff or whatever. My son is alpha male in the group there so he's on duty as security right now until I walk back round later. I'm only a 30 second run away from a phone call Wink

I'm also 'close friends' with my son on facebook so I get emails to my phone when he posts things there, that's an indication of the trust between us because he says most of his mates won't even befriend their parents or will lock the privacy down if they do. I don't get involved too much in his timeline of course but I have sent him a few private messages asking "Are you sure about that in public son, what about X or Y?" and he's always fixed it saying "thanks for the shout dad, didn't think" so far. I chuckle at some of the building site style language banter between him and his friends though, as long as he presents himself well where he has to then he's just being a bloke like me, I wonder why some people pretend teenagers are some sort of different species sometimes.

I think all parents should just be the people who love their charges more than anyone else does in the world, and always give them the best advice we have from our own experiences of messing stuff up. Too many parents are uninterested, hypocrites or dictators in my opinion, I just try to be an honest loving guardian who hasn't forgotten about the dramas of growing up.
watersoul on Sun May 26, 2013 9:13 pm
Too many parents are uninterested, hypocrites or dictators in my opinion

So you have met my parents.
standready on Sun May 26, 2013 10:31 pm
Teach the next generation as best we can is all we can do.
They may think we're pricks or whatever but if younger people know that so and so adult honestly cares about them then they're more likely to listen to the advice older person can give.
It's always sad when parents don't work hard at their jobs though.
watersoul on Mon May 27, 2013 1:23 am

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