Wednesday, 1 November 2017

The Trouble With High School

Well, November is well and truly here isn't it - I'm not quite sure where this year has gone at all.

And with the arrival of this month comes, not only all of the supermarket Christmas displays, not only my first baby turning twelve (tomorrow!), but it also means that this lovely son of mine has now been a fully fledged high schooler for a full half term already.

That's seven or so weeks ticked off already.

Feeling old?


What on earth gives you that impression...

And something that I have noticed with this huge jump to "big school" is just how blooming crazy advanced high school children are these days.

It seems like one second they were all so young, sweet and innocent, crying at the primary school gates, not wanting to leave and then the next they are asking to go to the cinema on their own, are fashion obsessed and are living in a world revolving around the opposite sex.

Charlie is only (almost!) twelve but there seems to be new girls friend requesting him on Snapchat - all needing to be vetted by Mum of course - every day and all of his conversations seem to involve talk of girls too...just what is going on...?

And it's not just him either - apparently at rugby training sessions the whole group of twenty-five boys spend a portion of their time chatting about their girlfriends and will actually ask each other for advice and "What should I say about...?"


But this area of talking-about-topics-way-earlier-than-expected isn't just limited to ladies either, oh no, we have had questions around smoking, around drugs, around vaping all thrown at us over the past few weeks and whilst we are very much against any of these in our house I really like how Charlie is open enough with us to ask and seek out answers about things.

Obviously we do express our opinions and we do have rules about such things but I also like to have some sort of knowledge and background information to base what I am talking to him about.

And after having a look around, obviously he knows that smoking and vaping are strictly meant for adults aged eighteen years and over - well, smoking isn't is it but in our house, yes it is.

And he really does get why we think like that, trust me.

He has also asked us why people choose to vape - he has seen family members use the liquids in the past so is naturally going to be curious about it - and, using a little bit of new found website knowledge and answers from real-life-people, he has found that many people will use vaping as a tool to help in their mission to quit smoking.

And this seems to have appeased his curiosity - it's not just Mum telling him no you see, the information is there in black and white.

But then when I have added everything together - all of these not really talked about before areas - I have come to the conclusion that I can not cope with high school.

There's just way too much adulting happening far too soon.

And I'm not even a parent who stepped into this whole process blind, I mean I worked in a blooming high school for nine years and working with young adults of this age every day, well you tend to hear it all and see it all, so I know full well what high school "these days" is all about.

But when it's your own son - your own eleven year old son - stepping into this world, can you ever really be ready?

~ Ready for the mood swings, the attitude changes, the "why are you so against me all of the time" type attitude?

~ Ready for the change of friendship and relationship circles?

No I can't say I was ever going to be ready for any of it.

But it's really these "grown up" things that have shocked me the most - the interest in girls, the talk around smoking and vaping, even the rather inappropriate language I've spotted on some social media channels that I don't reckon one little girl's Mum would be all too pleased with her using...

It's crazy and one thing I know for certain is that school was never like this "back in the day".

Yes, yes - I know times have changed and people have much more access and contact with each other away from school than I was ever able to have, but wow, children are just so much more forward than we ever were.

And a massive part of this, in my opinion anyway, has got to be down to not having Middle School access anymore.

I blooming loved my Middle School and I know that by the time I hit Year Nine I was ready for high school but I know that I was not ready for it two years earlier.

No. No. No.

But that's what's happening now - at the age of eleven children are expected to mix with, integrate fully with and get along with - without being influenced by - children who are many years older than themselves.

Children who, for many of the older ones anyway, are hitting puberty, are wanting to know about the opposite sex - which for many of the new Year Seven children were things not even considered before the six week holidays began, but there they are, fourty-two days later, catapulted almost into a world they maybe weren't expecting.

And of course within this new world all they want to do is feel that they fit in, feel that they have been accepted and that they are wanted by their peers...their much older, much more developed peers...

Again this is all just my opinion, but it's really no wonder that some young children fall in with "wrong" habits after leaving Primary - many want to appear older and more mature and be more like their older school mates and for many children this acceptance from others is way more important than anything else high school has to offer.

So when the friend requests on Snapchat come through from unfamiliar-to-me-names and my son's face lights up because it's his "older mate from form class", what do I do?

I really don't want this "older friend" there in the background but my son obviously talks to him, obviously values his friendship and I naturally don't want to make things difficult for him when he is at school...

So yes high school, you really do have a lot to answer for.

It's now down to myself and the Husband to dig out and source as much solid information about all of the things our son wants to know so that we can hopefully give him the right kind of information so that he can make the best, most informed choices possible.

But really...please just bring back Middle School's

* sponsored post - words, opinions & images 100% my own


  1. Gosh they grow up quick don't they! High School does have a lot to answer for! Hope Charlie had a great birthday x


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