Monday, 2 November 2009


My son today got his Opportunity Class results and it has opened a whole new can of worms.

We never really intended for him to take up any offer but it would give us an indication of whether we should be considering a Selective High School for him.

He has been struggling for the last few weeks with anxiety. We seem to have pinpointed it to something at school. He is very open with me and I am 100% certain that if there was a problem that he was aware of he would have discussed it with me. He really doesn't know what is causing the symptoms.

The symptoms first appeared a couple of months ago on the morning of his OC test. He was shaking, crying, having palpitations, almost vomiting and could not even look at food. For me and my husband this was heartbreaking, he was 9 years old. No child should have to deal with that.

As a result Jon and I pretty much decided that bright or not, a Selective High School environment would not be for CJ. The competition would be too great and his stress levels would be permanently sky high.

His anxiety has continued (and we are talking to the school about it) so we really played down the OC results. He came home from school today though knowing that other kids had their results and wanted to know what he got.

I asked him first what he wanted the result to be? He said that he didn't want to go but it would be nice to know he could. When he found out his result he burst into tears, for some reason he just didn't think that he was that talented. It came as no surprise to Jon and I but CJ just doesn't get it.

We have a very intelligent boy, who is talented in all areas, he plays in the school band, they won another first place last week, he is teaching himself to play piano and guitar and has asked for a drum kit for Christmas (whole other story). He writes music and lyrics, he mixes and produces it on his computer. His dance group did very well this year, he is class captain etc etc.

And I know I am biased but the point of this is I guess that being a parent is so hard.

With a little pushing he could be an amazing academic - but it could also break him.

He could pursue his music - but should it stay a hobby?

Do we butt out and let him make his own decisions - at 10 is he old enough to do that? Would that make me a neglectful parent?

Babies are so much easier than growing children and I have two others following not so far behind him!

1 comment:

Debstar said...

Lots of big questions there Claire.
Have you thought about going to a guidance counselor? It might be worth seeing if you could make an appointment through the selective high school that you have looked at. If you do just go alone to begin with then take it from there.
I've always found that guidance counselors are really helpful and they've pretty much seen it all with anxious kids.