How To Help Your Child Through Clearing

August 17, 2022

On the eve of A Levels results day…

My husband got up this morning full of determination and sprang into action. This is unusual because he isn’t the type who leaps out of bed unless there’s a train or plane to catch because in the 20+ years I’ve known him I can tell you that he is most definitely not a morning person. He’ll set an alarm and roll over and go back to sleep after turning it off and he’ll do this multiple times before getting up. He loves his sleep and his bed. Springing into action was most definitely a surprise.

He busied himself at the computer clicking on websites and copying and pasting links and numbers and information like someone on a mission, with a purpose. I just put the kettle on, made coffee and sat with him while he clicked.

‘I want us to be ready,’ he said. ‘I don’t want to be negative and assume he (eldest) will not get the grades, but I want him to have a Plan B and alternatives that have been thought through so, as you say, decisions can be made while there’s no emotion. I’ve got all the numbers we need, all the links for UCAS and a list that we can work through to help him get on a course if that’s what we need to do.’

I was surprised to say the least.

Not surprised because my husband loves his children, because we share parenting much more now than we have ever. I don’t make all the decisions and I accept that there are other ways to fold and put away towels. Surprised because he seemed determined to have the Plan B worked out, printed out and even blu tac-ed to the wall.

‘I remember back to my own results day,’ he said, ‘and I didn’t have any help. I had to do all this by myself, and I didn’t realise that that wasn’t great for me. I think if I had have had help then I would have made different decisions. I didn’t go to the Uni I should have because I didn’t understand the process.’

With tears in his eyes and a printed Plan B on the wall, my husband was actively being the parent that he needed for the child that he has.

Because tomorrow is a huge day, one that eldest will remember for the rest of his life (I remember my own results day and my husband certainly does) because it shapes the next part of growing up and leaving home and becoming more of an adult and taking responsibility for yourself.

My husband just wants to help.

With his coloured pens and his notepad and the chairs already put out. He wants to help his son navigate what could be the best day ever or the most stressful day ever or even the day that started not so great but ended well. Who knows? We’ll know tomorrow.

I am *so* proud of the man I married. Yes, we annoy each other hugely but we kind of get there. When you marry someone, you can know the colour of their eyes or where they want to live but you never really know what parent they might be; that’s the leap of faith that is starting a family with an unknown part of someone’s personality. They don’t even know what sort of parent they will be because all the preformed ideas go out the window at 3am when you’ve had no sleep for days and your baby just. Won’t. Stop. Crying.

My husband is driving eldest into the college tomorrow. He will be with eldest when he gets his results. My husband will drive him home and sit with him for as long as eldest needs him tomorrow to help him through this next stage of his life.

My husband knows that eldest may never think of tomorrow ever again because Plan A may come to fruition and that’s fantastic and we’ll go off to celebrate but he also knows that it might not and he will look back and he’ll, hopefully, know that his dad was right there with him supporting him just when he needed it.

Below is a sheet that my husband prepared as requested from the followers of my Curiosity Led Learning Facebook page. Feel free to print it out and use as you would like.

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