It's that time of year again, when parents across the country open every conversation with a question about, "How are they doing?"
This is my 5th consecutive year of exam "stress", next year will be the 6th, then I have a year off before having another 3, possibly more if Number 2 and 3 follow Number 1 to university!!
All told, I should be an expert on the whole stressful process, especially if I draw on my own experience from the dim and distant past too.
Thing is.....I'm so not!
You see, I have boys (I may have mentioned that before) and rightly or wrongly, in the main, they don't really stress, not about education anyway.
I realise that is a sweeping statement and that some boys obviously do worry a lot, but speaking to most of my mum friends over the years and definitely the experience in our home, suggests that when it comes to exams, us mothers of sons get off lightly.
If I'm honest, I'd actually like a bit more stress about the whole thing, at least then I'd have some proof that they were taking it seriously and I could also join in with my "Mums of girls" friends, talking about "coping strategies", melt-downs and trauma.
The only melt downs and trauma in my home over May and June are mine.
I'm constantly checking the exam time table, scheduling revision and feeding the boys up before they set off , no matter how early a start they have. I kid myself that this is why they do OK but really I know, they do OK in spite of me, not because of me.
As mums we can't help ourselves can we?
We want the best for our kids, its only natural but having been round the block with this a few times I'm beginning to doubt that arm loads of GCSEs and A Levels are what is best. (And don't get me started on Uni fees)!!!!!
Best is what makes our kids happy, healthy, well rounded individuals and for many of us that isn't found or achieved in accademia. Social skills, personality and integrity are far more important skills than an A*. We'd all do well to remember that and I will try my hardest to practise what I preach! Promise.EJ