It has been a busy time in our household at the moment.  The youngest child going through her SATs, as she finishes my eldest will begin his GCSE’s.  The middle has chosen and been given his options to start his GCSE’s in September.  Therefore with all of the talk and the hype of SATs and GCSE’s my brain is frazzled just keeping the brood – fed, rested, motivated and stress free.  It’s not frazzled enough however to not stand up for my child when he nearly didn’t get a GCSE option of his choice.

It’s difficult when you’ve got three children who you are trying to support in their ventures and stages of life.

Last week my middle child came home from school completely devastated.  He’s a creative child. Very artistic and has been running his own Graphic design business since the age of 12.  Yes at just 12 he set himself up.

I’d done the thing that many of us parents do and realised his love of designing and really got it together to provide him with a gaming laptop.  Very quickly he turned the gaming laptop to profit by designing channel banners on You Tube.  Over the past 18 months I have seen his orders soar and realised this is his gift to compliment Art.  The school that he attends recognised his Artistic talents.  Now he doesn’t go to a school that has a big Art specialism.  It’s an all boys school and typically in gender fashion therefore focuses on the Academics and Sports.

Naturally for my son he wanted to take up Graphic Design for GCSE.  He told me that he had to make a choice.  Art or Graphic Design because the work load is tremendous for both and he’d been advised not to take both at the same time.  So he picked his options and chose Graphic Design.  I was slightly disappointed as I imagined my son at Art College, long hair, ripped skinny jeans and holding an art pad with a camera around his neck.  But I respected his choice telling him that when the day arrives and he finishes GCSE’s that Art could be explored and possibly photography.  I thought how it would be a wonderful combination with Graphic Design.  Art is a gift and when somebody possesses such a gift I believe it should be practised.

Therefore it was with delight when the school picked my son out and said that really he should take up Art for GCSE.  His Art teacher wants him on the course.  I spoke to the teacher and explained my sons preference.  The teacher then explained the theory that I live by:

“Do what you love and it will never be too much work.”

So that was it.  I thought how wonderful that my son would be able to take up both.  My dream of seeing him produce traditional Art work alongside technological Art work was to be going ahead.

That was until last week when my son came home and said that the school had accepted him for Art and not Graphic Design.

I wasn’t having it and I did a massive promise to my son that I would get him on the Graphics course.  I was straight on the phone to the school, left three messages, tossed and turned all night, played scenarios in my head of how I was going to have to pull him out of the school and into a school more beneficial to him.  I was questioning how a boy could be running a small little enterprise single handed and managing the financial side like a professional – not be put on Graphic Design GCSE?

The next day.  I turned from laid back individual to tigress as I defended my little cub.

I explained that I was taking this as far as I could take it.  It would be going to the governors, I would be speaking to the local paper, I had contacts with journalists, I wanted a meeting, I would be pulling my son out of their highly sought after school and how they were holding him back from pursuing his dreams.  I wanted a meeting, I had a portfolio and incomings and that I wanted to see the standard of work they expected at his age.  I was so confident that he would excel it.

You see it turns out it was an error.  The school had taken results from his cookery and woodwork components that make up DT.  He hadn’t done any Graphics since year 8.

Fortunately my tossing and turning was a mere hiccup.  One hour later the Headmaster was on the phone and informed me that my son would be on Graphic Design.  The school listened and for that I’m grateful.

It made me think  how as a mother or parent we should know our children the best of all and if something gets in their way we turn into a tigress.  I’ve done this so many times and not just for their academics.  We make the promise and we get the result.  A big result, my son saw me stand up for him and for that told me he loved me.  What a massive reward?

If as a parent we don’t stand up for our child then who will do it for them? Parenting does make us stronger.

All in all it was a successful 24 hours, that went from tears to joy.

Art and Graphic Design.  Two GCSE options that I’m looking forward to following.  I might learn something new.


The picture is a short cover design my son designed for me ready for me to self publish a short story.