I’ve not had the chance to blog this week, we’ve been really busy. Here in Scotland the summer holidays are over, and school starts back tomorrow. I’ve been trying to cram a whole summer’s worth of days out into the last ten days, to make up to the teenager and the four year old for being busy with a new born for most of the holidays.
I feel sad that the end of the holidays has come around so soon. Not least because the four year old will be starting primary school. But that’s a whole other blog post of its own…which I’m not quite ready to process. I thought I’d focus on my teenager today instead.
Old House In The Shires tagged me (a long while back!) in her “Questions For My Teens” tag, and I think that the start of the school year is a great time to interview my son. I’m interested in what his answers will be, and to see what he thinks come the end of the school year.
back to school worries
The teenager is 15 now, and heading into fourth year at school. That means his first exams are waiting for him in the shape of his National 5’s. Does that worry me? Not in the slightest. He’s an incredibly smart kid who knows where he wants his studies to take him. It’s what the school year holds for him that worries me. As I mentioned before in my good, bad & ugly of parenting a teen, he has experienced bullying since high school started.
My son is a great kid. He’s kind and polite, clever and sporty. He gets on with adults. He’s even helpful around the house (when he’s nagged!). But these traits make him the subject of jealousy and a “soft target”, especially for one little shit in particular. A little shit who unfortunately has a lot of cronies who blindly accept his opinion as their own. Things did start to get better towards the end of the last term, mainly because my son finally let me speak to the school. Some of the perpetrators seem to have grown a conscience too, with one apologising for what he’d done. But although I am hopeful that he can put it behind him, I can’t help but be concerned that it isn’t over yet.
I wonder if exams and bullying are on his mind too. Will they come out in his answers, or is he less concerned about these things than me?
questions for my teenager
- What are your greatest fears at the moment?
His first answer was that he was scared of the dark, which surprised me. He also doesn’t like spiders but I knew that, as I’m the resident spider catcher in our house! But when I asked him about bigger fears he said “I’m scared of not succeeding. About not getting a good job or having a good life.” I said that was pretty big stuff, and asked him if he was worried about exams – not at all!
- What do you see yourself doing in 5 years time?
He said he sees himself either travelling the world or at university. He wants to travel before studying though, doing volunteer work in the third world but also going to places like New York. He’s always wanted to study technology, and for the longest time wanted to be a games or software designer. So his answer surprised me when he said “I want to do something with music tech.” This is a new subject that has opened up to him this year, which brings his love of tech to his natural talent for music (he’s been playing the piano for four years). He said as soon as he started the subject he found it fascinating and so really wants to follow it.
- If you could meet anyone from history, who would it be and why?
He said he was torn between John Logie Baird (inventor of the television, and famous son of our town) and Einstein. Why? “Because both made massive changes to the world. If I could meet one of them I’d like to see them going through all their work to the end.”
- What makes you angry and why?
“Not getting to spend a lot of time on my computers and stuff. And sometimes I have to turn them off right in the middle of something as well.” This makes me laugh so much, he really is obsessed with computers. Oh to be 15 again. Imagine your biggest stressor being how much time you got (or didn’t get) to play computer games!
- Do you believe in having a soul-mate and true love?
“Yes. Some people are meant to be with each other.” When I asked him if he thinks there is just the one person for each of us he said “there could be multiple people for different people.” I’m glad of that. I think it’s a dangerous mind set to think there is only one person out there. I’m happy my son will hopefully be less inclined to stay with someone bad for him in the misguided belief that they’re the one.
- What is the best and worst part of being a teenager?
“Probably the worst part is always being tired. The best part is probably seeing yourself going through all these changes.” And yes, he meant puberty. I guess it’s nice to know he’s not scared or uncomfortable in his changing body!
- What would be your perfect day?
Jeez, this one was like blood from a stone and his response was typically geeky. You can count me out of joining him! “Winning an eSports tournament (which is apparently gaming, but the best in the world). And getting to meet all the famous YouTubers and gamers.”
- If you won the lottery, what would you do with the money?
“I would build a nice big house abroad, buy a nice car and then send a huge chunk to a charity, like Water Aid.” Thankfully no computers!